Riding The Waves
There are sports schools, there are NGOs, and then there’s The Shaka Surf Club in Karnataka. Founded by Ishita Malaviya and Tushar Pathiyan in 2007, it offers lessons for beginners, training for the local village kids, surfboard rentals and camping out on the beach. “It was eight years ago that Govardhan, a Californian surfer living at an ashram near our university, pushed us into our first wave — it was magical.” says Tushar. Since then, the ‘surfing community’ in India has grown to around 300 people and the couple has been a source of encouragement for new surfers on the block. In their mid-20s, Ishita and Tushar say it’s their passion for adventure and surfing that has kept them together. Ishita is the first professional female surfer in India and was featured in the 2013 international documentary, Beyond the Surface. The two have also made a film on surfing in the country, A Rising Tide, which won third place at The Byron Bay Surf Fest in Australia. “Just being able to sit in a hammock at our camp watching people immerse themselves in surf culture gives us a great sense of satisfaction,” says Tushar.