The Indian Open of Surfing kicks off for the second time ever on Friday, May 26th at Sasihithlu Beach in Mangaluru. This three-day national surfing and SUP championship is hosted by Mantra Surf Club and recognized by the Surfing Federation of India in association with Kanara Surfing and Water Promotion Council.
The location is fitting. Like Hawaii is to the United States, Mulki, Mangaluru is considered an epicenter of surfing in India. It houses some of the most influential surfing organizations in India including India’s first surf club/school, Mantra Surf Club and the Surfing Federation of India.
Last year’s inaugural event attracted huge numbers of spectators to watch athletes compete in eight different categories. Surfers from the city of Chennai dominated most of the categories. But ultimately Auroville’s, Samai Reboul, took home the cash prize of INR 50,000, becoming the first ever winner of the All Cargo Indian Open of Surfing.
This year’s event is poised to draw in athletes from the East and West Coasts of India as well as lots of international athletes. Over 120 surfers are predicted to participate in the event, according to Indian news outlet, The Hindu.
The event was a hit last year, but is hoping to grab even more attention this year. One of its primary objectives is to put Indian surfing and stand-up paddling on the map, in the hopes of encouraging adventure seekers to make the beaches of Karnataka the destination for their next surf trip instead of the usual Bali, Costa Rica, or Australia.
Although, India may not be the first country you think of when you think of surfing, one thing’s for sure: the surf community in India is growing.
If the Indian Open of Surfing is any indication, the beaches of Karnataka could be a future stop on your worldwide surf trip.