The striking contrast of an adrenalin rush with the tranquil backdrop of never-ending greenery around you is only possible in Kerala. No wonder the frothy rivers of Chalipuzha and Iruvanjhipuzha in Kodenchery village of Calicut was chosen as the venue of the first-of-its-kind downriver extreme adventure race in South India this August. In an attempt to promote kayaking in this part of the country, Madras Fun Tools and Goodwave Adventures took up the challenge and put together the Malabar River festival, held on 23 and 24 August 2013.
The Western Ghats are a unique geographical feature with mountain ranges that span hundreds of kilometers along the western coast of the Indian peninsula and gives rise to many river systems that have only recently been discovered by white water kayakers. Six months of planning, intensive research on chalking out river sections, ensuring audience viewing access and arranging logistics for more than 30 kayakers plus their equipment, was no mean feat. But what really added the special zing to the festival was the 40% excess rainfall in Kerala in the months of June and July. However, this did not dampen the spirit of the participants or large volumes of spectators who attended the festival. Over thirty participants from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, J&K and other countries such as USA, UK, Italy, Denmark and Nepal took the rapids head on, with over 5000 spectators watching this fantastic feat.
If you are looking to get trained on rapids like Game of Thorns, Malabar Express with steep gradients and exciting obstructions, Good Wave adventures is your go-to destination to learn the ropes. Being south India’s first white water school of kayak training, the organization is run by professionally certified ACA (American Canoe Association) Kayak Instructors Jacopo Nordera, Manik Taneja and Naveen Shetty. They say, “It’s simple – we love to paddle, we love to stretch our boundaries, we enjoy watching new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport, we love to achieve and we love the feeling of being alive!“. So, pack in that extra adrenalin and don’t miss next years Malabar River Festival in July 2014, which promises to be bigger, badder and harder!