When I was a child. A pandit came to my home. He saw my palm and predicted that I have a danger from water. Since a pandit had said that I have a danger from water, my family did everything to protect me. I was 20, and I didn't know to swim.
It was 2011 I think when I first saw a video of surfing. I was stoked after watching those videos. I started googling for surfing immediately. I started watching more and more videos, I searched for surfing school.
I felt incredibly lucky when I discovered that India's only surfing school is just 30km from me. India is a huge country btw. I went through their website, I watched their video of surfing. The thing was that the price was too high. Surf school was mostly focusing on the Froigner travelers and rich Indian people. When you think in dollar, it becomes a burden on the rupee.
Immediately I wrote the a mail. I expressed how stoked I was and I asked if there is any discount for a college student.
I waited for the response for several years. I finished my college, got a job 350 km away. Still, there had been no response yet.
No problem, now I have a job and I have money. The first thing I did with my salary was to buy a surf shorts go for surfing. I called them(same surf school) and booked an appointment.
I showed up for surfing at around 5:30 AM. While the surf Instructor was still surfing in their dreams.
I was a lean guy at that time. A good way to start surfing is to start with a big board. I remember, starting with a huge board(the one on the right of the photo). Which was very difficult to hold under arms and very difficult to even lift on the head.
Of course with the big board, it is difficult to even cut through the waves. With large width, paddling is a challenge. The while water will just not let a big board pass through it. In three day course I barely stood up on the board. Still, I finished my 3 day surfing trip with happy bruises to show off to my friends.
Years passed by in the corporate life. My relationship with my job went from love to hate to irritated. I tried to code few of my Idea to life and failed miserably.
One day I questioned myself, what do I want in my life? The first answer was I wanted to earn lots of money. Then I questioned again, what will I do with that money? Without a second thought, the beach and surfing life came to my mind. And then I thought that I don't really need any money for that. Beach life is cheap in India. I had found my shortcut to life.
I left my job. I moved to Mulki, Mangalore. I bought a long board and I have been constantly surfing since then.
I use to keep my surfboard at Mantra surf school. They were very generous. They allowed me to keep the board at their ashram (Hare Krishna Ashram). They also gave me unlimited free ride on their motor boat to go to a private beach where we use to surf. The Mantra surf club became like a family. I made friends with India's top surfer, and pioneers of surfing in India at Mantra surf club.
Sham is a head surf coach at Mantra Surf Club. Sham gave me an unlimited free surfing lesson. Ashram members and local friends helped me to learn swimming.
Don't think that surfing is easy. Or buying a board will make you a surfer. It is about the dedication, the commitment, the attitude.
I spent a week just laying down on my board, to balance myself while laying down. It took me months of paddling and dozens of nose dive to catch my first wave. It took me months to look straight to the beach while surfing, it took me a season to move left or right. It took me years to get confident.
I would say I am an Intermidiate surfer.
My most successful surf trip was my last surfing days. When cyclone had hit the Mangalore coastline. We had 6-7 footer with 16-18 Sec gap. I caught a couple of good waves and was so stoked.
I will never forget my last surfing day of pre-monsoon 2018. The happiest and saddest day of my water life. The sad part some other day.
I am addicted to ocean and the salt life. Also, the pandit was right all the time about the danger of water ;-)
Happy International surfing day :-) :-)