Photo by @ChrisBurkard | I traveled to India for the waves and found something quite different. After years of planning, I finally put together and pulled the trigger on my first surf trip to India. We scored great swell, but looking back at the trip what stands out to me the most was the culture. Today, India has a population of over 1.3 billion and is packed tight with traditions, festivals, spiritual beliefs, and architecture. Indian folklore deems the ocean an “organic spiritual dimension,” and a variety of people who utilize the sea hold this close to their hearts. As surfing becomes more popular in India, it’s been developing a connection with the traditional fishing community that relies on the ocean for a source of income. Surfers and fishermen alike say there is a sense of camaraderie between the two groups, new and old. The surfers often help the fisherman drag or launch their boats and fisherman can be found watching foreign surfers in awe and asking them questions. As the surfing community grows, surf schools and camps that teach tourists and travelers often use funds to give back to the fishing community or ocean protection efforts. With the world’s largest youth population, the next generation of Indian natives are taking a liking to surfing and sport is gaining traction quickly along the country’s 4,500+ miles of coast.