So that´s it, that´s what it feels like. Being landlocked. Not being able to surf on a daily basis. The unfortunate reality for a lot of surfers who don´t live close to the beach. A completely new experience for those of us who are lucky enough to have an ocean near by. The global corona virus crisis has ´landlocked´ a lot of surfers on this planet.
Dont´get me wrong, I am not complaining. How could I? From the roof of my house in Fuerteventura I can still the see the ocean in the distance. But seeing the ocean and feeling the ocean, that´s two different pairs of shoes. Even though I am convinced that our absence will only benefit the health and balance of our oeceans, and even though, after 48 agonizing days, we are now allowed back in the ocean, I am still trying to come to terms with this short journey of being landlocked.
Living a surfer´s life – how it all started
The decision to live close to the ocean came naturallly. 12 years ago to be precise. I can´t even remember having made a decision at all. It wasn´t that at some point I decided to live in front of a wave, it was just that I couldn´t imagine not doing it. It just felt totally right and comfortable. This beautiful beach I lived at in Chile just gave me everything I wanted: the freedom to surf every day, at any given time. The freedom to live my life without having to wear shoes and making bonfires every night. The freedom to just be me.
Returning to Europe was a very personal decision. But never would it have crossed my mind to settle down somewhere away from the ocean. And that´s the funny thing. At not one point did I now even consider living landlocked. Why would I? The ocean provides me with everything I need and want. So to me it just made sense to go and live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
What happened next
So here I was, happily living on Fuerteventura. The small town I live in has no coastline, it´s right in the middle of the island, in between the North-, West- and Eastcoasts. So why would I want to live here instead of having the ocean in front of my window? Well, often you can´t really choose who you fall in love with, right? And I simply fell in love with the charm of Lajares, it´s vibes and people.
Also here on Fuerte, the wind can be a big issue. So having the choice of having all three coasts in short distance makes it a lot easier to decide in the morning where to go for a surf. Here we always depend on the swell and wind directions.
Back to me living and surfing without much worry. And once in a sudden, the world gets put on standbye. And the Spanisch government tells me that I have to stay inside my house. Sure, we were allowed to do the odd supermarket / pharamacy run but the ocean was totally off limits. And there I was. Being landlocked. I guess the term landlocked might not fit a 100% it because I live on an island. But the feeling must be pretty much the same: this subliminal feeling of not being able to access the ocean.
And that´s what being landlocked felt like
To be honest, it felt like a punch in the head and totally threw me off balance. I don´t know how the ocean does it but by now it is part of my personal existence. The ocean gives me balance when I am dangling off the ceiling. The ocean puts things (and myself) back into perspective every time. The ocean absorbs my emotions and turns them into pure joy. The ocean provides me with a sense of peace that´s hard to find anywhere else.
Surfing is a sport that get´s into your veins. It connects you with mother nature and with yourself. It teaches you to reset your body and mind, and it shows you how to flow. Even outside the water.
Having the privilage of living a surfer´s life temporarily taken away from me was something I have never even thought about before. And was something I wasn´t prepared for at all. Despite struggling to understand what is happening in the world and where we all went wrong, once in a sudden I had to find out how to channel my emotions outside the ocean. Who doesn`t know the feeling of going for a surf with the head filled with pain, anger or frustration – just to return from the ocean all reset and full of positive energy.
What I have learned
Having lived without being able to surf tought me a lot of lessons. It made me realize how much I depend on the ocean and how important surfing it is for me. It is my job, which I love, but it is also so much more than that!
I guess, appreciation is one of the biggest lessons I have learned. To appreciate how lucky I am to live my life this way, and how much for granted I have taken it.
Gratitude for being able to share the moments in the water with other surfers would be another lecture I have been tought. I mean, how amazing does it feel to surf a nice wave and have someone cheering for you from the channel. Now that we have returned to the ocean I have noticed how the atmosphere in the water has changed. While before a lot of surfers, and that´s me included, would have been concentrated on catching as many great waves as possible, now waves are being let passed by, cheers of ´dale, dale´ (´go, go´) can be heard and smiles are present everywhere.
I feel like I have returned to the essence of surfing. Being a sport with a commercial site (which I am a part of) has made me somehow forget what surfing is all about. It´s about sharing moments, laughters and good vibes. So here I am now, having finished this unwanted ocean free time, and strangely I feel more connected to the ocean than ever before!
Thanks for joining me on my journey! Stay safe & healthy!
Ohh don´t you love the smell of a freshly waxed surfboard? Even if you are far away from the ocean it reminds you of those last epic waves, sunsets and good times. But then, surfwax can also be quite a hassle. It melts when you leave it exposed to the sun, pretty much everything sticks to it (not only your feet), it get´s dirty with sand and once in a sudden, it makes your beautiful surfboard look nasty and used. And then, which one to choose?? Depending on the water temperature you will have to change your wax and stock up on different waxtypes.
So how to deal with surfwax and waxing your boards? We have looked into the right waxing technique, the best surfwaxes on the market and also into alternatives available.
How to remove and apply surfwax
Surfwax hardes and softens with temperature. If you want to remove your wax the first thing you need to do is expose it to heat. Use the sun, if available, and wait until the texture of the wax is soft. Next use a waxcomb, alternatively an old credit card, and carefully start removing the wax, working your way up or down the board. Collect the wax into a ball, make sure to take all the little bits as well, and store it in a bag to later dispose of it correctly.
Now that most of the wax is removed, use an old cloth / boardbag and polish away the last little pieces until you can see the smooth surface of your surfboard (and all the dings).
Now that your board is ready to roll again choose the right wax for the water temperature in which you want to surf and start waxing your board evenly. Begin at one end by applying enough pressure to leave little bumps of wax spread over the surfboard. Wax the way all the way up to the point where your front foot is positioned, and even a little bit further. You might not always land in the right stance straight away. Don´t forget to wax the bits close to the rails where you place your hands when duckdiving. This will give you extra grip and confidence when facing bigger waves.
Not sure if you are doing it right?? Here is a little tutorial for you 😉
Best surfwaxes on the market
There are loads of different types of surfwax on the market. How do they differentiate? In shape, color, smell and, most importantly, ingredients. In times where pollution of our oceans is a very important topic, your main concern about surfwax, apart from making your feet stick to the board, should be how ecolocigal your wax it. You will be floating on top of it in the water for hours, and you will have to remove it quite frequently.
The surf industry, still years away from being an ecological and sustainable business, is changing however. Like with every market, the demand defines the offer. The surfwax industry has already made steps into the right direction and by now offeres several (affordable) alternatives, generally offered by smaller companies. Did you know that the main ingredient of surf wax used to be parafin (= rest bits of petroleum)? The newer biodigradable surfwax products contain mainly of beeswax, tree resin and coconut oil, making them a lot easier to digest for the environment.
Here are some, locally produced, environmental friendly surfwaxes:
Surfwax made in Ireland from traceable pine resin and organic beeswax. All local ingredients.
Only available in the cold water version at the moment, and at selected surfshops. Great stick and incredible swell of pine forest. Recomended!
Great surfwax alternatives
Sure, we love our wax and the whole getting stoked while waxing your board process. But it´s worth it to look into some alternatives that also make your feet stick to the board.
How about softboards for example? Generally used by beginner surfers, often left with the wax facing the plain sun, sand all over it. Australian surfboard company Hot Buttered has introduced a great line of foamies called Salty Swamis. Available in different sizes and shapes all foamies of this line have a snakeskin top, giving you enough grip on your board without having to use wax. We have been using those boards for nearly a year and they still shine like on their first day! Don´t you think??
Another great option to try are surfgrip patches. Those triangular stickers are applied where you would normally apply wax. There are not many options on the market yet but Van Der Waal for example offers a more ecological alternative to surfwax. That´s what they look like. Why not give it a go?
So that´s it, the myth behind surfboard wax is solved. You know how to remove and apply your wax, you know about the most environemental friendly waxes and you also know about some alternatives.
Fact is that we need our feet to stick to our surfboard. There is no right or wrong in how to make this happen. Like everything in surfing, it depends on your personal preference and ability. However, it never hurts to try something new 😉
Wishing you great (and sticky) waves, hope to sea you in the ocean soon!
Aloha. My name is Angie, I am 39 years old and I am a surfer. Unfortunately I didn´t grow up next the ocean and I only started surfing when I was already grown up. It´s like with everything, the older you get, the harder it gets to learn new things, isn´t it?
I started surfing at a little beach in Chile years ago. Everyone around me living on that beach surfed, so I thought why not. I started with bodyboarding, mainly because I was totally unfit after having studied and lived (well, trying to survive) in London. Bodyboarding seemed a lot easier to me than surfing, plus I met real cool people of the next town who bodyboarded, too.
My boyfriend at that time was a professional surfer, having surfed his whole life, completely living the surfing lifestyle. He accepted my decision to bodyboard but kept asking me to try surfing. So I eventually gave in. And yeah, that moment changed my life forever. How much cooler is it to go down the wave standing up? No offence to you bodyboarders out there, you have all my respect, but standing up on the board is just another feeling.
I was lucky that my boyfriend, apart from being a great surfer, also was a qualified surf instructor. Lucky? Well that´s what I though at least. First day surfing he tought me some basics, the 1-2-3- popup and how to not kill myself with my surfboard. I would be lying to say that I was a natural talent but I kept saying to myself that if everyone around me can do it, surely I can do it as well.
So here I was, hooked on surfing, being happy to have someone experienced next to me who can teach me. And this is where things went wrong. For my second surfsession we went down south to camp out, right in front of one of Chile´s endless left pointbreaks. No mercy for me, I was supposed to follow everyone climbing over the rocks with my big ass board and jumping straight into the line-up. Obviously I had no idea whatsoever, missed the lull in between sets and a second after I jumped I was facing a wall of water the size of a skyscraper. I didn´t physically die that day but in my mind I did, quite a few times. Needless to say that I didn´t catch any wave but only got tossed around by the ocean like a little rubber ball.
When I eventually left the water I was super proud of myself. I survived, didn´t hurt anyone and didn´t even break my board. I felt like I could take on the world. Until I saw my than boyfriend, coming out of the water, looking rather pissed off. And hell was he pissed off with me. Why I didn´t stand up? Why I didn´t wait for the break in between the sets? Why, why, why..
And that´s what it would be like the next couple of years. He really made an effort, he wanted me to learn real fast so I could catch the good waves, instead of hanging around in the whitewash or waiting for the leftovers. The more he pressured me, the more I got frustrated and eventually fully blocked myself. I even thought about giving up on surfing. Until one day, I started talking to an Australian couple staying at my hostel. He was a really experienced bodyboarder, she hardly would put her foot into the ocean. I asked her if she ever tried to bodyboard and if he ever offered to teach her and she burst out laughing. No way, she said. There is no way in the world my boyfriend will teach me how to bodyboard. Why, I asked. She replied by saying: look, it´s like if you try to teach your boyfriend how to cook or learn a language that you already know. You automatically put yourself in a superior position only by knowing what you teach.. This can´t work in a realtionship!
That same day I promised myself to only surf by myself in the future. Without anyone (him) watching me, without anyone giving me tips, simply no pressure. That day, I actually started to really enjoy surfing. And once in a sudden I improved. And made great surfing friendships along the way. That´s me with the girls shredding our homebreak on our tankers.
Now, years later, I am still surfing. The funny thing is that teaching how to surf now is not only my hobbie but also my profession. And now, many years after that frustrating second surfsession I find myself in a reverse situation: I am trying to teach by now boyfriend how to surf. Well, have a guess. It doesn´t work!!
Even though I am an experienced surfcoach and I am used to adopt to any type of personality of my students, all my knowledge, drills and motivational skills, they don´t work with my boyfriend. Yes, I want him to improve real quick. Why? So he can catch the good waves out there with me, instead of hanging around in the whitewash or waiting for leftovers. Sounds familiar, right? But I wanted him to learn the correct way, learning how to read and understand the ocean. Something that noone ever tought me but I had to figure out for myself. Surprise, I was wrong.
The difference between my boyfriend and my younger self is that he is a.physically fit b.has no fear and c.is a little bit crazy for adrenaline. So instead of getting frustrated about his surfing skills he got more frustrated with me for not letting him surf the big powerful waves. So why won´t you let him, you ask? Being a surfcoach I always think I have seen pretty much everything (I still get surprised now and again) in the water and I have also seen some nasty accidents. The reasons for those accidents were mainly lack of boardhandling, lack of surfetiquette knowledge, lack of skills. Obviously I want my boyfriend to not hurt himself, but I also don´t want him to hurt anyone else. That´s why I held back, drilled the surfing rules into his brain and couldn´t stop myself from giving him lectures in the water.
Was I aware of what I am doing? Not really, no. I figured that it might be hard to coach him but I didn´t realize how much I was also holding him back. Until one day in March this year when we went to Morocco. We stayed in front of this amazing and easy to surf pointbreak, pealing in like there was no tomorrow. The line-up was crowded as and I kept telling him to watch out, to respect the rules, to do this and that. Resulting in a very low wavecount for him. And than he freaked out. Not into my face but I could see it in his eyes. He had enough. That moment brought me back to the conversation with the Australian couple years ago. And it drew on me like a lightning. I quickly paddled away and left him totally by himself. Well, I still kept an eye on him from the distance but he didn´t know 😉 . Once in a sudden I saw him surfing this crazy wave, nicely going along the face of the wave and I knew that things had changed. For both of us.
Today he surfs so much better than ever before, with a flow and a feeling for the water that I could have not explained him in a 100 years. He really enjoys surfing and is improving super quickly. I feel like an idiot, having done exactly what slowed me down all those years ago and today I limit my advice to only when he asks for it. (At least I try very hard).
The end of the story is, don´t try to teach your boyfriend/girlfriend how to surf, it (generally) won´t work. Surfing is a sport that requires so much more than chains of movement. What makes a good surfer is the connection to the ocean, and this feeling noone can teach you. Probably not even your partner 😉
I am off surfing, have a great day and good waves for you.
The love and respect for these four elements is what brings the NOMB Surfteam together. Surfers, coaches, campchefs, backoffice chicas. We all love to surf, and everything that comes with it!
In hectic times like today we here at NOMB Surf are trying to not only teach you how to surf but also how to find your own balance between these vital elements. If you are in ease with nature, the ocean, your mind and your body, imagine the waves you are able to ride. And imagine how balanced you could be in your personal and working life, too!
During our private surfcoachings on Fuerteventura as well as during our surfcoaching trips to fantastic destinations, we are always trying to pass on the idea behind NOMB Surf.
Environmental awareness is homework for everyone of us, so is marine conservation. We all can do our little part in looking after mother earth. Not sure how to? Let us help you. And how about our mind? Do we know how to understand and control our emotions? But how about ourselves? How do we treat our bodies with our everyday lifestyle? Do we give them enough attention?
Now, how is all this related to surfing you ask? Is it really relevant? The answer is yes, and here are a few example why and how we are aiming for a balance of Nature-Ocean-Mind-Body..
1. We as surfers looove to be outside. Mostly in the water but living a surfer lifestyle also gets us to appreciate the rest of mother nature around us. How about a hike in between surfs to relax our paddle muscles? Like the NOMB Surfteam did in stunning Galicia, hiking along parts of the St. Jacobs way on a layday.
Getting lost in the ocean and nature makes us surfers understand the importance of protecting the fragile ecosystems surrounding us. What impact do we have as surfers? And how can we help to protect our oceans, minimize our ecological footprints and help to pass on the knowledge? Whenever we can, during our coachings and surftrips, the NOMB Surfteam is trying actively to create awareness and encourage getting involved.
2. Imagine being on top of a hill on a mountain bike, looking for your line down, ready to cruise around trees and little obstacles. You are reading nature around you without knowing it. Well, the same applies to surfing.
If you are aware of what the ocean is doing and are understanding the constant changes, your wavecount gets really high and you can get the most out of a wave. Time to get stoked 😉
We teach you about the ocean environment, about how to read the ocean, about how to anticipate what´s gonna happen next. Either during our private surfcoachings on Fuerteventura or on our surftrips, ocean awareness is an important topic, from beginner to advanced surfskill level!
3. How does your mind influence your surfing? Joy, fear, frustration.. Lots of emotions our mind has to handle. But how to deal with them? We are no psychologists but we can show you some easy tricks for how to acknowledge, accept and handle your emotions. And even turn negative into positive ones. Our favourite saying: ´If your mind thinks you can do it, your body can!´
On our surfcoaching trips in addition we offer yoga lessons, to give you that little bit time in the day to wind down and treat your mind to some well deserved resting time. How about listening to the sound of the waves at the same time?
Our body is like a high functional machine. The better you fuel it, the better it runs. Leaving nutrition being a very big part of how you perform day by day. On our surfcoaching trips our campchefs treat the surfteam with delicious but carefully selected meals. High quality ingredients, local and natural products, a nutrition plan for high performing surfers. We are always happy to help you try new ways of diets to get the best out of your body.
Being surffit is another way to understand and balance our bodies. Being surffit does not only mean you can surf for hours. It also means preparing yourself physically through specific training, including explosive power, flexibility, endurance and mobility. If you get your body surffit not only can you surf longer and more explosively, it also gives your more confidence for battling through challenging conditions in the ocean.
You see, NOMB Surf is not only about teaching you how to surf or improve your skills. It´s also about trying to pass on everything that comes with an active surfing lifestyle. Our name represents what we believe in.
We are excited to invite you to join us and let us pass on our experience. Hope to sea you in the water soon!
There are many landlocked surfers out there, being trapped in a ´normal life´, daydreaming themselves to the closest ocean. Not always easy done with the winter approaching mainland Europe. So how to get some vitamin sea into your own walls?? The answer is really easy: DRIFTWOOD ART!
We all have picked up a random piece of wood on a beach, smuggled it through customs and took it home. Just to later forget about it. But now that you are longing for some waves and sunshine, why not take it out and turn it into your own piece of art for your house??
Let us present you three different pieces of driftwood art. Easy, cheap and quickly done at home. Driftwood art number one is the above painted flat piece of driftwood, painted by NOMB Surfs campchef Lindis Schenker. Linda used basic acrylic paint to turn this piece of plain wood into a beautiful painting. Fair enough, you will need a bit of talent to make it look that great but a plain palmtree and a wave will already do the trick, and look great on your kitchen wall.
Driftwood art number two is made of a simple piece of wood found on the northshore of Fuerteventura, and a dead sea urchin. Found at the same place, one day later. Sea urchins are not uncommon to find on the island but it is really rare that they are washed on shore containing all their spikes. Giving it a deep purple colour. NOMB headcoach Angie couldn´t resist but turn it into something to put up on her wall. Inspired by Pinterest Angie bought a chalk color spray to create a vintage look. After she had placed the sea urchin on the wood it struck her like a lightning: a true ocean lover she had found there. The result is pretty cool we reckon..
Not really into painting and all that creative stuff?? Then check out driftwood art number three: a photo hanger. All you need is:
your favourite holiday photo (of you surfing or a beach for example)
a longish piece of driftwood
1m of jute string
some little wooden clips
Bang the nails into the end of the wood (on the flat site) and connect them with a piece of the string. Make sure the string sits really tight. Now take the remaining string and connect both ends and tie a not in the middle, leaving a little loop on the top. Last but not least take your ocean photo and clip it onto the tight string between the nails. Done. Doesn´t it look amazing??
There are loads of places that sell cool driftwood stuff as well. Most of them however are produced by machines, missing out at bit on the whole ocean connection. Check out websites like www.etsy.com for example, they offer great handmade items. That´s in case you aren´t inspired by our three homemade pieces of driftwood art and opt for a buying alternative. Either way, we hope that a beautiful piece of driftwood will brighten up your house and give you a bit of the surfer feeling you might be missing. We are sending you some sunshine on top of that!
THE NOMB SURFCOACHING SEASON 2018/2019 ON BEAUTIFUL FUERTEVENTURA HAS OFFICIALLY STARTED!
That´s right, great news!! From now until the end of April next year NOMB Surfs headcoach Angie will be hanging around the surfing headquarters on our favorite island in the Atlantic. And making sure that YOU boost your surfing, gain confidence and surf waves you didn´t even know you could!
So what´s all this individual coaching about?? What makes NOMB Surfcoachings so different to a normal surfschool??
The answer is simple: it´s just you and your own surfcoach. The focus is on you, noone else. There are no random groups, no 8:1 student-instructor ratio, no rushing around. We generally only accept one coaching per day, giving us all the freedom to choose just the right time and spot for our coaching session.
But there are even more reasons that make NOMB Surf so unique:
NOMB Surfcoaching is not only about direct coaching in the water, commenting every single of your waves. Here at NOMB Surf we work with a lot of different coaching techniques, direct and indirect. Photo & Video analysis are a big part of what we do for example. You will be surprised how much you improve your surfing if you see yourself recorded. Sure, it´s a bit of a reality check first but wait until you see your improvements in the water.
We also back up the practical coaching part on the beach with surftheory sessions. Totally individual, tailored for you. Like every wave, every surfer is different. Our headcoach Angie is an expert in analyzing your surfskill level, tickling out those hidden fears & worries and guiding you on the way to progress your surfing.
As we only have one coaching session a day there is no need for rushing around. You are on holidays still. Our coaching sessions have no set time limit. Your physical abilities and the local conditions will determine the actual time on the beach. But hey, no worries, so far none of our students has felt undercoached 😉 Often we split the session into two parts, the beach and the theory part. But again, it´s all individual here at NOMB Surf.
German, English or Spanish, you can choose the language you prefer. We understand how important it is to express yourself , your doubts and even fears when learning how to surf. Headcoach Angie is fluent in all three languages and used to coach three-lingual. Like on our surfcoaching trips our clients are international, however the German surfercommunity prevails.
A female surfcoach! With years of coaching experience! ISA Level 2 qualified! That´s rather hard to find as not too many females coaches stand out in a still male dominated sport. However, with equal prize money on the WSL competions starting next year the sport of surfing will see more and more females following the surfing career path. Either as a professional surfer, or even coach. Back to our female coach Angie. Many female surfers, especially beginner surfer, feel more at ease with a female coach. Angie is very emphatic with the concerns of female surfers. On the other hand though, she has a fierce reputation, some do even call her drillseargent 🙂
We here at NOMB Surf understand that every surfer, first day beginner to advanced, has different needs and expectations. Some prefer to surf as part of a group, some only want to give surfing a shot to see if they like it, some are looking for a mix of party and surfing.. That´s cool, too. There are loooads of surfschools and surfcamps here on Fuerteventura who offer exactly this kind of environments.
At NOMB Surf we have a slightly different but clear focus: individual, professional, efficient and fun surfcoaching!
Sounds good to you? We are stoked to get you into the water and onto the surfboard!
Ps: check out this little video about our last family surfcoaching day. First day surfing (well, sort of) for all three cousins. And yeaaaah, at the end of the day they all surfed whitewater waves all the way down to the beach!!! Clap your hands for our Kamikaze Family!!
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