Wednesday, June 11, 2014

India's first female surfer

Mumbai born Ishita Malaviya (@Surfishita) began surfing in 2007 and nowadays runs the Shaka Surf Club on Karnataka's coast with her partner Tushar Pathiyan. She is the first and (uptil now) only professional female surfer in India.

In 2013, She was joined by a group of foreign female surfers, including Crystal Thornburg-Homcy from Hawaii, to make a feature-length documentary- Beyond the Surface, which looks at the ways surfing can be used to empower women in India.

"It was very different to what we were used to," says Thornburg-Homcy. "Women are often not allowed in the ocean for a variety of reasons: such as their dowry can be affected if they are injured or that families don't want their girls to have dark skin. The cities are a bit different, but this is what we found in the villages," she says.

Thornburg-Homcy adds: "I think when other women saw Ishita in the ocean that was really eye opening for them. She was breaking a lot of cultural boundaries."