BHUBANESWAR: The Sun and the sand, the jamming sessions and the ultraviolet art, dance and films, and above all the wave riders. The golden beaches at Ramchandi on the Puri-Konark Marine Drive are set to glitter to a unique sporting celebration as the three-day Indian Surf Festival (ISF) gets underway on February 7.
The first of its kind festival, organised by Surfing Yogis, has brought together not only pro-surfers and enthusiasts but also music bands, filmmakers, photographers and artists from across the world.
Around 50 participants from India, including Surfing Swamis and Kalaile Surfing Club of Puducherry, Bay of Life of Chennai and Shaka Surf Club of Mangalore along with around 20 surfers from France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Israel, Australia, Morocco and Brazil are turning up for the festival.
“It is not a competition of surfing but a conglomeration of fun and frolic, dance, music and art combined with an audacious display of astute skills, dare-devilry and artistry by the ones who rule the waves. The idea is to rid surfing of its alien character and promote it as an activity that encapsulates the indomitable human spirit,” said Surfing Yogis’ founder and head of Rangers Adventure Foundation Sanjay Samantray.
Worldwide, surfing events are never stand alone. They are accompanied by art, music, photography and films. So while the surfers will beat the waves, the beaches will be throbbing with activities through the day and the dusk.
The festival will see the screening of ‘Mother India, Father Surf’ by French filmmaker Kevin Perree documenting surf trips around South India. Then there will be the critically-acclaimed ‘Ocean Monk’ by Sanjay Rawal of the Chinmayanand Ashram, New York, that tries to explore spirituality and tranquility through the eyes of a group of monks who indulge in the extreme sport of surfing. The festival will also feature mainstream 2011 cinema ‘Soul Surfer’, based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, who had lost her arm in a shark attack while surfing at Kauai in Hawaii in October 2003, but has braved odds to tame the waves again.
While Mumbai-based installation art collective Nova Arts will spread its magic on the glistening sand, bands like I20DUB of Argentina, experimental music and jammers Tribal Flora of Mumbai along with The Mavyn’s Rock Band from the same city will keep the visitors engrossed. Shaka, a four-member Afrikaan band, devoted to surfing music using traditional Afrikaan instruments as Kabako, will also wow audience. “The whole festival will be filmed by international movie and documentary makers,” said Samantray.
The highlight of the festival would, however, be introduction of stand up paddle (SUP) surfing of flat water surfing in the State. A stretch of still sea waters has been demarcated for the purpose. “Around 50 surf enthusiasts would be provided training on SUP that enables gliding on the still waters of lakes and rivers using a paddle board. This is not only eco-friendly but also a health activity,” spokesperson Dr Debabrata Das added.