When your passion turns into your career, when you have that innate desire and strong determination, thats when you become the best. That is exactly what Juan and Samai Reboul, the owners and two of the instructors at Kallialay Surf School did, by pursuing their interest in surfing as a full time career of teaching people to surf. Samai recently won the All Cargo Indian Open of Surfing, 2016. Located in Pondicherry, they offer a number of packages from a single 1.5 hour session to a full fledged 15 day course, from private one on one lessons to group/family lessons, and also make and sell/rent their own surf boards.
My family and I took up the one week long course during our stay in the beautiful South and it certainly was the most exhilarating experiences under wonderful guidance. The beach, aptly named as Serenity Beach, was clean, pretty with tantalising blue water lapping up. Being shallow with a slow descent, it was the perfect location for beginners. Kallialay had a perfectly planned regime, making us begin on the sand first along with a bodysurfing exercise in the ocean without our boards. Lying down on the shore, we practiced the ‘pop up’ and perfected our stance as would be on the board.
The sound of the ocean is something unreal, the waves crashing upon rocks and sand, white foams bubbling and sea birds creating their own beautiful symphony, all adding up to a relaxing and calming feeling. We even had a million unplanned dives and swims as we fell off our boards on our first days riding the foam waves, though we all managed at least one near-perfect pop up and rode the wave to the shore. But by the fourth day we even ventured out to the unbroken waves further off, learning the paddling and take-off techniques. From parents in their forties or fifties to young children, it was doable and extremely fun.
It may be exhausting and make it impossible to lift up your arms - even after one session - but for the adventurous and thrill-seekers, this is the quintessential extreme sport, and for the leisure vacationers the unmatched recreational activity, both affordable and perfectly safe in the south-east coast of India.