Flying Konkan Launches First Board Surfing School on Konkan Coast, Devgad

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With internationally trained instructors, the surfboard school aims to attract adventure tourists and also provide a platform to train and employ local youth, generating opportunities for them.

Devgad-based adventure company Flying Konkan, which launched India’s first coastal zip line in the country earlier this year, has now launched a surf school on the pristine beaches of Taramburi and Devgad. With a panel of internationally trained and certified instructors, Flying Konkan Surf School aims to attract tourists and surfers to enjoy the pristine beaches of Devgad, and also to provide a skill development opportunity for young locals, who can learn and teach as well as compete on several international platforms as professional surfers.
India’s long and pristine coastline, especially in Konkan, can be a dream come true for surfers. However, there are very few quality surf schools in the country, and most of them are located off the southernmost part of the country. Konkan, and especially the Sindhudurg area, has some of the best beaches with surf-worthy waves. While the Konkan beaches of Ratnagiri and Malvan have been popular tourist spots, mostly known for basic water sports, Devgad, the quaint little town of Sindhudurg, has not been so popular.

In a bid to put Devgad on the tourist map, with a particular focus on adventure sports, and to generate employment opportunities for locals, Flying Konkan has launched its Board Surfing School at Taramburi and Devgad beaches. In addition to the council’s surf school, Flying Konkan is also launching a tourism web portal that will allow local entrepreneurs and the cottage industry to register and promote their products and services on the portal, free of charge. The tourist portal will also appeal and showcase the yet unexplored gems of Devgad that are sure to enchant all tourists, from historical and petrographic sites and temples to local delicacies, activities and festivals, the portal will be a unique platform for all travel related needs. for Devgad. Earlier this year, they also launched India’s first coastal zipline at Devgad Windmill Gardens, which is becoming a popular adventure tourist attraction. Together with Devgad Board Surfing School, Flying Konkan aims to attract more domestic and international tourists willing to explore coastal adventure sports.

A true labor of love from brother-sister duo, Shrikant Sudhakar Joil and Vaishnavi Sudhakar Joil, the Flying Konkan was conceptualized in 2016 as an idea, and finally took shape in January 2021, after years of meticulous research, planning, permissions, paper work and several essays. The pandemic and lockdown in 2020 played a pivotal role in how the business ultimately formed. Speaking about their journey and vision, Vaishnavi Joil, co-founder of Flying Konkan Devgad Surf School, said, “Devgad is our birth family and our cherished vacation destination as children.

However, during the lockdown, when we moved here, I became acutely aware of the lack of opportunities for young people and the high unemployment rate. Also, the fact that while equally scenic compared to some of Konkan’s popular tourist destinations, Devgad has seen no tourist influx unlike its neighboring towns of Malvan and Ratnagiri. While we were already working on the zip line and the surf school idea, we decided to make it matter to the local community and worked around a plan to provide training and employment for young people locals as well as rope to local women to organize healthy tourism. experience, necessary to put Devgad on the tourist map, especially adventure tourism. With this in mind, we considered many new offerings as part of Flying Konkan, with the zip line and surf school being just the first of several such initiatives.

The Flying Konkan Surf School has enlisted the youngest PADI Specialty Instructor in India, Ms. Janhavi Deodhar, as an Expert Panel Instructor, along with a host of other nationally and internationally renowned guest instructors on a base regularly, not only offering tourists the opportunity to learn from the best but also helping locals learn from the best.

Through the surf school, they also aim to provide skill-based employment opportunities for young locals who can become instructors, volunteers and also compete on national and international platforms for surf sports. Together with the surf school, The Zip line and the tourism web portal, Flying Konkan also plans to expand the reach of water sports beyond just a form of recreational water sports and bring tourism to Konkan coast adventure.

About Vaishnavi Joil, co-founder of Flying Konkan:

After 18 years in IT, working with some of the biggest multinationals, Vaishnavi joined a start-up in Pune, then the lockdown forced her to move to her hometown in Devgad. Although raised in Mumbai and working in Pune, Vaishnavi dreamed of a steady career in technology. However, when faced with a dilemma and an opportunity to give something back to her hometown and in the process disrupt the coastal adventure tourism industry, she seized it and continued to grow the India’s first coastal zipline adventure, The Flying Konkan Zipline, along scenic Devgad Beach.

As a female entrepreneur herself, Vaishnavi is also committed to empowering local women and plans to establish a restaurant/restaurant that employs local women, who cook the best of local cuisines, to enable travelers to taste the most authentic in the region while also helping local women to become independent. Having immense experience in technology, she also plans to launch a tech start-up in Konkan so that locals never have to leave their beautiful hometown to earn a living. When not inspiring women or recruiting young locals as adventure volunteers, Vaishnavi is busy innovating with RPA bots and creating solutions that help solve a range of real-world problems!

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