Name: Mani Sreekumar
Date of Birth: 30/05/1982
Life Story: Due to poverty and my difficult family situation I had to quit school when I was only 12 years old. Soon afterwards my mother died and I started working in the tourist industry in order to make a living. I still remember that my first salary was less than 0,50 US per day. Now, almost 20 years later, I’m a high school graduate thanks to a home study program, I run my own restaurant and guestrooms, I found the love of my life and am the president of the Kovalam Surfclub.
Surf Experience and Motivation: I met Jelle, the founder of the Kovalam Surfclub in 2005. From the first moment we became like brothers, he helped me throughout my life and I would do anything for him. I started surfing because Jelle kept on motivating me to join him in the ocean. After all these years I know I’m not the biggest talent, but I am for sure the only knee surfer in India. I love to join the children in the surf on my free days and all of my staff surfs as well. All the surfers like to hang out in my restaurant, especially because the Surfclub is on the roof of my restaurant. Whenever Jelle is back in Europe, I’m the responsible of the Kovalam Surfclub and all the local surf kids see me as their big brother.