Train surfing, India’s extremely stupid sport

After gaining popularity among teens practising extreme sports at the risk of their own lives in South Africa, Russia, Germany and other European countries; train surfing has arrived in India. Hanging outside the trains is not new to Indian citizens, as it is a necessity for them at times when the trains are overcrowded and next available train is not scheduled for hours. Train surfing is different in a way, that instead of hanging there with their hearts in their mouths, these youth treat it as wave surfing, skiing or bungee jumping and enjoy it to the fullest even at the cost of risking their own lives.

Train Surfing in India
Train Surfing in India

How far can they go?

The sport is mostly popular among the youth dwelling near the railway lines. Though there have been reports of injuries and even death, it is not enough to stop the youth from having a blast by either riding on the train roof like a wave, or hanging outside to the extreme from the side doors and clinging with by their bare hands or belts.

After the self filmed video of two youths from Mumbai went on you tube garnering attention and clicks; the craze swept among the bored teens who wanted to be in the picture regardless of dangers involved. For many youngsters in cities like Mumbai where the reality is scary, this dangerous hobby acts as an escape route into a fantasy world, where they are on top of the world, with their adrenalin shooting up. It is their own way of expressing their fearlessness and daredevilry, which they may consider to be a warning signal to those who dare to oppose them.

Stupidly dangerous train surfing in India 

These youth are quite familiar with the trains; hence they feel no fear in playing around with it. It is like their home ground, where they expect no surprises to be thrown at them. Even with practice and safety measures, no one can rule out the risk involved and accidents that have taken place during the act, crippling and sometimes killing the teens. A slight slip would mean being crushed under the heavy wheels of the train. Other risks involve, falling off the train and being killed, electrocuted by the power cables, hit by railway structures and other unthinkable mishaps. “Where the thrill of extreme sport is, if it does not have danger involved in it?” asks a train surfer who is proud to be one. Although train surfing is illegal in most countries including India, the authorities fail to control it.

Should train surfing be banned strictly by government?

Can train surfing be included in extreme sports?Those people who are not in favour of the sport consider it to be outrageous and bizarre behaviour which poses danger not only to the people who are involved in it, but also to the passengers. Train travelling has certain safety rules which are to be followed by passengers for their own safety and smooth running of the trains. Though train surfing can be entertaining to those who are enjoying the ride, in reality it is nothing but illegal activity which is breaking every rule of train safety. Many people criticise it as stupidity by those youth who do not have good and definite goal to pursue. Unless the youths decides to give it up by themselves, there is not much others can do; as escaping the law and surfing the train will provide another form of challenge and excitement for those who are looking for it with banishment of the activity.

‘Why the question, it is an extreme sport’ says the train surfers in regard to the above question. Not everyone will agree with that though.

Every extreme sport though dangerous has certain sports equipment, safety rules, guidance, coaching and training involved before actual performance. The train surfing has nothing of that sort; therefore many rubbish it off as illegal activity rather than extreme sport.

The train surfers do not seem to be deterred by people who do not agree with them. They feel this is nothing different from people paying lots of money just to jump out of planes, fall of from mountain tops or building roofs by hanging on to rubber chords, or ride on the big waves which can engulf them.

From the view of psychology, it is not new for the teens to take social and personal risks to for the sake of some unique sensational experience. The thrill of being in control over an extremity will keep luring youth towards adventures that pose risk and dangers to their lives.

Training surfing in Soweto, South Africa

What do you think of these Indian youths practising this dangerous activity?

101 Travel tips to India

60 thoughts on “Train surfing, India’s extremely stupid sport

  1. OMG!!
    There surely can be safer things to do even when one is looking for something to keep the adrenalin going.
    we do have some extreme adventure sports. I have tried bungee jumping, surfing, parasailing. hot air balloons and paragliding myself, but at least there were safety plans in place in case something went wrong.
    This is sheer stupidity.
    Totally ruled out.

  2. This is extremely dangerous and as you said really a stupid act. If they really have that much of guts and courage then they should use it in a better way… perhaps in a act like saving this country from corruption and our corrupt politicians!

  3. I remember sharing the first video on facebook, I guess with a comment “Stupidity has no limits”. I clearly remember one comment, that precisely described the truth. And that comment said, it’s not stupidity, it’s insanity. And I agree, none in their right mind will do these kind of stuffs…

  4. Hi Shalu,

    Sport? really? this is just risk taking in its most extreme form. If people were caught doing that in the UK they’d find themselves in court and probably getting a visit from the local mental health team.

    There’s safer ways to join the paralympics.

    Not only do they put them,selves at risk but the public to, as well those that would have to come along and pick their pieces up, should anything happen. Which of course it will before long.


    • Barry, I couldn’t agree with you more on this. Something like has no place in any country. Unfortunately, this is popular in many countries including Germany and Russia. It should be banned outright and that’s it.

  5. This reminds me of the famous saying – boys will be boys. Indian youth must be familiar with trains but what these boys does is extremely dangerous. So it would be good if the government do something about it.

  6. Hi Shalu,

    I have seen many teenagers and youngsters doing this kind of stunt with my own eyes in Mumbai CST and Hyderabad Station.

    Its indeed very dangerous and bad idea of doing. These people are not only risking their own lives but also risking others.

    Stay Safe – Stay Alive 😀

  7. Hi Shalu,
    Looking at the photo you included, train surfing sure looks very dangerous. Of course, teens would be very much attracted by this kind of thing because they aren’t focusing much on the danger, their minds are focusing more on the thrill and enjoyment of doing it. Well, they only do it because they are BORED, as you say.

  8. Well, After watching that video I must say it’s really a stupid things always happening in India. I think they are trying to impressing other people by doing this kind of stupid activities. I am kindly requesting to all Indian Youth to take care of themselves because their family always waiting for them to come back home safely.

    Sorry For My English. Hope all can understand what I am trying to say.

  9. For a time, some of the youth living near the train tracks here in my country have also been doing the same thing. But it’s lessened since the government had them relocated. Personally, I believe that the government should do something about it. It is a dangerous sport to even try. But like what Shamis said, boys will be boys.

  10. what kind of sport the train surfing is? :O Honestly, I’ve never heard about this before and It isn’t here in Afghanistan. After reading this article I must say that Indian government should strictly ban the train surfing.

  11. Thanks for an informative post. Hopefully, it will help youngsters become aware of the dangers associated with it. Additionally, our Bollywood movies also encourage such stunts, whereas films should be used for creating awareness.

  12. I have seen this video on you tube and also on a tv channel and it was extremely shocking. How can one risk life in such a manner. There are lot more ways to have fun than this. It should straightaway be banned, but I am afraid if such a law will strictly be implemented in India.

  13. Hi Shalu,
    This is not an official sport of the country, it is a sort of stunt which youngsters desire of indulging in, so as to show their guts and bravery. But they never realize the magnitude of risk attached with such dangerous stunts. Thanks for writing this post and making people aware of their stupidity.

  14. I can just believe what these young men are doing, they are playing with what can terminate their life. I don’t think they realize that they have only one life and I don’t think they are tired of life either. Government should look into this and make serious warning about. There is no duplicate about life. This still baffle me honestly. I can’t just believe it.

  15. Train surfing is the most stupid sport I’ve ever experienced. I mean what’s the benefits of risking your own life. It’s like playing with death more than surfing. I don’t support such type of sports at any cost. If this sport is being performing for money I wanted to say them please stop. Life is much precious than some money. Those people who are now saying “wow” after an accident they’ll say what a stupid person. So live for you at-least. Thanks.

  16. Informative posting! I think this posting would be effective for all. Thank you for sharing with us. invites you to read

  17. It’s too dangerous but few people think that it’s one kind of adventure which is totally risky. After all Adventures can not be without danger or risk.

  18. Though it may look cool, train surfing is very dangerous. Their government should do something about what that train surfing or someone is going to get hurt. I suggest they clinics of easy to access real sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball.

  19. People always compromise on their safety , and you could see lot of these kind of videos end up in tragic death.But in other countries, what ever adventurous sport it is, they always take enough safety measures.

  20. Great post, i really enjoyed by reading, After watching that video I must say it’s really a stupid things always happening in India,it almost unbelievable that a kid would be so reckless.

  21. oh my !! I saw many news from my country about this travelling by train in India like this before but I think they will have the plan for fix this problem. It’s not safety at all.

  22. we do have some extreme adventure sports. I have tried bungee jumping, surfing, parasailing. hot air balloons and paragliding myself, but at least there were safety plans in place in case something went wrong.
    This is sheer stupidity.

  23. Train surfing is a daily occurrence in South Africa, we have a lot of poverty and that contributes to the problem. We have a lot of people trying to get to work with little to no money.

  24. I am from Mumbai and I travel quite a lot by local trains. I have seen these acts up close and I fail to understand what kind of rush do these people get by doing these stunts. They might look cool but they are deadly as hell.

  25. Stupid is the right word for it.After watching that video I must say it’s really a stupid things always happening in India,it almost unbelievable that a kid would be so reckless.

  26. Stupid is the right word for it.After watching that video I must say it’s really a stupid things always happening in India,it almost unbelievable that a kid would be so reckless.

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