There is no doubt India is a tourist’s haven with a number of multicultural and picturesque tourist attractions spread all over the country. However, none of them can match the exquisiteness of the Andaman and Nicobar Island. An archipelago comprising of total 572 islands, it’s a union territory of India with 37 inhibited islands and is located at the intersection of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
As a popular attraction, the island provides abundant options for the tourists. From beautiful tropical rainforests, golden beaches, attractive landscapes to one of the richest coral reef destinations in the world, the island entertains all varieties of tourists. While the honeymooners and nature lovers usually immerse themselves in the soul touching scenic beauty of the island, for the adventure junkies, there are many water sports and ocean adventure experiences.
While some of them are strictly for brave hearts, there are some of the sports that can be enjoyed by first timers or even by people who are afraid of water. Sofa ride is one of those casual water sports which can be enjoyed by even non swimmers.
What is Sofa Ride?
The sofa ride is one of the most safest as well as casual water sports that caters to people of all age group. Basically, the riders have to sit on an inflatable sofa that floats in the water. Unlike other water sports, up to 5 people together can participate in it making it one of the most preferable water sports for families.
Before the ride, the riders are provided with all necessary equipment like life jackets, helmets and other safety gears. There are securing belts attached on to the boat ensuring the riders do not slip away from their seats during the bumpy ride. The sofa gets attached to a speedboat or Jet Ski which pulls it in the sea as it starts moving.
Gradually as the boat speeds up, the sofa gets pulled across on the water surface with the same intensity making the whole experience adventurous and more exciting. Along with the thrilling experience of riding the sofa you can also enjoy the mesmerising views surrounding you. Usually non-swimmers go for the more than 3 person sofa ride due to safety concerns.
Why to take a Sofa Ride at Andaman?
Sofa ride may be the only sport which can provide you with the thrills and adrenaline rushes of a water sport and at the same time ensure your safety. It is one of those rare water adventures that can be enjoyed by all age groups: from a child to an adult.
It is also one of those rare water sports that can be enjoyed by the full family together making it one of the most preferable family friendly water sports in Andaman.
As the speed of the sofa is completely dependent on the speedboat pulling it, they usually set up the pulling speed based on the age group of the audience in order to ensure safety for all.
Popular Places for Sofa ride in Andaman
There are many places providing Sofa ride in Andaman. Some of those popular places are listed below:
North Bay Island
One of the most famous tourist destinations in Andaman, the North Bay Island comprises of all the places a tourist would desire. Starting from broad and beautiful landscapes and golden beaches to water sports, this island has it all.
Located around 42 km to the north of Port Blair, this island is also famous for providing one of the best experiences in terms of scuba diving and snorkelling in Andaman.
While most of the tourists visit the island from November till mid- May, the tourist season reaches its peak from December to March. Tourists can avail the beach between 12 am to 12 pm. For honeymooners, winter is considered as the best time to visit North Bay Island.
It also provides different water sports such as sea walk, glass boat ride, coral safari submarine ride and more. People can also enjoy sofa ride at the North Bay Island.
Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex
Located around 9.8 km away from the central Port Blair, the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex is famous for the various adrenaline pumping water sports activities it offers.
It also has a memorial of the Battle of Aberdeen, an armed conflict fought between the British and the Andamanese natives in the year 1859.
Open for 24 hours, sofa rides is one of the specialities of this water sport complex.
Officially known as Swaraj Island, Havelock Island is located 41 km northeast of Port Blair. One of the largest islands in Andaman, this island is famous for its beaches and sunset views, water sports activities, alluring coral reefs and the trekking activities.
It is also famous for providing the best kayaking experience through the Mangrove forests to its tourists.
If you are looking to enjoy a sofa ride with your family or your significant other at Havelock Island, then do visit Elephant beach in Havelock for a fun filled experience.
Officially known as Shaheed Dweep, Neil Island is located around 36 km northeast from Port Blair and is famous for its tropical forests, and beaches such as Bharatpur, Ramnagar and Laxmanpur beach.
While Laxmanpur beach in Neil Island is mostly famous for its outstanding sunset views, Bharatpur beach is famous for its magnificent coral reefs and water sports activities.
If you want to trek or enjoy a sofa ride on a leisure afternoon then do add Bharatpur to your list of beaches to visit.
Officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Ross Island is located around 3 km east from central Port Blair and is famous for its historical ruins and deer reserves, beautiful landscapes and water sports activities.
Given the right weather, a sofa ride in Ross Island will provide you with the right amount of jumps and splashes, making the experience all the more memorable.
Even though sofa ride is one of the safest water sports adventure in Andaman, people still need to follow some basic safety measures in order to have a safe and fun-filled experience.
Make sure to have a lifejacket on throughout the ride.
Make sure to fasten your seatbelts during the ride.
In case you are a non-swimmer, it is recommended you take a group ride.
In case of children, ensure they are secured in the middle of the sofa.
Strictly follow the guidelines provided by the trained guide riding with you.