We’ve seen Dave Rastovich getting shacked in Lakshadweep and Chippa Wilson throwing tail on glassy Indian beachies, but for India’s tiniest state, the ‘no surf’ tag has dogged Goa worse than most. I came here to experience the life of Goa foremost and the surf second, but after surfing 35 out of 40 days, I’m here to tell you that I’ve changed my tune.
Goa’s winter (November – March) is party season. It also happens to coincide with some of the rampiest 2-3 foot A-frame madness you’re likely to see. The North Goa party beaches from Candolim to Anjuna all have varying surf qualities, but in the far north, Ashwem to Arambol are home to a treasure of glassy beaches to unleash on.
We spent most of our time in Arambol – a hippie town that still harbours an old-school Goan hippie nomadic charm. Expect to see yoga, nudists, Russian models, cows and other awesomeness patrolling the beach at 7am when you run down for a surf. Most people who come to Arambol stay for a large portion of the season and it’s easy to see why.
Don’t expect to come on a two-week vacation and get waves everyday – it just wont happen. Everything in India goes at an Indian pace, including the swell. You’ll get a 2-3 foot swell once a week, but expect to do four days of long boarding, sunning and partying in between. We stayed for six weeks and got a stack of waves.
We mostly surfed at the Surf Club in South Arambol. Out the front is a diamond shaped group of sand banks that produce glassy A-frame ramps to practice your rail work and tail high attack – you’ll even sneak the odd barrel on lower tides.
We stayed at the Surf Club for 1,000 rupees (AUD$17) a night, which is about 1km south of Arambol town. They have awesome parties on in peak season and are walking distance along the beach to loads of other restaurants, bars and clubs. We also stayed at The Laughing Buddha for 450 rupees (AUD$8) a night – rooms and bathrooms are basic, but the food and drinks in their restaurant are some of the best and most affordable in Arambol.
You can learn to surf (and hire boards) with the guys at Surf Wala – we hung, surfed and partied with the boys for over a month and had a killer time!