13 Photos From One Of India's First Surf Schools

Photographed by Allison Joyce.
In 2007, Ishita Malaviya tried surfing for the first time and fell in love with the sport. She founded the Shaka Surf Club in Kodi Bengre, India, with boyfriend and fellow surfer Tushar Pathiyan in the same year.

"We couldn’t imagine moving back to the city, doing a 9-to-5 job and being unable to surf every day," Malaviya, who was previously living in Manipal, India, told Refinery29 in an email. "We wanted to live the surfer’s dream."

Since then, the couple has made the club their second home and imbued countless students of all ages with their love of surfing. As for Malaviya, she's undeniably a trailblazer in a very male-dominated sport, which is still pretty new to India.

"For the longest time, I was the only woman out in [the] water," she said. "It was definitely intimidating for me at the start."

As India's first professional female surfer, Malaviya has made it her personal mission to get young girls from the surrounding villages "stoked" about surfing.

"The ocean is mostly considered a place for the men," she explained. "The women stay at home while the fishermen go out to sea...I feel so blessed to be able to share the joys of being in the ocean with my fellow womenfolk."

To get a closer look at all of the cool things Malaviya and the girls of the Shaka Surf Club are doing, we sent a photographer to Kodi Bengre to capture them in action. Click through to see the photos and read more from Malaviya.

It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both.
Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach, here.

More from Body

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.