As surfcoaches we want our students to improve, and have a great time in the ocean. However, we also have the responsibility for our student´s safety in the water. This his means knowing the local conditions, their skill levels and knowing how to react in case of an emergency.
Being a surfinstructor also means being a lifesaver. When completing the surfinstructor course, general first aid is included, and most licences even request an additional lifesaving course. However, I always felt like this was not enough.
Stepping up from lifesaver to lifeguard
I have been surfcoaching fulltime for 7 years by now. During those years I have seen some pretty nasty accidents, I have rescued an uncountable number of people, I have patched cuts and calmed down panic attacks. Experience is knowledge, and even though I would have preferred not having been part of all those situations, they have also given me confidence to be able to help.
Normal lifesaving licences expire every two years. And it really makes sense to renew the licence regularly, practise scenarios, and get up to date with new procedures. So when my surfcoach lifesaving licence expired I found myself wondering: am I really prepared to save someone´s life? Would I know how to react correctly in a more serious situation?
The decision to become a lifeguard
Being honest with myself, I could not answer these questions with a 100% convincing yes. This led to my decision to step up my game and sign up for a proper lifeguarding course. Yeees, the whole Baywatch type of thing, can you imagine? As travelling is a bit tricky at the moment I checked on the other nearby islands and luckily found Paul from Lanzarote Lifeguarding und eventuellen Lawaflow Surfschool.
After a few uncessful attempts of me hopping over to Lanzarote, I finally managed to sign up for the RSLL Vocational beach lifeguard course in October. Little did I know that I was signing up for a swimming course as well. Turns out that Paul also runs the Swim Lanzarote school, training eager people for triathlons and even the Iron Man competition. This is me during the beach practice.
Swimming, running, rescue techniques and loads of knowledge
So here I was, ready to improve my skills and my expertise. In order to pass the course I had to pass a swim test: 400m swim in the open ocean in less than 8 minutes. That scared the hell out of me. I am a very trained paddler but I couldn´t really remember the last time I swam 400m. Paul and Phil, the other course presenter, eased my doubts right from the beginning, ensuring me that I would be able to pass the test by the end of the week. Cheered on by their hopes I simply started swimming, and imagine how surprised I was when I passed the test straight away.
The week was saved. Or so I thought. What I totally underestimated was the amount of information my brain had to process, and remember. I felt really stupid having thought before that I knew anything about lifeguarding. The truth is that I was lacking skills and confidence in several areas.
But Paul and Phil reinsured me that I was doing great, and finally I stopped doubting myself. We swam, we ran on the beach, we practiced rescue techniques – repeating thing over and over again. After each morning on the beach I was physically and mentally exhausted. But after a short lunch break I felt ready to take on the afternoon theory sessions.
Repetitions are the key to a quick reaction
After all the practice in the water and on the beach it was now time to learn. Soon my brain was filled with accident scenarios, ocean theory, regulations, communication methods and different CPR procedures.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure that combines chest compressions often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest. (Wikipedia)
We practiced CPR in various scenarios: an unconscious adult, a suspected drowned adult, a child and an infant. CPR consists of chest compressions and breath, in a 30:2 ratio. However, if you are dealing with a child, infant or suspected drowning casulty you start off with 5 breaths first, then 30 compressions, then back to 2 breaths, 30 compressions, 2 breaths and so on.
I have learned CPR before (and I really hope that I never have to use it) but only now, after 5 intense days of repeated practice, I sort of feel confident enough to say that I could react quickly in a serious situation.
Being a qualified lifeguard makes me a better surfcoach
I am thrilled to say that in the end I passed the course, and am now a RLSS qualified vocational beach lifeguard. I have passed the swim test, the fitness test required to validate my licence here in Spain, the rescue techniques test, a written test and an interview test. And my brain is still buzzing with all the new things I have learned.
I love my job as a surfcoach, and assume the responsibility that comes with it. Being a trained lifeguard makes me feel more confident, knowing how to react in emergency situations, assuring the safety of my students, and even the other surfers around me.
I can only call on other surfers to get motivated and also train to become a lifeguard. This way we can create a safe surfing environment, in times when our beloved sport has turned into something like a mass movement 😉 Why not combine your next holiday with a lifesaver course? I can highly recommend Paul & Phil, great humans, highly professional and always good for a laugh.
Thanks guys for a real fun week, all your support and everything you tought me. Catch you soon for some waves and cool projects together.
The past six months have been a bit of a bumpy ride for everyone worldwide. No exeption for us at NOMB Surf. Cancelled surftrips, cancelled surfcoachings and travel restrictions affected our surfcoaching operations to the maximum degree.
But with every challenge and change, there comes growth. And we here at NOMB Surf are embracing the new normal and reinventing ourselves. Sure, there has been a tear or two shed, and sure, there have been some moments of complete frustration but we take it as part of the growing process.
NOMB Surf activities in autumn 2020
We are grateful that the local restrictions on Fuerteventura allow us to operate our surfschool and coach individual surfcoachings without any restrictions. COVID-19 safety measures are implemented in our operations but as we only coach private lessons it´s easy to keep the distance and follow the safety guidelines. All you need to do is get to the island 😉
Encouraging Fuerte´s female surfers
While international tourism is still limited here on the island we have taken the chance (and time) to coach and support some local chicas.
Encouring the girls here on the island to learn to surf, or to overcome their fears and progress in their surfing, this has always been something I wanted to do. The bumpy times we live in right now have given me the time and motivation to give back to the community.
– Head Surfcoach Angie
You can follow the progress, challenges und fun times of the local NOMB Surfchicas on our social medial channels.
Not on Fuerte? Our Online Surfcoachings will help you
For those of you who are not able to train with us on Fuerteventura we have designed a new NOMB Surf feature: Online Surfcoachings. You will need a little bit of surf experience though in order to benefit from the online coaching.
How does the online coaching work? As with all surfcoachings we first will determine your challenges and goals and set you reachable targets. You will be asked to send us photos and/or videos of you surfing. Surfcoaching Angie will then draft you your own personal online coaching containing:
an analysis and feedback of your surf pics / videos
surf theory to make you understand your fields of error
physical exercises for you to practice at home
carver skateboard / balance board exercises to prepare you for you next surfsessions
All this will be wrapped up in a video (approx. 30min) and send to you. This way you can watch the coaching all over again, keep practising and check on our areas for improvement right before taking off on our next surfadventure.
Brand new website
New challenges, new look. We are proud to present you our freshly designed and pimped website. The site makes it easier for you to find out more about our surfschool on Fuerteventura and also about our surfcoaching trips worldwide.
It also explains you our customized surfcoaching methods, used in our coachings, surftrips and also our online coachings. We hope, that you will enjoy the new NOMB Surf online experience we have created for you.
Travelling has become a bit of a challenge these days. Last minute bookings seem the way to go, as you never know if you might be able to fly/get home the next day. We have adopted to the worldwide happenings and have changed our booking policy accordingly. Making it easier for you and us to stay flexible.
The following NOMB Surftrips are planned, and still have surfspaces available:
#IrishIdols (07/11 – 14/11/2020), 7 days surfholiday in NorthWest Ireland
#FuerteFloater (23/01 – 02/02/2021), 10 days surf & fitness camp on Fuerteventura (closed for bookings)
#FuerteFuerza (20/02 – 27/02/2021), 7 days female surfcamp on Fuerteventura (info to be announced)
#Galiciando (08/05 – 22/05/2021), 14 days intensive surfcamp in Galicia, Spain
#Galiciaddict (29/05 – 05/06/2021), 7 days intensive surfcamp in Galicia, Spain
#CornwallCalling (September 2021), 7 days surfholiday in Cornwall, England
#TaiwanTwister (November 2021), 14 days adventure surftrip in Taiwan (info to be annouced)
We are optimistic that we will be able to run all of our planned surfcoaching trips but will only go ahead with them if it´s safe to do so, and local regulations are met.
We are here to help you improve
NOMB Surf stands for indiviudal surfcoachings, it´s all about you. Whatever goal or issue you have, let us know and we will try to help you improve. And don´t be shy if you feel unsecure about fear or emotional issues. You are certainly not the only one and we are here to help you overcome your insecurities.
If you are intersted in joining us on one of our incredible surftrips or train with us on Fuerteventura, get in touch!
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!
January is island time for the NOMB Surfteam. This year the annual Canarian surftrip took the team to the beautiful island of Gran Canaria. Different from the past surftrips to the Canaries, on this trip our NOMB Surfers did get the double deal: a whole week of surfing and neuro athletic training.
The team was based in a big typical Canarian house, overlooking the beautifully rough and green island. The view from the house was simply breathtaking. You could even see the ocean in the distance. The best surfspots were reachable iwithn only 20min drive. Waking up to this view was definately a luxury. Campchef Linda made sure that everyone kickstarted the day with a powerful breakfast. Loads of delicious treats, juices and Swiss power dishes.
On several mornings the team´s early birds could enjoy yoga sessions, instructed by multitalented Lindis. Ever dreamt of morning yoga in front of a lid fireplace (with the most amazing view)? Here we go!
After breakfast the surfteam head out to chase waves. Together with local surfguide Ruiman from Atlantis Surfhostel the group spend the first few days shredding in epic conditions in the city breaks of the capital Las Palmas. Mother Nature could not have been better to the team, hardly any wind and clean ground swells every day.
As the level of the group was mixed, from beginner to intermediate surfer with a lot of watertime, head surfcoach Angie decided to divide the group. The more experienced surfers paddled out to the main peak while the less experienced surfers took on the smaller green waves and whitewash closer to shore. Everyone caught waves, everyone reached (and stepped over) their limits, everyone improved, and most important, everyone had fun!
When the conditions got too big for the cityspots Ruiman ordered the surfteam to an unknown spot on the east coast. What a legend. A beautiful beach where even Rainbow, the loyal NOMB surferdog, could join the surfers. The waves where epic. Nice lines in the line-up, long whitewash close to shore for training take-off, shifting wave and first turns. What do you think?
NOMB Surftrips are divided into different categories, making it easy for you to pick the right surftrip. There´s the surfholiday which offerss you a great mix of watertime and freetime. Double watertime you get on the intensive surfcamps. They generally last 2 weeks and contain of 2 surf sessions every day to really boost your surfing. Only for the explorers are our adventure surftrips, which take you to unknown locations, new cultures exciting challenges.
#GranCanariaGrinder was the first of it’s kind. The first ever surf & fitness trip, combining surfcoaching with neuro athletic training. So what really is neuro athletic then and how can you, as surfers, benefit from it? Let neuro-athletic coach Chegu explain it to you:
´The focus of neuro athletic is the improvement of performance, through integrating inidividual perception and processing of information into your training. The brain, as nerve center, decides how powerful, precise and to which extend a movement will be executed.
Neuro-Athletic Coach Christian “Chegu”
Relating this insights to surfing it means that: the better the co-operation of perception and processing, the more controlled a surfer will be on the wave.´
Coach Chegu started his training with explaining the theoretical side of neuro athletic. If you understand how your brain works, you can understand the reactions of your body. Different training sessions included coordination expercices, balance training, sensory drills and much more. The NOMB Surfers trained on the beach, at the homebase and at the local sports field. A sensory warm-up was integrated into the surfing sessions, making sure everyone was performing at top level. Sound serious, right? Well, a little bit of fun might have been involved, too..
This years Canary Island trip has been simply amazing, with great waves, an epic team and so much fun. Head to our Facebook page for more photos of this fantastic week!. We can´t wait for next January.
So what’s in for next year?? It’s not official yet, so psssst, but in 2021 we will stay on our home island Fuerteventura.Sign up for our newsletter (below), stay tuned to our social media channels or simply get in touch with us – and be the first one to find out about #FuerteFloater (Jan 2021).
Sea you in the water soon! Angie & the NOMB Surfteam
Get surf fit with us on Gran Canaria!! We are proud to introduce our first ever surf & fitness camp: #GranCanariaGrinder. 7 days filled with surfingcoaching, neuro sports performance training and yoga sessions will not only boost your surfing but also your overall fitness level.
Never heard about neuro sports performance training? It´s an innovative training method that combines neurology-based knowledge with modern sports training. What does it do? It makes you unlock your real potential and perform on a level you didn´t know you have!
So how can this help your surfing? In surfing we use muscle groups that are generally not used in any other sport. For any surfer who doesn´t live at the ocean and surf on a daily basis the biggest problem, while being on a surftrip/surfholiday, is the lack fitness and explosive strength.
And now imagine you are being tought a way how to get the most out of your body! And now think further how that would influence your surfing performance! Hence more waves, more concentration and better movements. Result: epic waves!
The mix of professional surfcoaching combined with a new and innovative fitness training will show mindblowing results. To round it up we will also enjoy yoga sessions, to also treat our mind and soul. Using the right breathing techniques will help you to perform even better, in surfing and in any other physical activity. Yoga involves a lot of breathing and teaches you how to incorporate them into your movments.
On our first surf & fitness camp we count with the following super NOMB Surfteam:
Head surfcoach & tripmanager Angie: experienced & certified, she knows how to run a trip
Health & motion coach Greghu: professional & strong, he will get you into gear
Campchef Linda: amazing chef & entertainment guru, hard to not like her
[vc_empty_space height=”64px”][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css_animation=””][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18928″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18925″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”18926″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_rounded” qode_css_animation=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”center” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” css_animation=””][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”64px”][vc_column_text]Included in the trip are 7 days of surfcoaching and fitness training, accommodation, power breakfast & dinner, transport, surf equipment, surf theory, yoga sessions and a lot more. We will stay in a superb house and enjoy the hospitality of the island.
Apart from being active the whole day we will also explore Gran Canaria, a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.So much to see, so much to discover. Did you know that Gran Canarias interior is mountainous and rural? And it´s coastline with cristal clear waters and black lava beaches? Pretty unique, no? The climate in January is sunny and warm on the Canaries, plus it´s the best wave season!!
We are happy to present you the newest addition to the NOMB Surfteam: health & motion coach Christian Sidler, aka Greghu. Don´t worry, we will help you how to pronounce his name correctly ;-). Greghu will join us on the first ever Surf & Fitness camp #GranCanariaGrinder in January 2020. Let´s find out a bit more about him..
Hoi NOMB Surfers,
during NOMB Surfs trip #GranCanariaGrinder I will be your health & motion coach. With my passion for brain function my job is to get the maximum out of your body, to help you improve your surf skills,
The main target is to enjoy the movement, with the movement comes concentration, with concentration the skills, followed by a smile which gives you satisfaction to keep going until your performance reaches the next level.
I am seriously but not as serious as this sounds 😉 I love to play with balls, rund and grind but to be honest: about boards – so far – I am not too experienced. But I am stokek..
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