Making Waves: India Surf Festival 2013

The spirit of the event is to encourage ONENESS of all kinds of surfers and experiment sharing the wisdom pools that allow us to become changemakers.” – Sanjay Samantaray aka Sampu, Founder of ISF.

Spend enough time with any of the organizing force of this festival and you’ll get used to the endless barrage of spiritual optimism they enjoy spewing–and believing in whole-heartedly of course. Not that we’re discouraging it. India’s seen a snowballing spate of festivals in recent years but very few manage to retain the sense of fresh-faced innocence and purity the India Surf Festival has.

For a country that’s practically deluged by its bordering oceans (7500 kms of coastline to be precise) surfing is still a relatively womb-ridden sport. But if we’re to take ISF 2013 and all the hype surrounding it into account, this pregnant pause is about to let up.

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Slated to go down this weekend (25-27 January), the sophomore leg of this annual gathering of beach bums is taking things a step further–offering a total immersion in the spiritual aspects of the sport on the pristine, sprawling beaches of Puri, Odisha.

Snapshots of things to come…

Auteur’s Eye: Of, By and For Films

ISF will host open-air film screenings lapping around the central surf theme include powerful visual narrations like that of Sofia: A Documentary. The film follows protagonist Sofia Mulanovich’s powerful climb out of the poverty and social unrest of Peru to become one of the country’s biggest role models simply by following the karmic call of the waves.

The Beats: Who’s Spinning/Strumming What

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Artists like the Bahh Band, an Irish collective renowned for their deeply diversified sounds and ‘hypnotic, multi-sensory live shows,’ Tom Becker, a festival-hopping Argentinean singer-songwriter, 120 Dubs, a Deep Dub Roots Techno DJ from Buenos Aires and Petra, a female musician who experiments with everything from acoustic to electronic music, specializing in the ‘german type of Santoor’ make up the more worldly face of this year’s ISF musical contingent.

Local representatives of the Indian music scene include the much-loved Tribal Flora, a Bombay-based collective producing the kind of idyllic organic grooves that seem to work best in such a familial atmosphere, EZ Riser, Sohail Arora of BBC fame’s solo DJ act and Antariksh, Sachin Shetty’s ‘atmospheric interpretation of the cosmos in beats and layers of merging sounds.’

Check out the entire festival roster here.

Canvas: Visual Art & Installations

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The visual arts & installations seem to be reaching its swell this year too. Amongst those arousing interests, Harshvardhan’s (Inkbrushnme) digital painting and live visuals attempt to unravel mystical aspects of medic and tantric thoughts via visual to create ‘visually poetic references.’

Then there’s ‘Vision Collective’ who are strapped firmly to the organic artworks bandwagon themselves, attempting to create a collaborative ecosystem for artists at the festival making it easy and viable for them to communicate their artwork, all with the underlying intention of ‘offering a transformational experience.’ Err, anyone else beginning to think all these people share some common gene?

Check out the entire art & visual installations roster here.

Wave Vision: Surfing Events

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Beach leaches, cracking lips, bottom turns and more. You’d be excused for not knowing what any of those are but if you’re even a tad curious the surf expression session is probably something you’d enjoy. It’s one of the most exciting displays of board talent available at this festival. An open event in which surfers from all over the world will have a watery platform to showcase their talents. Odisha government and festival organizers ensure that the rivermouth waves at Lotus Point provide the ideal location for such an event.

Followed by some SUP yoga, the next big surfer’s trend if word on the beach is to be believed. It involves a calming blend of Stand-up Paddling coupled which ancient yogic postures which promise to strengthen all aspects of well-being in its totality–spiritual, mental and physical. ISF is introducing it for the first time in India with authorized teachers Shiho from Japan and Spanish Kundalini yoga teacher, Bel Jimenez.

For more information:
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Personal conclusions? Time to stop surfing the net and move on to the real thing.

written by Mandovi Menon

NEWS - 26. January 2013  

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