• The Vanilla Gorilla

India Surf Festival Preparations

Volunteers are arriving daily in Puri, Orissa to assist in the production of the India Surf Festival: 2nd Edition.

With volunteers from USA, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Russia, and India, the work is being completed quickly and with an interesting international flare. Ideas are merging from all over the world to create a truly global festival celebrating the surf.

In the works for the 3-day event are an interactive art village, live beach music, a surf expressions event, SUP races and lessons, yoga, and kiteboarding demos. Participants surely won't be bored.

Unique to this event is it's organic vibe. Pre race activities are underway and include arranging organic, hand-made trophies for the events and a full beach clean-up with volunteers and locals. Some of the trash from the cleanup will be used in local schools to make a "plastic fish" project. This will aid in educating the students about plastic pollution and the ocean. Post-race activities include the creation of educational videos for screening in local villages about the ocean environment, pollution, and sustainable tourism. All aspects of the festival are using the local businesses, artisans, and restaurants. In an effort to maintain the grass roots feel, the festival does not accept any aid from sponsors that do not share a global sense of community and environmental responsibility. Nor do they accept aid from sponsors that provide more advertising than assistance. Looking at the site in the making, one would not suspect a surf festival was being set up. All funds to support the festival come from Odisha Tourism department, and enable the India Surf Festival to put on this first-class event and maintain the clean & green look.

Personally, I'm collecting participants for the SUP race and the race clinic. I'll also be hosting SUP lessons throughout the festival, as well as providing a few SUP yoga demonstrations. Locally, I've been working with local carpenters to craft the trophies, and also a local tailor to stitch some paddle socks and board socks out of some beautiful and bright local fabrics. I've also been practicing combining a few of my new-found skills... think water meets fire...

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