Fisherman-turned surfer creates surf hub at Covelong

Fisherman-turned surfer creates surf hub at Covelong

A new surf facility with a café, lounge, and guest rooms opens at the Covelong Point surf school, a key destination for Indian and international surfers.

India’s first surfing village, the district of Kovalam (Chennai, India) has fast become a mecca for surfers from all around the world. It has been producing some of the country’s top surfers within a short span of time.

The Covelong Point Social Surf School with the support of the TT Group and music label EarthSync launched its brand new surf facility in Covelong (Kovalam) village, Chennai last Sunday. The facility, featuring a cafe, guest rooms, a lounge, shower and locker rooms - is the realization of a dream for Murthy Megavan, a fisherman turned surfer who took to surfing for positive change after losing his livelihood to the tsunami of 2004 that hit his village. The school’s aim is also to provide a sustainable source of income for the village, while simultaneously supporting a series of social causes.

"It feels like all the hard work we put into the surfing school has now paid off - I'm very happy. Our village community as a whole will benefit tremendously from the new school - it will provide employment opportunities for the village folk, provide income to families and education to younger children of the village,” said Murthy Megavan, founder of the Covelong Point Social Surf School.

The school has been supporting the young surf talent emerging from Covelong, and also uses surfing as a catalyst for positive change in the tsunami afflicted South Indian village – by educating children of the village, conducting alcohol and drug abuse awareness programs, organizing eye and health care camps, and executing numerous beach clean-up efforts to promote environmental awareness. These stories of the journey and activities have been documented in the EarthSync documentary Covelong Point, due for worldwide release in 2015. The annual Covelong Point Surf and Music Festival also take place at the school premises, and will happen this year from Sept 18th-20th 2015. EarthSync also plans to organize offbeat music performances at the school/café, making it a truly unique sea facing performance venue.

“At the school, along with TT Logistics and EarthSync, we're working to educate the community on beach sanitation and civic sense. We also intend to provide training for Lifeguards - something that other beaches sadly lack. Our goal is to bring the Covelong Point Social Surf School up to international standards, and to continue to nurture the talented young surfers from the community." Murthy added.

Along with a team of certified surf instructors, Murthy offers surf lessons and will also cater to sports like kayaking, windsurfing, and providing fishing outings with the Covelong community. The café will serve an eclectic variety of global cuisine. Running the school in the village is part of an initiative to empower the community to be self-sufficient and be able to generate income through such ventures. Part of the earnings of the school will also go towards supporting other social projects in the village.

Image courtesy: Nirupama Belliappa