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    From a new cafe at Covelong Point to other ‘board-happy’ addresses along the coast, our summer update

    Covelong-Point-Surf-and-MusFOR SURF enthusiasts in the city, Covelong Point Social Surf School at Kovalam beach has always been the go-to place. Now, with a new café and the promise of other water sports, we predict this surfing destination will be overrun by youngsters this summer. Besides the eatery, the three-year-old surf school has been renovated to the hilt—with  additional rooms and other facilities. In the presence of Sundararaj, minister of sports and youth welfare, the school will be launched on Sunday (April 26). Arun Vasu, the managing director of TT Group, and a supporter of the school from its initiation, informs us, “We also have shower rooms, toilets, lockers, a lounge area and a cafe. We often see people come to the beach, but they have no place to just sit and have a chat. This facility will help them.” Supported by the TT Group and Earthsync—as a corporate service responsibility activity—the school educates over 45 kids, runs health and eye camps, drug and alcoholism awareness camps, and beach clean ups. With the growing surf industry, Vasu hopes the new cafe and rooms will be another source of income for the locals.
    The team also plans to introduce kayaking and wind surfing. “Fisherman Murthy Megavan has been in charge of the surf school and he has eight boys working with him. Through the cafe and rooms, we are trying to train the locals and perhaps start home stays in the village,” adds Vasu, adding that the school has become self sufficient with these facilities.
    At the cafe, expect a mix of Italian and Indian dishes. “We had a couple, Julio and Enrika, come in from Auroville. They trained some of the boys for three months and now they make delicious food. We are open for breakfast on all days, but the cafe is essentially a weekend place. You get both—bacon and idli vadai for breakfast. On other days, try our pastas, sandwiches and burgers,” says Vasu, who is also working on hosting the next Asian Surfing Circuit in September. The event  will see surfers from different countries. He is confident of the local surfers as they have won several awards and championships. “Expect stalls for seafood at the cafe,” he concludes.

    Summer surf classes are on till May 21—for children between eight and 16. Classes for five days cost Rs 5,000, including refreshments. Lunch for two at the cafe, is Rs 1,000. Details: 9840975916

    Board makers
    Spaniards Juan and Samai Reboul are busy making surfboards. ‘‘This season, we are making some special boards. We are expecting a lot of children to sign up for surf classes in May because of the vacations. We generally use fiberglass and EPS foam to make our boards and are now working on different designs,’’ says Samai. Their boards start from Rs 18,900. Details: 9442992874

    Style point
    Pick up sunnies by Maui Jim, their latest, Waterman (polarised sunglasses) is priced at Rs 14,100. Details: sunglasshut.com
    A pair of comfortable shorts is all you need to surf. Try boardshorts from the brand Quiksilver, which specialises in surf
    gear like wetsuits, surf jackets and bags. Details: 30083555

    Other attractions
    Bay of Life at Kovalam is another surf spot along the ECR.  Currently, they have a summer camp for children and adults. The package includes ocean swimming and surfing. The course is available for two, five or 10 days. From Rs 2,800 onwards. Details:  9940488880
    At Mahabalipuram, Mumu Surf School offers special summer packages. From a fisherman’s family, Mumu is an ISA instructor and PADI divemaster. The school also has a surf store with interesting surf boards. Their five-day course costs Rs 4,500 per person. Details: 9789844191
    ‘‘There are other fantastic surf spots along the Indian coast. Like Puri, which has a festival in February. Manapad (Tamil Nadu) is also popular among surfers. There are talks about opening a surf school in Rameswaram soon,” says Karuna Amarnath, an enthusiastic surfer.

    green-room-india-s-saree-suPondicherry chronicles
    Besides diving classes, Temple Adventures also manufacture surf boards and have a specialised surf store with both custom-made and readymade boards. Also find surf gear like shorts, T-shirts and swimsuits. As for accessories, they have surf fins, surfing leashes, deck pads, board bags and bump waxes (to apply on the board so one doesn’t slip). The surfboards are priced from Rs 20,000 onwards. Details: 9566147660

    Yotam says
    ‘‘Besides surfing, Murthy and his team will also teach kayaking and windsurfing, and provide fishing outings with the Covelong community. As for boards, some of the boys are working on designing their own after we got an Australian NGO, Boards For Billions, to conduct surfboard-making workshops. Board shaper Dave Verrall led the workshops,’’ says Yotam Agam, seasoned surfer and founder of the school.

    Mrinalini Sundar

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