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Mangaluru coasts emerge as surfing destinations

Last Updated : 04 June 2022, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2022, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2022, 10:55 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2022, 10:55 IST

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The beaches in Mangaluru are attracting surfers from across the country, as the shallow waves are ideal for beginners, vouched experienced surfers who run surf clubs in the region on Saturday.

With the coastline spreading upto a stretch of 40 km, beaches in Mangaluru, particularly Tannirbavi, Panambur, Idya, Sasihithlu and Hejamadi Kodi are conducive for surfing.

Surfing Federation of India (SFI) Vice President Rammohan Paranjape said that since the previous event, held in 2016-17 at Sasihithlu, the sport of surfing has grown rapidly with at least six to seven surf clubs in Dakshina Kannada (DK) and Udupi training a minimum of 100 enthusiasts daily.

On weekends, more than 200 to 250 people queue up to learn the skills and take part in water sports activities.

“Surfing is a very liberating and joyful experience. A lot of surf schools around the country are offering to train even non-swimmers on how to surf the waves,” said surfers who are taking part in the Indian Open of Surfing 2022, organised in Panambur.

The surfing season begins during September and goes on till April-May depending upon weather conditions.

The first Indian Open was organised in Sasihithlu in 2016. It was organised as a festival to promote surfing and create awareness among the people.

“This edition of Indian Open (Indian Open of Surfing 2022) is more focused on having a structured contest based on the performances of previous events,” said Rammohan.

The surfers from accredited surf clubs and top rankers are part of it, he added.

Basic surfing can be learnt within five days of training. But, those who wish to progress will have to be trained in swimming and fitness. With more international exposure to various conditions in the sea, the surfers from India can get qualified for the international events.

Surfing Swami Foundation Director and SFI Joint Secretary Gaurav Hegde said that the quality of surfing as a sport has improved with the surfers’ quality scaling up to great heights.

“For the sports to grow, the district administration should develop basic infrastructure. Small structures to store surfboards, clean toilets, dressing rooms, along with food courts are the need-of-the hour. Beaches should also be squeaky clean,” stressed Gaurav.

“Surfing culture has begun to expand with people having an open mind,” said Mithun Bhat Kakunje, who launched his Mangalore Surf Club seven years ago.

Unlike in the past, social media posts on surfing too have become an instant hit and have helped surf tourism to grow.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr Rajendra K V said that there is a proposal to set up a surf life school in Sasihithlu, to promote surfing and also to train lifeguards in life-saving skills.

The surf life school will be a reality after we get approval from the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) authority, he added.

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Published 28 May 2022, 17:19 IST

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