Monday, October 17, 2011

Revelations of a Curry

The most southerly point of India

“India, not a place I imagined to ever have surf”.
Sitting comfortably in my seat on the plane bound for Thiruvananthapuram the capital of the state of Kerala. “Consider the vast state of poverty mixed with high class Mercedes” were the departing words of my mother as she dropped me off for the thousandth time at the airport. Landing in this eastern country I couldn’t help think, how wonderful it was to leave dissertations and drug calculations aside for a month and concentrate on waves again.
The first thing that struck me was how lush and green the land was, it felt like Uganda but almost greener. Lush banana and coconut trees stood tall around the airport, marking the way out and in to the jungle.

The temperature was crazy hot with humidity so high that it felt like my louse fitting jeans were trying to strangle me in the heat. Three weeks pre monsoon season was the time for big waves so we would just have to put up with the stifling humidity. Danny had done a bit of mad research and had us a driver waiting to take us to a house for the night.

Strapping boats on to the roof was like torture, heat blazed down on us and we were more than happy to get in to the air-conditioned pickup truck. Not very eco of us but looking back it was a saving grace that’s for sure .
Our house was tucked in to the jungle out of sight and only a five min walk from the beach “ perfect”. We settled in and melted in to pools of sweat and discomfort.


After a few days we were slightly more acclimatized and were beginning to scare ourselves on the local reef. Breaking only a foot from a bank of Muscles and other sharp bits of rick made wave selection quite important.

The reef outside our house

Nookie's team rider beach babe

Later in the week we hooked up with this American guy “J” who had uprooted his entire family for three years to teach them the value of money and to get some good waves. He seemed to have all the local knowledge and was super stoked to share some of the waves that he had found ( for the purposes of keeping India’s waves un crowded I will rename the waves and will not let out their locations ). First off we headed to a super long beach, after about fifteen mins of looking sadly at beach mush suddenly a river mouth appeared, and a set of waves, perfectly formed for getting shaqued up in . Well we rode the pants off that, and were able to hold back a little as the floor was sand rather than reef, but still pretty shallow.

Walk from HQ to the reef

Next up a 5 am start and a long drive out of the jungle across the bustling town of Thiruvananthapuram in to the quiet suburbs ( back in to dense jungle). We arrived at a river. J jumped on his board in to the river and told us we had to float down to the beach. Floating down we passed what looked like a harbor wall, out in to the sea and then paddled round the wall to a quiet bay. “J where are these waves “ “ set will be hear in a min “ a few mins later a perfect left formed off the deserted harbor wall. The face held for ages and Danny and my self could get a good three turns in before we had to think about charging.
The waves lasted until about 11am, but by then it was time to get out of the sun and chill for the evening beach set back at the house beach.

J's secret harbour Left

The river mouth pumping

Another sweet wave

We surfed a fair few waves, reefs and beaches over the month. The culture was incredible, but not as good as the food.
My departing thoughts from India were from an old man whom I met on the jungle road from the beach to the house. He pointed up to the coconut trees and said, “ keep your helmet on, if one of those hit you, no more surfing “

Team rider Doug cooper