Planning a surf trip to Chennai
Set right on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai’s coastal region is one of the most beautiful in the world and is home to India’s first surfing village. Chennai’s lapping waves and breezy coast make it an excellent location for both amateur and experienced surfers, and over the years it has become a Mecca for surfing enthusiasts.
If you’re planning a surfing trip to Chennai there’s a few things you’ll need to know first. Have a read through our surf guide to find out more.
Why choose Chennai for your surf trip?
Surfing still has a fairly small market in India, meaning that when you get to Chennai you won’t see hundreds of boards in the water. This can only be a good thing, as you won’t have a lot of competition when trying to catch that perfect wave.
Chennai’s waters are warm and on most days the waves are likely to be quite gentle, between two and five feet tall. For newbies to the sport these are ideal conditions in which to learn and practice. This long coastline is also one of the few beaches with a lifeguard program, run independently by Bay of Life Chennai, so you can feel secure getting into the water for the first time. Chennai has a rich surfing history and just 40 kilometres down the road, in a sleepy fishing village, you’ll find the famous Covelong Point Surf Festival, held every year. This festival consists of a national level surf competition, surfing workshops, a music festival, various beachside activities and usually a few celebrity guest appearances. To learn more about why this coast makes for an ideal beach holiday have a look through a good Chennai travel guide.
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What to pack for your surf trip
If you are an absolute beginner it’s best to borrow gear from your friends or to hire it from the surf school you’re using. Beginner surfboards measure around seven to eight feet tall, and buying one outright in Chennai can be very expensive. If you’re using a school to help you learn how to surf you’ll be able to hire a board that suits your needs, as well as a wetsuit. Don’t worry, they come in all shapes and sizes and have children’s options if you’re travelling as a family. If you’re a pro surfer and already have your own equipment and wetsuit, make sure you’ve got them packed.
Choose a school for the surf trip
For first-time surfers choosing the right surf school is essential, and Chennai has plenty to pick from. Its untouched beaches mark the perfect locale for quiet lessons on the water, where newbies to the sport can learn in a relaxed and non-competitive environment. Surf camps are a preferred method of learning how to surf in Chennai thanks to the professional instructors who give ample one-to-one lessons, making sure you feel secure and ready before you head out into the water. You’ll first learn how to balance on your board and stand up before even getting into the ocean.
Make sure you choose the right school for you. Some will come with their own accommodation and even offer extras like yoga and beach barbecues, including the popular Bay of Life and Covelong Point schools. Other surf schools focus more on the lessons and offer surfboard and wetsuit rentals alongside intensive classes like Mumu Surf School and Kallialay Surf School.
Surfing may be a new sport in India but its popularity is growing quickly, and Chennai is leading the way in making it both a competitive sport and a fun outdoor activity for all ages. Once you’ve mastered surfing in Chennai you can move further West and try out more of India’s top surfing destinations, like the golden coast of Goa.
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