Soul People: What makes Soul&Surf tick? The amazing bunch of people that work with us of course. Soul People will introduce you to some of the incredible people we work in both Sri Lanka and India.
Words by Emma Brown | Photography by Steve Coombes & Pete Chamberlain | 24th October ‘16
Name: My name is Rakhul, find me on Facebook
Where’s Home? I’m from the Western Ghats
What’s your role at Soul&Surf: I’m working as a surf instructor in Varkala
How did you start surfing?
I came to visit a friend at S&S and I started to work in the café. I’d seen surfing before but when I got here I had free time so I went for a surf lesson, it was the first time in my life on a surfboard, I was so excited but a bit scared.
I’m from the mountains so I’d never had experience in the ocean or with waves. My first lesson was terrible, I couldn’t even lie on my surfboard but I loved it so I started surfing with the other guys at S&S. On my 6th lesson I stood up and was so excited I fell off. I was fist pumping and telling everyone I got a green wave and was so happy that I didn’t eat all day.
From then I went out whenever I had free time, to catch waves and wipe outs, and when a guest gifted me a surfboard I felt braver to go out on my own. I went for every wave so I learnt how to read the ocean and helped out the surf team whenever I could, going with them and watching what they were doing. I joined in helping people and they liked me so the next season I applied to work as an assistant surf coach. I did half and half café and surf. Then after a while I moved to the surf team full time and went for my qualification. I’m now the 9th person in India to have qualified as a surf instructor.
What does Soul mean to you?
Soul is your attitude, your personality, soul means to become a nice good person which is what I try to do.
What inspires you about your work?
I have a lot of fun and I get to meet so many cool people, I have friends all over the world. I get to have fun with the waves, it makes you feel happier being in the sea and being a part of what’s going on.
What’s your goal for the future?
I want to make a rap album and I’d love to keep teaching surfing. It’s a new thing in India so I’d like to be one of the leaders in that for my country. I want to travel and surf in different places, I went to Bali and Sri Lanka for the first time this year and I loved it.