When I first found out my work was sending me to Mumbai, I thought, could I make a surf trip out of it? I heard there was surf in Sri Lanka! So I immediately did some google searching.
What I found was Goa, Kerala, and some spots on the east that all talked about surf schools. Goa was the closest and cheapest to Mumbai, plus I heard it was a hippie paradise so I was sold. My flight was just around $100 on Air India.
I searched again to find a hostel, finding Silly Potatoes Hostel which promised to figure out a taxi ride from the airport as well as breakfasts included. All for under 10 USD for the two day stay. When I got there I wasn’t sure what to expect, even in the night, the drive from the airport was very tropical, and multiple times we had to stop because there was a cow in the road. It was my first taste of India.
Silly Potatoes is run by a scrappy entrepreneur that loves hospitality. The moment I was there she made my stay super comfy and made me feel welcome, even taking me on scooter rides into town and joining us for a trip to Sweetwater lake, which I highly recommend, see below.
So how was the surf?
Well. Little did I know I was arriving right before the season, and so it was quite difficult finding anything that was open. It had also just rained the day before I got there so I wasn’t too keen on jumping straight into the murky waters. Especially after taking a walk and seeing streets lined with cow pies.
The first place I checked was closed and from there I messaged everyone on FB and WhatsApp (Banana Surf, and Surf Wala) Only to land on an awesome surf shop called Octopus Surf run by Edy who travels over an hour each day to come teach all ages the joy of the ocean.
Edy was warm and welcoming from the start. This was the surf community I was hoping for. I took a small board out, surfed a couple of waves by myself and then came over to surf the river with Edy’s group of students and one local surfer who calls himself Kelly.
We had a blast and the waves had a bit more punch. Feeling satisfied and ready for my next curry meal. I came out of the water and met a photographer from Huntington Beach, David Malana, all surf photography is taken by him. We both smiled at the endless empty waves in warm water, a surfers paradise.
Where to eat: Spirit of Shiva Bar (Sweetwater Lake)
Where to rent a board: Octopus Surf
Where to surf: Morjim (in front of Octopus Surf at the river mouth or just down the beach to the north)
Where to stay: Silly Potatoes Hostel
Must try local alcohol: Old Monk (Rum)