The competition took to a whole new level this year with the arrival of Asian Surfing Championships (ASC). Tim Hain and Tipi Jabrik were instrumental in conducting and judging the competition on the rivermouth of Kushavadra River. 24 surfers participated in the championship which lasted for about 6 hours and was witnessed by an enchanted crowd. With waves starting from 3ft to head high, surfers had good walls and right open shoulders to show off some tricks. Floaters, cutbacks and snaps were commonplace on the wave playground. The first place was bagged by Sekar, followed by Vignesh and then Manikandan (Appu), all three from Covelong Point Surf School. Prizes were also given for Longest Ride, Best Combo, Funniest Wipeout and Most Promising Surfer.
Over the course of 3 days, India SUP Race was conducted in 8 heats with 45 participants battling it out to be at the top. Active360 from UK flagged off the race and participants made a dash for the water after grabbing their paddles. The preliminary round tested the endurance of paddlers on a 3km course. The second round was a technical course with twists and turns around strategically placed buoys. The Final was a combination of both technical and endurance - a 3km loop with a 360 at the last buoy. Competition was stiff and in the end the winner was Sekar, closely followed by Dharani and Manikandan (Appu), again from Covelong Point surf school. The final race concluded with a celebration dance by Covelong Point boys where everybody joined in on the fun.
Paul Hyman, Louise Nolan and Mohammed from Active360 UK returned this year to conduct the Walk On Water sessions. As usual, the workshop saw people of all ages, from kids to grandparents - everybody were getting comfortable on the SUP boards. Stand Up Paddling has fast grown into a favourite board sport around the world, and Indians are taking to it equally fast. Walk On Water workshop in India Surf Festival has been at the forefront in introducing India to the beautiful lifestyle sport of SUP, and the growing interest is being fulfilled by Surfing Yogis through the year-round workshops and activities at Puri-Konark Marine Drive.
Kitesurfing Lanka, the most talented kitesurfers from Sri Lanka participated in India Surf Festival and showed off their skills on water harnessing the power of the wind. Ramchandi Beach is a playground perfect for kitesurfing with wind conditions being favourable for the sport. Stunning aerial acrobatics were seen during the kitesurfing sessions which are going to have a lasting imprint on the spectators and inspire budding kitesurfers in India.
Longboarding Crew India (LCI) from Mumbai were back at India Surf Festival to demonstrate the fast-paced sport of Longboarding. Over a period of 2 days, the workshop saw an overwhelming amount of participants who wanted to try out the sport. Safety and right technique were key - and the smiling longboarders did not want to stop!
If Walk On Water was something that almost everybody tried, Yoga On Water was what some aspired to do. Yellow Butterfly from Delhi were active with their Yoga sessions on water as well as on land. Himanshi Parmar from Mumbai demonstrated it with elegance supported by her friend Navin Devnani.
The festival was curated by Bengaluru-based artist Vinay Pateel, who has been the Festival Curator since the second edition. The sweeping theme of the art was called Soul Flowers. About 30 flowers made out of bamboo were spread all over the festival, with a large central interactive installation. Motion controlled lighting on the installation engaged people one by one to play and express themselves through the flow of light that responded to their gestures.
The Girl Power Zone was a special zone created to bring together female artists. Lizzy from Portugal, Nikkie from Odisha along with fashion labels Livingarts Lifestyles and Galang Gabaan.
The geodesic domes made by Sebastian Vilarino from Argentina hosted the stage and performances. Sachin Shetty from Mumbai and Krilly from Australia made exquisite live paintings over the course of 3 days. BeeVee from Bengaluru had an exclusive Projection Mapping show visualizing the story of ISF Girl Power.
Thaalavattam collaborated with Ra’uf headlined the music performances this year. Thaalavattam’s Montry is a unique performer who creates music with instruments made from trash. The energy during the performance was over the top and was accompanied by spontaneous fire-dancing by Bea from France. An equally magical performance by Sitarsonic took the music scene to a whole new level. The 8-member band Alchimix enthralled the crowd with their multiple performances. DJs Mista Hagen from Ukraine, 120Dub from Argentina and Pradeep Maharana from Odisha made sure the crowd was dancing to their tunes all through the evening. The musical evenings turned into jam sessions by the sacred fire continuing into the night.
Hungry Lens is a showcase of the best images captured by photographers that throng the premises of ISF. Stunning photographs and videos captured by photographers Sabyasachi Jana from Odisha, Pradeep Javedar from Bengaluru, Marina Makhova from Russia, Michael Eijansantos of My Life On Board (MLOB), Tim Hain of Asian Surfing Championships (ASC), Christopher Witschy from USA, Sneha Mitra from Odisha and Radhakanta Joshi from Bengaluru filled the night and are being published in magazines and blogs all over the world.
From the first meeting with a surfer in 2000, to making an international event called India Surf Festival on the beaches of Odisha - Sanjay is wildly enthusiastic about the adventure spirit in India. Conceptualizing the festival, eco-spiritualism, making friends, exchanging knowledge, enjoying music, collaborating with artists, helping local community.
Talking to people, establishing relationships, making everyone comfortable, shaking hands, hugging, and most importantly - smiling. Kartik will stop at nothing to ensure you have a smile on your face. Go ahead, talk to him!
Hours of digital work, days of manual labour for an installation, months of conceptualizing and one moment of completion - this is the life of an artist without boundaries. Pixels, Murals, Installations, Oils, Water Colours, markers, whatever - Vinay has no limits of medium, all that matters is to create.
It is hard to keep track of the number of things Seba is good at. DJ, Performer, Magician, Creator, Video Junkie and generally having fun - that is his job. Never a dull moment with him around us.
Its hard to tell which one of the two things Sabya does better, whether it is coding the beautiful ISF website or risking drowning to get the perfect shot. Being the homegrown talent, his photographs are setting new standards in adventure photography and this is only the beginning.
Living in Singapore hasn’t had any effect on her bond with ISF. In spite of constantly travelling, Sweta manages to keep the ISF community actively involved on social media. Now you know where all those beautiful posts on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram come from.