Surfing Swami: The great beginning
Jack Hebner, can rightly be called the man behind the surfing movement in India. Surf and dive with his thoughts
What brought you to India for surfing?
Originally, I came to India in the 1970s in search of spiritual knowledge. as I began traveling around I discovered that there are many great surf spots
in India. On my next trip from the USA, I brought some surfing equipment and started surfing.
For the first few years, I was completely alone while surfing in India, now 35 years later there are hundreds of surfers and the growth potential seems unlimited.
What makes India the most desirable surfing destination in the world?
The worst part about surfing is that good surf spots get too crowded [too many surfers at one spot] and this is where India scores high. In India, we have long coastline with nice waves and even some world-class waves but we have no crowds. This alone makes India a very desirable surf destination for the international surf community.
Surfing Swami is quite intriguing, please explain.
as a kid, I always played with the waves and the ocean became a big part of my life. I officially began surfing and standing up on a surfboard in 1963. after traveling extensively in North India and South India, I eventually came to start the Surf ashram near Mangalore. We surf and do meditation here besides doing community work with locals.
We have hundreds of surfers visit the ashram every year and this ranges from professional surfers from the west to beginners and intermediate surfers from here in India.
The Surf ashram and its members have been very influential in spreading the activity and lifestyle of surfing to many coastal cities in India and we have many plans for the future of surfing in India.
In a nutshell, elaborate your stay in India?
That would have to be a very big nutshell because I have been in India for the better part of forty plus years. It has been a rewarding experience spiritually, culturally and socially. My biggest dilemma is that I cannot decide which part of India I like the best. The truth is I love all of it.