India’s only SUP star rises against the odds

Shattering Social Norms with India’s First (Female) Paddle Athlete

India is not exactly what we’d call a paddling Mecca. The country is steeped in tradition and poverty; western adventure sports like SUP tend not to fit the mold. However, with a population of 1.2 billion people, eventually someone in the country was bound to give it a try. That person was Tapashi Devchoudhury.

Tapashi currently holds the unique title of being India’s only SUP surfer. However, this trailblazer is working to change that by sharing her love for paddling with others. She currently runs India’s only SUP school and teaches SUP surfing and SUP yoga to both tourists and Indians alike.

For many of us who are used to meeting fellow paddlers everywhere we go, the concept of India having only one diehard paddler can be astounding. But to comprehend why, it’s important to understand Indian customs and traditions. For example, nearly all marriages are arranged in India. Therefore, living a life free from constraints is not possible for many Indians–particularly women.

Nevertheless, Tapashi decided she would not settle for the conventional route. Instead of letting fear hold her back, she followed her heart to the ocean and dedicated her life to adventure. A decision that has paid off for Tapashi and should serve as an inspiration for the rest of us. No matter where we live or what situation we find ourselves in, having the courage to follow our dreams and pursue our passions will result in lives of happiness and fulfillment.


Video of one family’s SUP adventure through India.

Another SUP woman’s inspiring journey to pursue her passion for paddling.

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