Thiruvananthapuram, May 2 (IANS) Excitement is mounting at the famed tourist destination of Kovalam as it gets ready to host the first ever surfing and stand-up paddle competition to be held over three days starting Friday. The event has been named as the Spice Coast Open.
Deepti Jha, media and marketing head, Surfing Federation of India (SFI) told IANS that they decided to hold the first ever competition in Kovalam because this is one destination where it all began.
"This has been a favourite destination for foreign tourists who first surfed in the waters of Kovalam. Hence we decided that this would be the place to have our first competition," said Jha.
Former South African cricketer and world's best fielder Jhonty Rhodes will be inaugurating the competition at the Kovalam beach.
"Rhodes is our brand ambassador and an avid surfer and we thought it fit that he should inaugurate. We expect that he would show his surfing skills also," remarked Jha.
In all, around 100 participants have registered for the event and it includes 20 foreign nationals and also six women.
"A group of four surfers will compete at one time and one round or heat would extend for 15 minutes. The judges who have international experience come from Thailand. The event is being held in four categories and in two sections," added Jha.
The conventional surfing board is around five to six feet long and those who compete in the stand up paddle competition use a surfing board which is bigger, thicker, heavier and longer and is around eight feet long.