Sandeep Samuel - The surf king of Gokarna
Spending a day with the surfer in Gokarna.
When you hear the name Gokarna you would think of temples, hippies, rave parties and some isolated beaches. Surfing isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind.
Meet Sandeep, a quiet and soft-spoken surfer from Chennai who has made Gokarna his home for the past six years. A snooker pro before his surfing days, Sandeep says that when he came to Gokarna for the first time, this is where he wanted to live for the rest of his life.
Travelling from Bangalore to Gokarna is comfortable and easy. You can take an overnight bus or a train and once you get there Sandeep takes care of you like a boss. Sandeep's surf school is aptly named Cocopelli and is situated at the Long Beach in Gokarna. You can book a surf weekend with Cocopelli surf school and the rest will be taken care of. You will get picked up at the train station or bus stand, transferred to your beautiful rooms on location at the surf school, be treated to some great coffee and the legendary waves of Gokarna.
Gokarna happens to have some great waves. Sandeep is an ISA certified surf instructor. He has a wide range of boards to ensure that you have the right board for specific conditions. Lessons are by the hour and cost 2000 INR. Do not go in the peak season if you are a beginner surfer as the waves can get really good! Apart from teaching surfing to tourists, Sandeep has been teaching the locals to surf and one such local ripper that Sandeep has been grooming is Venkata Gouda.
Venkata met Sandeep six years ago and caught his first wave. Venkata says that he was so stoked since that day that he has been surfing religiously everyday. The 20-year-old lad's father Shankar is a great chef and owns the go-to surfers shack on Long Beach.
As the sun was setting, we were chilling at Shankar's with a beer. Earlier that day I was almost barreled and it just got me thinking as to how wonderful this place is. The people are super nice, the food is really good and there is a peaceful vibe all around. To top the scene, it's got some great waves so I can definitely see why Sandeep wanted to stay here the rest of his life.
You can get in touch with Sandeep via his website.
This article is courtesy The Outdoor Journal.