Ride the Barrel & Get Pitted – Lakshadweep Islands
“I took off on a wave, went down the side, popped out the other end, and went, s***, I’m still ALIVE !!” – Greg Noll (on surfing Waimea Bay for the first time, 1957)
There’s no greater feeling than surfing and the feeling of being part of the ocean, riding a crafted board. The freedom, joy, adventure, and creativity all rolled into one. The power of the wave pushing you combined with movement across, up and down the face, as you gain speed. That is the most thrilling aspect.
I had my first go surfing a few years ago. Since then, I have been addicted to it like a fish to water. It has taken me to different challenging waters around the world. Being a photographer from an early age, I eventually started documenting the rapid rise of surfing in India.
Now every year, I act as a guide and a documentarian for visiting professional surfers from across the world. Lakshadweep Islands offer some of the world’s best hollow, deep and perfect barrels for those who want to get pitted in a faraway destination.
The ultimate dream of every surfer is to get barrelled. But if barrel riding could be taught in schools and universities, it would be the hardest exam to pass. In this case, if one fails it’s an epic wipe out over the falls. The circular curtain of ocean water over one’s head is fast and demands extreme timing and momentum, hence a barrel ride demands many years of expertise and skills to master successfully. Getting a barrel itself is a sensational experience. Surfers contemplate the wave, feel the power of the wave, touch the face of the wave with their hands, and even smelling the distinct odor of ocean water when they get pitted.
Speaking for myself, I have been really fortunate to have shot tons of photos and videos of this extreme action by world-class surfers. Watching such an intense action from up close itself has been a truly awesome experience. I myself have tried hard to emulate barrel riding a few times and hope to perfect it one day.
No matter, how hard or complicated it may sound in the end, getting a barrel ride in surfing is definitely an “Alive is Awesome” experience and worth trying for any dare adventure surfer.