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!
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!
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!
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!
Imagine this feeling: you’ve just checked the surfforecast and you know the surf at your favourite surfspot will be just EPIC tomorrow.
But unfortunately you might not be the first one thinking that way. You arrive at the surfspot – no doubt, it will be on fire, but also with a crowded line up. Well, as not all of us are born as Pro’s, we’d probably catch a few waves in a few hours but there will be (hopefully not always) these surfers who are paddling better, sitting closer to the peak or are just lucky enough that the waves decide to go their direction.
Of course, training and surfing is everything: paddle harder, get stronger. Yeess, we’re also willing to do that but aren’t there also other things that we could do? Right, we are talking about timing and knowledge! And that does not only mean the timing while catching the wave or paddling for it. You should also be able to find the best timing for an epic surf on the surfspot! And for that you need knowledge! (Well, we admit, the Pro’s will always know better than us, but maybe they prefer a sleep in, so you could also check the surfspot for an early morning Surf-Session.)
Well, what can you do find the right time to surf your surfspot? If we’re talking about your favourite surfspot, you’d probably already know this one pretty well and know the best time to enter according to the conditions. But what, if you wanna try new surfspots?
The answer is simple: get to know your surfspot!
There are different surf-forecasts like Magicseaweed, Surfforecast, Windguru or Wizuki. They help you to get an idea of what the surf could be like. But the next step is understanding the surfspot when you see it! Swellsize and swelldirection info help you to know if the spot will work at all, but there are also many unnamed surfspots that you might wanna surf one day. Preferably alone, so it would be handy to be able to understand how a surfspot is working!
Besides the forecasts, get to know and observe the surfspot is actually the first thing you should do when you want to surf a new spot. You can read about it, ask people who already surfed there or are coming out of the water.
Buuuut: have a look at the surf at different tides. Even if the spot is normally only working on high tide, check it out at low tide. You will see how the ocean bottom is shaped – either the reef or the sandbanks. Especially knowing the reef below will help you to avoid cracking your board ;). Well, if there are waves, you’d probably just wanna go in and don’t spent two more days watching the surfspot. You know what, go for it! There’s nothing worse than missing a good surf when you could have entered! But then take your time to watch the surf spot afterwards and get to know it!
Be able to identify channels, currents and the ocean floor (not always easy, but you will get there ;)) Cause you really don’t wanna get stuck in the white wash and duckdive until you have no air and energy left for surfing when you could have just paddled one meter more to the left! If you watch the waves (not only for 5 minutes) you can see when and where the sets (and also the scary freak sets) arrive. Understand the shape of the wave. That will help you to decide which of the 10 surfboards you brought with you, is finally gonna enter the water 😉
Within all this watching, don’t forget to jump in and surf!
Watch the surfers who are already in the line up! They might know this wave and while watching them, you will get an idea of what you are dealing with. The next step is: just go in the water! Even if you just sit in the channel, that’s the first step to your next surf. Paddle closer to the peak and figure out if the wave is as dangerous as it looked from the outside (just don’t drop into someone elses wave and don’t kill other surfers in the line up!)
Cause try and fail is better than not being in the water! And honestly, at some point we all stop failing and start surfing new and challenging spots 😉 And the good thing about surfing and nature is, that with more (or less) wind, other swellsize and swelldirections, the spot can be totally different! Yes, that sucks sometimes – if you can’t surf the epic waves that you surfed here yesterday, but you will never stop exploring and learning! So always go in and also get to know the ugly side of this waves. And you never know, there might be a lonely beautiful wave, with a nice shape, which you can surf on this shitty day! And maybe you will figure out that this so called high tide spot is also working at mid or low tide with a certain swellsize and direction.
And peeps, you won’t get to know a surfspot in one day, it’s the same with learning how to surf – unfortunately also not possible in one day (or month 😛 ) Sooooo keep watching, trying and surfing. And maybe you will wake up one morning with the gift of knowing where to paddle out, even without checking the forecast.
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!
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