Galicia – famous for it´s great seafood and loads of rain. That´s what most people say when they are asked about the most westerly Spanish region. What most people don´t know is that Galicia and it´s people are simply amazing, that there is an unlimited amount of incredible waves, and that it doesn´t really rain that much (at least in spring).
So every May we hop over to the Spanish mainland. Based in a small pueblo (village) on the not so well known westcoast, we surf and explore Galicia. This has been our 4th time over there, and still we managed to surf a couple of surfspots we hadn´t surfed before. What a treat!!
Our surfguides, the trips and travelling in COVID-19 times
As usual, our local surfguides, Ramon and Josh from the OceanSquadSurfAcademy, treated us like we were family. Not even did Ramon find the best surfspots for us on a daily basis, he also looked after us. Sorting out all sorts of little problems and wishes we might have. What a legend!! This is Ramon, doing what he loves to do most!
This year we ran two different surfcamps. Both were intensive surfcamps, including daily surfcoaching and also freesurf sessions. Loads of watertime, epic, right? Plus the usual surf theory, video analysis, carver session, breathing workshop and so much more..
As travelling within Europe was still a bit bumby last month, the camps were a bit more individual than normal. Generally we travel with a max of six surfers, this year we travelled with only three. Plus headcoach Angie, security dog Rainbow and a super chef of course. Respect (and a big thanks) to all the NOMB Surfers who made it to Galicia, during times where travel warnings, quarantines and local restrictions were in place, and changed on a daily basis.
In order to travel safely with COVID-19 floating around we implemented a safety & emergency protocol. All participants, plus the coaches, arrived with a negative test. Daily body temperature checks, frequent self testing and reducing other contacts to outdoor spaces made it possible to run both camps without any problems.
Intensive surfcamp #1: GALICIANDO
Camp number one were two weeks of surfing fun. Don´t believe it? Than see for yourself!
NOMB Surfers Annette, Milena and Tobi made it all the way down to Galicia, so did super chef Miri. Surfcoach Angie and Rainbow had already arrived a few days earlier, preparing the house and setting up the necessary sanitary precaucions. Ready to surf!
Mother nature treated us with a bit of the obligatory rain at the beginning. But rain generally means wind, and wind generally means waves. And as long as there were waves, everyone was happy.
Other than in previous years, we surfed a lot at the beaches right outside our house. They need a bit of swell to work and luckily we were blessed with some nice groundswells hitting the coast. But it wouldn´t be a proper surftrip without exploring and cruising around. So we head north and surfed some deserted beaches one Ria further up.
The westcoast of Galicia is frayed by the Rias Baixas, four estuarine inlets. They are beautiful, both with low and hightight, however they make travelling around the region a bit more tricky. But yeah, it´s so worth it. How about a lonely surf? Here we go!
Surfing and training using a recovery plan
During the two weeks the surfcrew did not only surf. The also learned a lot. About the ocean, waves, breathing and breathhold techniques, and most important, about themselves. For the first time we introduced a recovery plan, which had to be filled in twice a day. The idea behind the recovery plan is to monitor the individual performances and relate them to external factors such as sleep quality, outside stress, water intake and training intensity etc.
Even though the team had to get used to constantly monitoring themselves, the outcome of the recovery plan was kind of mind blowing. Some found out, that stress in their personal life highly influences the surfing performance. Other experienced that a poor sleep and too little water intake resulted in a performance crash.
Being aware of all the different factors leading to our surfing performance can immensely improve our surfing. Being aware is the first step to change something, and knowing what exactly to change is worth a lot.
Here is what NOMB Surfer Annette thinks about the recovery plan:
The recovery plan made me aware of a lot of things . My water intake for example. All throughout the day I kept reminding myself of drinking more water, so I´d be able to write down a high enough number at night. This way avoiding to worry about dehydration headaches.
I used the recovery plan for a duration of four weeks, and found it very interesting to observe myself and my performance. Seeing my personal stress level decline and my fitness level increase, that was amazing. I was able to understand my improved surfing performance and enjoy it.
Intensive surfcamp #2: GALICIADDICT
After two weeks, unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Tobi and Milena, as they were heading home. Surfergirl Annette, maybe motivated by her outstanding surfing success, had already decided to stay for the second camp.
Former camp chef Miri, who treated us to delicious (and mostly plant based) meals during #Galiciando, simply couldn´t leave us and converted into a surfteam member.
She was replaced in the kitchen by baking queen Ray, who pampered us with all sorts of tasty food during the next week.
Completing the second surfteam was our favourite longboarder Casper, who drove all the way from the Netherlands in just two (!!) days. What a team!
Seven days of surfing and other cool surf related stuff
During the next week we surfed till our arms were hurting. Again, we were rewarded with waves right at our doorstep. The beach outside our house is more than 1km long and offers different peaks. From mellow and clean longboard waves to steep shorebreak waves, and also a crazy but fun backwash peak. No wonder our surf sessions got longer and longer.
We rounded up the week with interesting surf related theory sessions ( a spot analysis of Pipeline for example),drysurf, more carver action, surf fitness sessions and the obligatory video analysis. Last but not least a deep stretch recovery session via Zoom with fitness guru Kati from LesanoFV.
Curious about what our beach looks like, and what Schabernack the surfteam got up to? Than why not check the photo gallery on our Facebook page?
Goodbye Galicia, we love you
After a month surfing in Galicia it is finally time to say goodbye. To Ramon, Josh, to our homebase house, to the neighbours and even our favourite waiter in the ´Abierto todo el año´ restaurant in front of our most surfed wave this year. Another fun month goes down in history.
Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to our incredible surfteam. That was the hardest part as they are like a family after all. Following a few words by surfcoach & trip organizer Angie:
Thank you all so much for surfing with me in Galicia during these tricky times. I am beyond grateful for the trust you had in me and my work.
The past year has been difficult for a small business like mine, a lot of things I organized and wasn´t able to do in the end.
Taking the risk to go ahead with these past two surftrips has been rewarded with seeing all of you guys smile and totally shred in the water. Thanks for being my motivation to follow my path, and never give up.
Sea you in the water soon!
PS: we will be back in Galicia in May next year. Introducing a new and improved surftrip format. Stay tuned to our news and sign up early enough, to not miss one of the only few spots available to join us for our 5th year anniversary trip!