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Stormrider Guide to surfing East Iran

Iran, INDIAN OCEAN


, Olivier Servaire

Summary

+ Warm, empty waves - Short swell season
+ Break diversity - Painful heat
+ Consistent in monsoon - Mild onshores
+ Exotic culture - Language barrier

Tucked between Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the political and geographical landscape of Iran isn’t exactly perfect for a trouble-free surf trip. The southern province of Balochistan borders the Gulf of Oman, which connects with the Indian Ocean, providing real opportunities to discover new waves along a sparsely inhabited, desert seaboard among a string of small ports and even smaller fishing villages.

When to Go

In June, July and August, regular monsoonal SW winds create constant 3-12ft swells. Tropical storms can occasionally create even bigger waves. The monsoon produces onshore local winds from the southern quadrant which can temporarily blow out some spots, but mornings will be cleaner. Tides follow a semidiurnal tide pattern with diurnal inequality, reaching 3m on spring tides.

Surf Spots

Boats abound in a village like Tang, but their operators rather stick to their routine than take curious surfers the 2km to the rights off the hammerhead peninsula. Access is an issue around Gurdin, requiring a good 4x4 to explore and also at Pozm where the lefts in front of the jetty break too close to the cliffs for comfort. The best waves are out the end of the Konarak peninsula but a naval base keeps the area shut down so head east on the reliable coastal road. Negotiate with employees of the Aab water desalination plant to surf the perfect beginner’s beachbreak either side of the breakwalls. Chabahar is a fast growing city, thanks to being the biggest oceanic port in Iran and a free trade zone. The northern beaches are too sheltered from the swell, so head to Darya Bozorg (Big Sea) for a surf check, then head east to Lakposht where a good beachbreak can be surfed with only turtles for company. A stop at the Maahi fish cannery offers a great view of what may be the best pointbreak around. Unfortunately there’s no way down the 60ft cliffs and only a boat ride from Ramin can reach the lefts that peel below. Ramin probably offers the best combo of surf and access. West of the port, a beachbreak offers mellow, crumbly waves, at least till the heavy shorebreak turns on. To the east lies a left pointbreak dubbed Kabab since it offers several sections instead of a straight ride. The waves start as a heavy peak facing the point before flattening out and then reforming into the bay to offer some of the best barrel opportunities around. There’s a longer pointbreak setup towards the shrimp factory, Meygou, but the lefts don’t line-up that well and cliffs complicate the access. The road then follows a string of consistent beachbreaks with plenty of potential under the shadow of the Mars Mountains. Bod has suffered from a harbour extension but there may be some sand build up on the E side jetty. Beachbreaks continue until reaching Beris, which features a large port and a couple of points. One of these offers a perfectly wrapping lefthander, but requires tons of swell to get going and only a boat or a very long paddle could get you to the bottom of the huge cliff. Neither Pusht or Pesabandar offer anything much different. There’s a last treat towards Gwatar where water flowing from a man made irrigation canal forms a rivermouth righthander that peels for about 100m. Since the murky water is discharged by a nearby shrimp farm its quality is dubious at best.

Statistics

J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell S -S S -S S -S S -S S -S S -S
swell size (ft) 0-1 1 3 4 2 0-1
consistency (%) 10 20 70 80 60 10
dominant wind S -SW E -W S -W SE -SW S -W SW -N
average force F3-F4 F2-F3 F4 F3-F4 F3 F2-F3
consistency (%) 40 48 80 72 72 59
water temp (C) 23 25 29 29 28 25
wetsuit springsuit boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts boardshorts

Travel Information

Weather
The place is called “Char-Bahar” which means four springs due to its mellow warm weather and cooling breeze from the Gulf of Oman. The zone is the warmest part of Iran in winter with average temps of 19°C (66ºF) and the coolest part in summer with temps around 32°C (90ºF). Boardies only for the summer surf season.

Lodging and Food
Chabahar’s best hotel is the 4* Lipar located in the Free-Zone ($80 double). Sepideh, Daryayi and Keshtirani are much cheaper options in town. Remember that AC is a must. Kababs served with rice are the national dish. No beer, try doogh, a fizzy drink made from yoghurt, spices and aromatic herbs. Cheap food, usually $2-3 a meal.

Nature and Culture
The free zone provides shopping opportunities, but fishing villages don’t. Check out the curiously eroded “Mars Mountains” or the Gelfeshan mud volcano.