Hang Out With The Waves at ‘Indian Open of Surfing 2017’ in Sasihithlu!
With less than 24 hours to go before the big event, “Indian Open of Surfing 2017” organized by the Tourism Department in association with the Mantra Surf Club and Kanara Surfing and Water Promotion Council kicks off from 26 May to 28 May 2017 at Sasihithlu beach, near Mukka, the organizers are all gearing with the final touches to the second surfing event to happen in Mangaluru/DK.
“In the midst of the waters is moving the Lord, surveying men’s truth and men’s lies. How sweet are the waters, crystal clear and cleansing? Now, may these great divine waters quicken me!” -Rig Veda VII, 49.3
Mangaluru: “Alright. And the thing we want you to yell -Three words”let’s go trippin”. We want you to yell out on the count of three OK? One, Two, Two-and-a-half, Three, Let’s Go Trippin’-Yeah, baby!” – these lyrics from the song “Let’s Go Trippin ” by the Beach Boys which is still cool, smooth and enthusiastic while surfing during the greatest moments of chasing waves, which will inspire you to dream about what is yet to come. With less than 24 hours to go before the big event, “Indian Open of Surfing 2017” organized by the Tourism Department in association with the Mantra Surf Club and Kanara Surfing and Water Promotion Council from 26 May to 28 May 2017 kicks off at Sasihithlu beach, near Mukka, the organizers are all gearing with the final touches to the second surfing event to happen in Mangaluru/DK. Even the surfers who have come from far and near have been practicing since morning.
This surfing event will feature Surfing and SUP athletes from various cities of the East and West coast of India, including many international athletes from Russia, France, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Australia among other countries. With a coastline of 320 km, the state can offer amazing experiences to both domestic and international travelers seeking adventure escapades with a blend of the culture and tradition of the state, say the organizers from Mantra Surf Club. With the cream of Indian and international surfers expected to vie for a big prize money, nearly 150 surfers will try to give their best. Categories for the event are U-16, junior boys (17-22 years), senior men (22-28 years) and masters men (28 years and above), including a women’s category.
The new attraction of the 2nd edition of Indian Open of Surfing is the inclusion of Novice 14 and under a category. It is for the surfers, who are 14 years or younger at the start of the contest and have never surfed in a contest before. This is introduced by Surfing Federation of India, India’s National Governing Body of Surfing. It is for the youngsters who have only started surfing at their younger age.
Star Indian surfers including Ishita Malviya and Dharini Selvakumar will be seen riding the waves for the top slot in their respective categories during the event. Besides these two, the other big Indian names in the premier competition include Sinchana Gowda, Aneesha Nayak, Manikandan and Sekar Pitchai along with Tanvi Jagadish. These Indian surfers are expected to face stiff competition in their respective categories from their Australian, US and French counterparts in the three-day event. Tanvi is a top-ranked Stand Up Paddler and will be the surfer to look out for at the event. She had recently achieved major international glory by emerging third in the Stand Up Paddling event at the West Marine Carolina Cup in the US.
Tanvi Jagadish has been the national champion in the SUP surfing and SUP racing since 2014, and the 17-year-old Mangaluru girl has been making waves on international shores as well. Ishita Malaviya is India’s first professional female surfer, who began surfing in 2007 after meeting a German exchange student. She currently runs a surf club named the Shaka Surf Club as well as a camp called Camp Namaloha in Karnataka. The 23-year-old Manikandan has achieved quite a lot in the sport of surfing. Coming from a small fishermen family in Tamil Nadu, he took up surfing about 10 years ago.
Murthy Megavan is India’s top male surfer while Dharani Selvakumar, a computer science engineering graduate, turned his hobby into a profession. The 23-year-old Dharini was the national champion at the Indian Open of Surfing in 2016. Though the competition will see a few international surfers like Maldivian surfer Ismail Miguel in the open category, it will be interesting to see how the Indian surfers will raise the standard of the competition.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Yatish Baikampady, Chief Executive Officer, Panambur Beach Tourism Development Project, who is closely associated in promoting surfing said, “Sasihithlu in Dakshina Kannada is now the emerging hot spot of coastal tourism thanks to the hype generated by the maiden edition of India Open of Surfing organized by Surfing Federation of India. This idyllic location was hitherto a virgin unexplored territory and shot into prominence with the surfing event held there last year. The Union government too is proactive in promoting coastal tourism potential of Karnataka. This can be envisaged from the fact that it has approved an Rs 94 crore funding for the coastal circuit in the state. A master plan drawn up for this on advice from our consultants has been approved based on local inputs provided by tourism consultants, stakeholders and district administration, and it will focus on connectivity, beautification and amenities.”
“With proper training and support from the concerned trainers, the local youth here can be masters in surfing. This beach has lots of potential for surfing events and also for surfers to learn the sport. One should know that presently surfing is one of the most popular sports in the world among youth. More and more people are showing a keen interest in this sport. Riding a surfboard across the face of a breaking wave was once the preserve of ancient Polynesian islanders, but in the twentieth century, it has become something enjoyed by millions of people the world over. Modern surfing has spread well beyond its more recent Hawaiian, American, and Australian origins, becoming a global phenomenon of such magnitude that every minute of every day will find somebody, somewhere, trying to catch a wave. The talented and photogenic few are paid to surf by a multi-billion dollar surfing industry. For the rest, it is an obsessive hobby, a statement of identity, and even a spiritual pursuit. I urge that youngsters take up this daring sport and I bet they will not feel sorry for their decision” said Steve, an Australian surfer who is has taken part in various surfing vents in India, including here in DK.
Team Mangalorean also had the privilege to meet Jack Hebner aka “Surfing Swami” originally from the USA, now the founder of “Mantra Surfing Club-Mulki”. Team Mangalorean asked “Surfing Swami” as to When and where did he start surfing, and what were some of his earliest experiences riding waves? Swami replied saying, ” I caught my first wave on a rented board in 1963 at Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I was 16 years old. Before that, I had ridden waves at Padre Island, Texas on an air mattress, but it wasn’t the same. Standing up in a little white water and I had discovered the love of my life. Those early days of surfing are embedded deep in my psyche. Practically each and every time I go for a surf session at sunrise, I experience something like deja vu. It’s like I am there again, back in time, 16 years old again. The still morning air or slight offshore is an atmosphere like no other, something normal beach goers never really experience because they commonly get down to the beach around the time the surf gets blown out. In those early hours when the sun is rising and the waves are glassy and peeling off is what I like to call “the morning enlightenment”. It sticks with you for life “.
Team Mangalorean also asked about his “surfing ashram” in India, and how did this ashram come about and what is the daily life there? Swami replied,” In 2004 after having lived off and on in ashrams in India since 1976, I decided to open an ashram named “Mantra Surf Club” in Mulki where surfing was part of our daily sadhana (practice). The day begins early at 4 a.m. At 4:30 there are various forms of meditation such as aratika, kirtan, bhajan and chanting the Maha-mantra on meditation beads (japa): This is followed by a session of Hatha yoga exercises and then a light fruit breakfast at 7:00 a.m., followed by a surf session (swell permitting) that lasts until it gets blown out or your arms fall off. The rest of the day is spent in devotional service such as cleaning, cooking, fixing dings, etc. In the late afternoon, there is usually a volleyball or a cricket match. In the evening, we again repeat the morning’s activities and sometimes catch the evening glass off. Dinner is at 8:00 p.m. and consists of varieties of vegetarian preparations both Asian and continental, followed by a surf film or catching up on the internet”.
Speaking more on the founding of Mantra Surf Club, Surfing Swami said, “The Mantra Surf Club [India’s first surf club] is dedicated to the pastime of surfing — introducing surfing in India and introducing India to the international surfing community. The Mantra Surf Club was started in 2004 by me and Rick Perry who as kids begun surfing ourselves in 1963 at Jacksonville Beach, Florida, USA. Back in the old days both I and Rick were members of North Florida’s first surf club, Oceanside, and were among the pioneers of surfing on the East Coast of the United States. Surfing as a pastime, or as a way of life generally promotes health and spiritual well-being – helping to make one a better individual”.
“As they say, “Surfing isn’t just about getting in the water and catching a few waves, it’s about something much deeper than that. It’s about a spiritual experience,” For many surfers, the spiritual experience of surfing led to seeking higher enlightenment, a type of surf yoga and for some of us that search led us to India where yoga and spiritual enlightenment has been an all-encompassing way of life for thousands of years. The ancient wisdom of India speaks of the oceans and seas of our planet as parts of an organic spiritual dimension, as manifestations of the Cosmic Being and all living beings [surfers included] are spiritual sparks of conscious light floating eternally in the Cosmic Ocean. In that ‘cosmic’ scenario enlightenment is compared to progressive ‘waves’ of consciousness — each getting higher and higher until ultimate enlightenment is achieved”.
“Surfing ocean waves in India, however, is a new experience. In a country with more than 1.2 billion people, there are only a few Indian guys who surf, of which bunch of them are members of the Mantra Surf Club. Today at Mantra Surf Club we offer all varieties of exciting water sports. If you are looking for fun in the water, this is it! Wake-boarding, body-boarding, surfing, kayaking, surf school, surf lessons, jet skiing, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), snorkelling, and more can all be done right here at India’s original surf and yoga retreat. The members of the Mantra Surf Club are totally stoked and would like to invite you to join the club and feel the difference. You will love it!” added Swami.
In his words of wisdom to the readers of Mangalorean.com, quoting words from Bhagavad Gita “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”, Swami said, “Keep your head down, your mouth shut and learn to hold your breath for a long time – especially if you are charging big waves. In other words, a little humility, please! Three things: Utsahan, niscayad, dhairyat – enthusiasm, confidence and forbearance. For success in any endeavor, one has to master these three qualities. Personally, I am also a strong believer in keeping fit and avoiding taking anything into this body that alters the mind such as alcohol or that disturbs one’s internal organs such as animal flesh, eggs, junk food, processed food, etc. A wise man once said, “When wise men speak, Wise men listen.”
It is learnt for tomorrow’s inaugural day, South African cricket legend Jonty Rhodes (also a good surfer), Bollywood superstar Suniel Shetty, cricketer Sanju Samson are expected to show up. A panel of ISA-certified judges from Australia, France and India, will be judging the event. The surfing festival will also have live music shows, and a food festival as well. The people, who want to spend their time during the contest, can visit Sasihithlu beach and have a look on different activities of the festival and this visually striking performance. It would be amazing experience to be part of such a great beach festival for all surfing lovers!
And if you are thinking of taking up surfing, You can contact the Panambur Beach Surf School – Walkin On Water Mangalore – on firstname.lastname@example.org, 9743440134 or 9972113538 or visit the website www.walkinonwatermangalore.com
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