Blessed with a vast stretch of coastline and placid waters, Vizag’s beaches prove ideal for Aqua sports. Though they have been accessible in the city for a while now, the number of people taking up this sport is limited. Today, with most of us working from home, citizens of Vizag are stepping out for adventures. And given the scope in Vizag, scuba diving and surfing at Rushikonda have been looking to make some major strides.
Scuba diving in Vizag
“Post lockdown, there seems to be an increased demand for scuba diving in the city. After the mishap in Rajahmundry, and the evident pandemic, it is nice to see people opening up to the idea of scuba diving,” says Balaram Naidu, founder of Livein Adventures.
Even if you’re not acquainted with swimming after a brief, professionally guided session in shallow waters is all you need to take the final plunge into the ocean. If you want to dive professionally, Livein Adventures offers courses for you to become a solo diver or a divemaster. According to the team at Livein, the training span ranges from 2 to 6 months. “We have about 100-150 divers exploring the bay every month. There are 25 people being trained at our institute. As part of our training program, candidates will also be getting certificated by the globally recognised organisation Professional Association of Diving Instructors [PADI],” informed Balram.
Mr Naidu also informed that apart from Rushikonda, search for another diving spot near Bhogapuram, Chinthapalli is currently on. Livein adventures intends to collaborate with the state government to establish a scuba diving academy. The said academy hopes to open up new employment opportunities in Vizag. An underwater festival is another plan in action for the future, which is expected to bring global recognition for Vizag as a destination for scuba diving.
To enhance the experience, the trained scuba divers of the Livein club are constantly trying to discover unique and new diving sites underwater. Various rare species of corals, reefs, and other aquatic plants and animals have been identified in the process. Beach cleanup programs are also regularly being conducted by the members to encourage the public to practise green and clean living.
Surfing in Vizag
“As surfing is relatively new to India, it is considered more of an athletic activity than a tourism venture in Vizag as of now. Support from the government, sports department, and tourism department would help in improving the surfing culture in the city. Students are being professionally trained for appearing in state and national level competitions” stated Anudeep Andy from Lonely Surfers in Rushikonda.
Owing to its lower water currents and calmer waves, Vizag beaches are great for beginner and intermediate surfers. In Rushikonda, experienced surfers can rent the boards and surf through the tides. For beginners, there are training sessions for 3-7 days which help in understanding the basics of surfing like catching the waves and standing on the board.
Other water sports like speed boating and sea kayaking are also available in the city. Most people opt for kayaking during sunrise and sunset to enjoy the scenic views in the middle of the ocean. Even though our beaches offer such exciting opportunities, as a water sports destination, Vizag has a long way to go.