The Coral Crown of India

Fish heads, tuk-tuks, and aquamarine tubes in the Lakshadweep Islands.

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India’s Lakshadweep archipelago has been on and off the surf radar for nearly a decade, primarily due to a flawless pier and coral setup on one of its 36 semi-inhabited islands.

Historically, access has been limited and spotty, even by Indian transpo and permitting standards. The approach typically involves 24-hours-plus of air travel to the subcontinent and an auto-rickshaw drive out to the coast from the airport. Then there’s paperwork to secure from the local bureaucracy, a 16-hour ferry ride, followed by a shore transfer through the Lakshadweep surf in rowboats.

The island chain is also notoriously subject to monsoons and other South Asian storm systems, which can cut off all boat service from the mainland for weeks at a time. The upshot, however, is that the frontend tribulations can yield spoils.

In the new issue of TSJ, Nole Cossart, Anna Ehrgott, and a packet of foreign and Indian surfers land ashore and come away far from disappointed. Check out the clip above for their motion documentation, and the mag for their words and photos.