Surfing in Goa – Patnem beach, India

Goa, and
indeed India, is not often associated
with surfing, but there is a small wave at Patnem beach and sometimes
Palolem beach
The wave is small and inconsistent.  There are only ever a handful of
surfers, and it’s warm and cheap.

The wave at best is 3 feet on the face and quite chilled
out.  It’s a perfect longboard wave, but a mini-mal for fish would also
give a lot of fun.  Christmas is the busiest time in Goa, but even then
you’ll see only a couple (normally novice) surfers.  It’s a tropical
environment, the sea is warm, accommodation is in beach huts on the beach and of
course there is cheap and tasty Indian food.

Patnem beach is the most southerly developed beach in
Goa.  It has a very laid back atmosphere and consists of about a dozen
restaurants on the beach, most of which have beach huts for rent.  The
beach road has a few stores for groceries, Internet access and a travel
agents.  Patnem village, just behind the beach is tiny and has a few
guesthouses which are cheaper to rent (about INR500 at Christmas) than the beach
huts (about INR1,000 at Christmas).

Palolem beach, just a 10 minute walk north is essential
the same as Patnem, but more developed.  Almost all of the visitors are
backpackers looking for a chilled out time, with occasional late night
drinks.

Wave: 3 feet at best, 2 feet is more
common.  Breaking waves appear about 3 times a week.  The rides are
short.  It’s a beach break and various peaks appear and move with the
tide.  Patnem has the most consistent wave, but sometimes it’s better at
Palolem.

Wind: Because of the tropical heat there
is always onshore wind by 11am.  But, it doesn’t affect the wave too
much.  Dusk and dawn surfs avoid the winds.

Hazards: A few obvious rocks, the
occasional swimmer and not much else.

Recommended gear: A big volume board
means you’ll catch a lot more waves. Longboard and mini-mal would be ideal, but
obviously a pain to transport around.  A fish is the best option.  A
modern non-fiberglass board will travel a lot better than a fiberglass
board, which, considering the journey to the beach probably wouldn’t make
it in one piece.

Surfing facilities: Absolutely
none.  There are no surf equipment stores or rental places, except for
cheap bodyboards.  So bring everything you need – including the board,
spare leash and warm water wax.  I guess you could get away without a leash
and use candle wax if you run out.  The water is warm enough for board
shorts.

Accommodation: Beach huts on the beach
cost INR1,000 at Christmas, half at other times.  Guesthouses away from the
beach can be as much as half this.

Night life: Palolem has a healthy night
life, but no all night parties.  You’ll need to go north Goa for that.
Patnem is quieter than Palolem, but there are regular quiet late night
sessions.

Other things to do: Fishing trips,
dolphin spotting trips, motorbike or scooter rental and explore the rest of Goa,
kayak rental, small sailing catamaran rental, smoking & drinking!

Getting there: Trains from Mumbai stop
at Margoa station in central Goa.  You can change trains and head south to
Canacona station, from where it’s a 3 minute taxi ride to the beaches.  Or
you can get a taxi from Margoa to the beaches which costs about INR800.

Getting around: There are loads of tuk
tuks; motorbikes, mopeds and bicycles can be rented cheaply.

Visas: Everyone (except Nepali citizens)
need a visa to visit India.  Arrange this before you leave home, rather
than in a neighboring country.  Allow 4 weeks for a visa to arrive. 
Visas allow stays of 3 or 6 months.

Before and After:  To continue
surfing you can easily get to Sri Lanka or Bali in the east. I guess South
Africa is the next surf spot west.

11 Comments

  1. Wow!
    hey, thanks so much for posting this; I think you’ve altered my life, at least in the slightest way. I’m from Toronto, Indian, 23 yrs old-yet i know nothing about my Indian culture. I’m glad you posted this because i think i might save up my money & live by this beach for a couple of months (at least until my Visa expires).
    Once again, thank you, seriously, i really appreciate this post!! totally useful

    Reply

  2. Surfing in Goa .
    Hey there fello surfers….
    I’ve been in goa for last couple of weeks & I ‘ve found that ‘Candolim’ beach has
    great waves as compared to nearby beaches (about 5 to 7 feet high @ noon).and the waves has a good mixure of ‘white wash’, ‘high waves’ and ‘Rips’. But I did not see any place where I could rent a surf board there…
    the only place where you could rent a surf board is @ Baga beach which is near to candolim beach…(but waves there are small and full of white wash… its good for beginers)……
    Hope that would help you…

    Reply

    1. RE: Surfing in Goa
      Hello Maverick,

      I am travelling to Goa around the 13th of March. Are you still at Goa? How are the conditions now? I hear that there is no onshore breeze in the mornings so conditions could be glassy early in the day.

      What about at the river mouths like Morjim? I am still a beginer, travelling with my long board and I wanted to know if you have any suggestions on where to stay around Morjim. It will be a pain to transport the board, so I prefer something walkable. Primary intention of the trip is to surf.

      Thanks,
      -Ashish

      Reply

      1. goa
        hello Ashish

        were you able to find decent surfing in Goa? is there anywhere I could rent a board? I will be there in a couple of weeks and any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

        cheers
        jody

        Reply

        1. There is sometimes a small
          There is sometimes a small wave, but you need to hunt around for it. You’ll also need a fairly fat board, preferably a long board. But you’ll have the waves to yourself!

          Reply

        2. RE: goa
          Jody,

          nothing really great to write home about. Monsoon seems to be the best time. I will return and let you know my experience.

          Thanks,
          -Ashish

          Reply

  3. Hey. I’m in goa. This whole
    Hey. I’m in goa. This whole month. June.i have a place in anjuna..i would love to learn to surf. Is there any place where i can learn?? I wanna surf!!! 😀

    Reply

    1. RE: Hey. I’m in goa. This whole
      Hey Marcos,

      I dont think there are any surf instructors in Goa. Its very difficult to find boards for rent in general too. Also you need to be a storm chaser to catch some good waves. Long board would be a good choice.

      Thanks,
      -Ashish

      Reply

      1. Thanks ashish! Where can i
        Thanks ashish! Where can i buy a surf board here in goa? You a goan?

        Reply

    2. Surf nearby Goa
      Hi there

      we are 150 km south of the airport in Goa, in Gokarna, and run Cocopelli Surf School there. We rent all kinds of boards and give surflessons, organize surftrips.
      Please call or write an email or visit our homepage for more details.

      Cheers
      Sandeep – Cocopelli Surf School

      Reply

  4. jobs
    Hello

    I would like to go live in Goa with my 14 year old child in August.
    I´m looking for work in a surf hotel or resort please.

    Thanx

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *