Kovallam consists of three half-moon shaped beaches, of which Lighthouse is the biggest. The waves here are highly consistent and powerful, starting from November, when lefts and rights start breaking at both ends of the bay, though depending on the conditions, the centre can have fast peaks. In late season, the wave closes-out a lot, but until May, the lefts at Lighthouse can deliver the goods with occasional barrels. It's also probably the only place in India where you can rent boards. The swell protected northernmost crescent is very popular with Indian locals, day-travellers, and passing tourist buses while in the middle Hawa Beach is usually smaller and messier than Lighthouse, with scattered rocks to avoid. Surprisingly, Kerala Tourism has come up with a project to build a multi-purpose, artificial surf reef, transforming Hawa Beach resort into the country's premier surfing destination. Life guards patrol and it's one of the few topless bathing beaches in India, drawing weekend voyeurs and plenty of middle-aged tourists. Those expecting a replica of Goa will be disappointed. Kovalam has cheap hotels and laid-back places to hang out and there's even a couple of local surfers.