During the European summer nearly everyone is heading to the coastline. And why not? Sunshine, ocean and good vibes are waiting for you. While most bigger cities are boiling with extreme temperatures, at the coast there will always be a refreshing seabreeze.
Talking about a refreshing seabreeze here in Fuerteventura will make some people smirk. A refreshing breeze? How about full on wind guts? This island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is called Fuerte (strong) Ventura (wind) for a reason. Being so flat makes Fuerteventura exposed to any little wind blowing our way.
Searching for summer waves
But hang on, wind blowing on the ocean surface means waves. And for us surfers, waves are what we crave. But strong local winds also mean loads of cripply windswell and blown out conditions. Bummer.
But what if there was an island where the East, North and Westcoast are only 20kms apart, and all three coasts have rippable surfbreaks? Wouldn´t you be able to hide out from onshore winds if necessary? Welcome to Fuerteventura.
That´s right. While there is the odd day when none of the conditions align, most summer days you will find a surfable wave. Yes, you will have to really make yourself familiar with our coast. And yes, you will need to learn how to read forecast models. And yes, sometimes the ocean will look completely different from what you have anticipated. But hey, that´s all part of the search, right?
Taking the surfcoaching shortcut
Surfing is not only about chains of movements, like the 1-2-3 pop-up. More than physical abilities, surfing requires you to connect with the ocean and all of nature´s forces. In times where wave pools are producing predictable perfect waves, and surfing has become sort of a commodity, we see a lot of surfers struggling to
a. find suitable waves for their levels
b. catch waves
c. follow the wave´s path.
But the good news is, there´s help out there: professional surfcoaching. A skilled and experienced surf coach does not only give you tips about your surfing technique. She/he will identify your surf skill level and your ability to read the ocean. Before having set foot into the ocean. You will learn how to dial in with the ocean and it´s forces, observe waves and identify a surfable wave for you. So why not take the surfcoaching shortcut instead of struggling with a. b. and/or c.?
Summer surfcoaching conditions in Fuerteventura
Even though Fuerteventura´s main surfing season is the winter, there are still heaps of quality waves to be found during the summer. Sure, you won´t find powerful northwest swells setting our reefbreaks in the North on fire but you have the whole winter to play around on our Northshore. Mix it up a little bit.
The East and the West coasts of this island both produce really good waves. Beach breaks as well as reefbreaks. Perfect for intermediate surfer who want to work on specific goals, surf in shorty and enjoy less people in the line-up. How about learning how to duckdive? One surfing essential that is often avoided to be learned, as it is not really needed in wave pools or perfect reef and point breaks.
You will find that there is a lot of stoke involved once you don´t have to fear getting hammered by a powerful ground swell.
NOMB Surf: summer mode on
We haven´t been coaching in Fuerteventura for the past few summers. The main reason was, and here we are being totally honest, that we didn´t appreciate the waves the summer gives us. Being so focused on the winter season and it´s epic swells, we didn´t give much credit to the summer months. But hell yeah, every since coming back from our surfcamps in Galicia this year we have been surfing every day. In shorty!! That´s priceless, believe us!
Let`s write a book! That`s how it all started. Surf coach Angie and camp chef Miris were sitting at a beach in Galicia when the idea struck. Why not write a book that helps people communicate in a Spanish speaking line-up?
A dictionary for surfers
The potential use of the book is obvious: it gives travelling surfers an opportunity to communicate, impress and avoid bad vibes in a Spanish speaking line-up. We as travelling surfers are at the bottom of the wave hierarchy, that`s a fact. Showing respect to the local surf community can be done by following the surfing rules, and also by trying to communicate in their local language. No need to be perfect but at least it shows that you are making an effort.
A surf book idea was born
Camp chef and NOMB Surfer Mirjam Loosli, aka Miris, is an incredible artist. Out of nowhere she comes up with the idea of a hilarious illustration and brings it to paper. This way the famous washing machine was born. We as surfers know the feeling of being tossed around by the waves. It really does feel like a washing machine, right?
When surf coach Angie saw Miri`s Instragram post with the washing machine, she was once again blown away. How does Miris do it? And even more important, how can we tackle more of her creativity out of her brain and onto paper? An easy solution popped into Angie`s head: let`s make a book! Containing Miri`s illustrations. And maybe even some funny surf trip stories.
The making of the book
It didn`t take much to convince Miri of the book idea. She was immediately hooked on the idea of creating a surfing book. The idea was set and the two chicas agreed to brainstorm and talk via video call in a month time.
Poco a poco (little by little) the idea of the book turned into a project. And what a hell of a project it was. Turned out that both Angie and Miris had underestimated the amount of time and work it takes to create a book. But as they both love a good challenge, they kept going.
When Angie and Miris met on Lanzarote for a week of surf tripping in warm water, things went serious. The idea of inventing a dictionary for surfers took form. They wanted to make it easy for surfers to learn. Instead of having to study the old school way they decided on visual and textual Eselsbruecken (mnemonics). Plus adding an actual dictionary part containing the translation, the pronunciation and a short description. That`s what it looks like:
Four chapters full of words and phrases
The title of the book represents not only our gratitude towards the ocean but also the contents of the book. ¡Hola, ola! is composed of four chapters:
The 1st chapter `Gone Surfing` includes important words like wave, current, left and right. In the 2nd chapter you will learn the essential words like surfboard, wax and fins. The 3rd chapter, `Social Skills`, teaches you easy to remember phrases like saying hello or explaining that you don`t understand. In the 4th chapter we will take you into the real world of surfing and make it easy for you impress with common surfing words in Spanish.
We hope, you will enjoy ¡Hola, ola! and are certain that you will be loads more confident, catch more waves andexperience fun and beautiful moments in Spanish speaking line-ups. Pleases dedicate a wave to us once in a while!
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.
Here´s the thing. You are a landlocked surfer, dying to hit the waves again. You finally manage to get some time of work, pick your next surfdestination and then.. well.. the big question: surfcamp or no surfcamp??
You have already been to a few surfcamps or surfschools, master the surfing basics and actually really want to go out there by yourself. The problem is that until today you have always been following a surfinstructor, or maybe even a more surfexperienced friend. And now, once in a sudden, you find yourself vantripping direction the French Atlantic coast. Finally, there the ocean and it´s full of waves!! Woohoo! You wax your new board, put on your wetsuit, do a little warm-up and hit the waves!
Next thing you know, the ocean (or maybe even a local) has spit you out and you are back on the beach. Frustration level: suuuper high!! Noone likes to get dropped in by a local, not even head surfcoach Angie in a small wave on Lanzarote 😉
So what to do?? How to survive and enjoy a new surfspot?
Here is a quick checklist for you before entering the water by yourself
1. CHECK THE FORECAST (i.e. Magicseaweed or Windguru) for local conditions and extra spotinfo
2. GOOGLE THE SURFSPOT and pick out every info about needed swell size, swell directions, currents, localism etc
3. SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY WATCH THE SPOT
4. MAKE DETAILED NOTES about the beach environment:
Ocean floor (sand, rocks, shallow / deep water)
Entrance + exit of the surfspot
Dangers (rocks / other surfers / other watercrafts etc)
Currents and channels (set yourself reference points on shore)
Today´s swell size, swell direction, swell period, swell intensity, number of set waves etc
Tides and tidal range
Wind direction and intensity
Peaks (set yourself reference points on shore)
Other surfers (surflevel, who catches waves, locals etc)
5. BE REALISTIC! Does your surflevel fit the break and today´s conditions?
As an example check out the detailed map of the surfspot the NOMB Surfteam surfed yesterday on our surfcoaching trip Galician Galaxy. Noone (including head surfcoach Angie) had surfed the spot before. But yeahhh, the whole team caught excellent waves and didn´t get into any trouble with the locals 😉
Ticked off all the above? So what´s next?
Here is a little guide on how to enjoy your first session in a new surfspot!
Surfing rule number 1: GIVE RESPECT TO GAIN RESPECT!
Be aware of the constant changes around you.
Paddle out using the channel and/or wait for the break in between sets.
Position yourself in fair distance of the peak and take in the energy of the line-up.
Politely greet surfers next to you, a smile often works wonders.
Patiently wait for your turn.
If you are at the peak there is no way back! Your first wave is your signature wave. Other surfers will judge you by your commitment and surfing abilities.
Use the channels to paddle back to the line-up. NEVER paddle against the peak!!
Always follow the rules of surfing. It´s not your local spot and just because you are on well deserved holidays doesn´t mean that you are entitled to waves. You have to earn them by showing respect!
Wow, that sounds like a looot of things to consider.. Maybe some of you weren´t aware of all the important things we as surfers need to think about. But wait, haven´t you been to a surfschool/surfcamp before? Unfortunately not a lot of surfschools take the time and patience to teach about beach environment, awareness in the water and the basic surfing rules. If you opt for not surfing by yourself but join a surfcamp/surfschool make sure you know how to spot quality surfcoaching and learn about all these important factors.
We here at NOMB Surf train our students to become independent surfers. That´s why well needed surftheory is always a big part of our private surfcoachings on Fuerteventura and an even bigger part of our surfcoaching trips. Feel like you, too, want to learn to surf independently and be able to enjoy (and survive) a new surfspot? Get in touch for more info!
Oooouuuhhhh these cuuteee little dogs! We just love them soo much.. That’s why here at NOM Surf we also have dog as part of our surfteam: meet Rainbow. That´s her up there wavechecking in Portugal.
Not really into dogs? Well, we have some pretty good reasons for you why every surfer should have a dog:
Best excuse to check the waves
Especially if your partner is not surfing, he/she probably won’t understand the driving around and checking the wave sthing. He or she might complain that you are always out to look for waves and never have time for him or for her. But you know what, by having a dog you can just say that you have to take the dog for a walk and go and check the waves. Best case scenario is obviously if your partner joins you for the walk, and if there are waves, you can just jump in right away and your partner will take care of your little cutie while you’re surfing the waves of your life 😛
You will be spending more time outside in the fresh air
Yes right, cause your dog prefers being outside than inside a house. And the best thing about that, you will have to do more BBQs at the beach, where your dog can also enjoy being outside and running around (just make sure the food is safe). And all of your friends will be thanking you for these frequent after surf sit togethers 🙂
You will get the best morning surfs
Your dog will have to get out the first thing early in the morning, so if you haven’t been a morning person, you’ll be it from now on. But do you know what’s the good thing about it? You will have awesome morning surf sessions ! Less wind, alone in the water, amazing colors and so on. Yeesss and that’s all thanks to your little cute doggy, cause he made you to go out in the morning and start your day right – with a nice walk and a good surf =)
You have your partner in crime
We all know these days, when we might be a little lazy and not tooooo motivated, but actually we wanna do something, just don’t find the right motivation to leave our comfy house or bed… Well there’s your motivation: your dog! Cause your day will be better if you just go out and enjoy life, rather than spending it at home doing nothing. And if you even go in the water, you’ll definitely see another happy (dog)face when you come out again =)
Small waves – no problem
When we normally (not all of us) would complain about smaller waves or even no waves, no problem with your dog! Cause you can go in the water anyway and take the chance to teach your little cutie the first steps of surfing. What’s better than having fun in the water and enjoying the ocean with your dog?
Your secret surf spots stays your secret surf spot
The struggle about secret surf spots – we all might know this one. Cause you want to share your stoke with your friends but on the other side you want to keep your secret surf spot a secret surf spot – well guys it’s pretty easy, share it with your dog! Take your dog to surf with you and you’ll have the one that shares the stoke with you. Best is, he won’t tell anyone about your newest favorite surf spot – promise 😛
Kill two birds with one stone
Of course we don’t mean that literally, but it’s true! If you are a surfer and have a dog, you can combine two of the best things in the world – and in the end you will have a happy dog, cause he is always outside with you, hiding with your friends, annoying you because he wants to play or just in the cuddle mood – the important thing is you will give your dog all the attention that he needs. Secondly you will be happy – cause like mentioned above, you’ll be more outside, be the first on the beach and enjoy your surf even more when you know your dog is happy to be outside as well =)
Well guys, of course everyone should have a dog and we just gave you some good reasons to have a surf dog, but you should also consider a few things before you decide to get a dog (again).
Where can your dog be while you are in the water?
Can you leave him in the car (window open of course) when it’s not too hot?
Make sure there will always be fresh water! Or will you surf on a surf spot where your (well-trained) dog can just run around free while you are in the water? Would be the best of course 🙂
Maybe you also have some surfing or non surfing friends or a partner who joins you to the beach and take care of your dog while you’re surfing 🙂
Anyway always make sure your having sun shades for the windows of your car and enough fresh air!
And also consider that you have someone who can take care of your dog when you are going to a surf trip where you can’t take your cutie with you – we are pretty sure you’ll have enough dog-loving friends around you =)
Sharing magical moments with your dog will always be special. Weather you are a surfer or not. We don´t call them men´s best friends for nothing, right?? Here is to all the beautiful doggies out there. Let´s protect and love them, they can´t speak up for themselves. NOMB Surfdog Rains will welcome you during our surfcoachings on Fuerteventura and sometimes even on our surfcoaching trips.
Are you in love with Rains yet?? We definately are!!
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