Kovalam Surf Club
The Kovalam Surf Club is located in Kovalam, India and was founded in 2005 as a part of the bigger NGO, known as, SISP (Sebastian Indian Social Project). SISP is active in the area since 1996 and tries to improve the harsh living conditions of the poorest by offering them free education, medical care, food support, old age care, micro credit unions, literacy classes, training and work in handicrafts. The idea behind the Kovalam Surf Club was to get the children of SISP off the streets outside of the school hours, to give them a safe place and to act as an extra motivation to keep these kids going to school on a regular basis.
The main rule to participate in the surf classes is:
"No school, No surfing!"
Come Surf with Us!
Have you always been staring in awe to these acrobats riding the ocean swells? Do you love playing in the ocean and the feeling of the sun rays and the salt water on your face? Then surfing just might be your thing! And the good news is that it is not very difficult to learn. Since 2005 we have been teaching children as young as the age of five and adults as mature as sixty… even blind children have learned to surf with us. In the end, all of them succeeded in riding their first waves and have felt the joy and thrill of surfing.
Our instructors have years of experience teaching all kinds of people how to surf. The only requirements are some basic swimming skills! Lessons can be taught in English, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and upon request in French, Spanish, Dutch or German.
Give us a shout if you want to book a lesson with us!
Or if you want to get wet straight away, call: Kovalam Surf Club (0091) 9048967765 or Mani (0091) 9847347367
(Kovalam Surf Club will be closed with Christmas (25/26), New Year (31/1) and Independence Day (August 15).
The Kovalam Surf Club started off with 3 old boards and 5 to 10 kids, eager to become good surfers. The beginning was hard, as the kids weren’t used to take care of the equipment, especially if it has a certain value. So every week there were boards to be fixed, but the children learned how to repair the boards themselves and figured out it was hard work, so they became more careful. But the tourism police and lifeguards were for sure the biggest problem. Because the only life these children know, is a life packed with violence and misery, so they acted like products of their society. These children weren’t welcome on a beach that is reserved for tourists, well protected from the dark side of India. The surf groms had to learn to behave in what we call a 'civilised' way, in order not to get sent away by the authorities. Today, the Kovalam Surf Club has around 20 members and is a registered sports club, becoming the first official surfclub in India. Foreign tourists as well as locals are impressed by the surf skills of the local surfers and are really stoked on riding the waves as well. The demand for surf lessons has never been so big. Some of the older boys will soon be able to make a proper living out of surfing, by offering surf lessons, guided surf tours, board rental and ding repair.
Thanks to our sponsors and befriended surfers we now have a surfboard for every child and an appropriate surfing outfit. The children have their own clubhouse, where we keep our equipment and slip into our surf shorts. The local authorities now know the surfing children and respect them, as long as they behave appropriate, which they have learnt to do. The key point is that all the surfing kids are regular at our school and therefore will get a better chance in succeeding in life in a more humane way. But surfing also makes them proud and happy because for the first time in their life they get respect and attention for being good at something. Now we also can proudly say that some of the kids, now full grown men, earn their money thanks to the surfclub