Our surfteam in Fuerteventura is growing: meet surfcoach Romi.
Originally from Slovakia, Romi got stuck on our homebase island Fuerteventura many years ago. Like most us us, Fuerte’s neverending waves and sunshine make it impossible for her to leave.
Having surfed for many years and learned the hard way how to prove herself in the line-up, Romi decided to take her passion of surfing to the next level, and train to become a surfcoach.
We were lucky enough for Romi to decide to do her mandatory practical training with us last year. Her positive attitude in the water, her neverending smile (and paddlepower) and her ability to learn and implement, quickly turned her into an irreplaceable part of the team. Leaving us no other possibility than to offer her a space in our surfteam upon completing her practical training. And yeah, she said yessss!!
Here are a few words for you by Romi herself:
My name is Romana Babicova and I was one of the lucky ones to find my biggest passion, surfing. It took only couple of sessions, and my world started to spin completely around surfing. After many many many wipe outs and lessons by the ocean, I learnt a lot about values as patience, modesty, respect, sharing and more. Surfing brings me happiness and happiness is only real when it’s shared. Another important reason why I became a surf coach is, that there won’t be less surfers in the water, only more. I want to help to create safe environment on the line up for all of us.
Romi will be supporting our surfschool in Fuerteventura. She speaks fluent English and Spanish, and her German is really good, too. Romi & Angie are a great team, synced in their approaches of high quality surfcoachings. While headcoach Angie heads off sometimes to coach our surftrips, Romi will hold the ford in Fuerte. That means: all year round we offer our trademark high quality individual surfcoachings.
Sounds great, right?? We are super excited to see NOMB Surf grow and being able to support a young surfergirl in her professional career. Welcome to the team, Romi 💙
Get ready for a defiant week of intensive surfcoaching on our homebase island Fuerteventura. We decided to combine our proven individual surfcoaching format with the intensity of our surfcoaching trips, and voila, the Surfcoaching Week Fuerteventura (SWF) was born. During a minimum of six action packed coaching days you will challenge yourself in the water, on shore and also cognitive.
This is our third year of surfcoaching here on Fuerteventura, and our sixth year running surfcoaching trips around the globe. All these years of coaching experience have shown that our individual surfcoachings on Fuerte really boost our students surf performances. However, during our surfcoaching trips we have also seen many incredible developments, due to the intense nature of the trip format. We are now blending those two winning formulas into our newly designed #SurfcoachingWeekFuerteventura.
It´s all happening during your Surfcoaching Week Fuerteventura
As individual as our normal surfcoachings, your personal surfcoaching week kicks off long before you actually hit the ocean. Upfront your visit to the island you will chat by phone/video call with surfcoach Angie. This way you will get to know your coach (in case you haven´t met her yet) and can check if the chemistry is right. Angie will inquire about your surfing, your goals and challenges, in order to come up with your personal surfing gameplan. She will also happily answer all your questions and try to ease your doubts if you have any.
Once you are on the island, your coaching plan will be ready and waiting for you. In the first session coach Angie will outline your coachingplan and adjust it according to your thoughts. Depending on your own personal challenges and goals, the next days will be packed with loads of watertime, onshore training and mindset adjustments.
You pick the dates, goals and intensity
Unlike with our surfcoaching trips, for your SWF you can set your own dates. All you need to do is enquire with us about your perfect timeframe.
Everyone´s surfing is different, just like every wave. You decide on your own surfing goals, and we come up with a gameplan on how you can reach them.
Feeling on top of your game or rather want to take it a bit slower? No problem, we adopt the week´s intensity to your personal preference.
Work on your skills, ocean awareness and mindset
Surfing is a lot more than jumping onto your board and let´s go. Apart from different chains of movements you will also have to finetune your awareness of the surroundings and connect with the ocean. Often this includes facing your fears and overcoming them.
This week will take your surfing skills to the next level but also increase your mental abilities to control your emotions. Being able to address and control your emotions in the water (that includes joy, frustration, anger, just to name a few) will help you develop into a mature surfer. Resulting in a higher wavecount of quality waves, less critical situations and an overall enhanced surfing experience.
What you get: quality surfcoaching in and out of the ocean
By now you have decided that you can benefit from an intense week of surfcoaching 😉But how does it actually work? We have already talked you through which areas you are going to work on. We will achieve this using different coaching techniques and resources.
Always adopted to your personal gameplan, here is what can be included:
Direct in the water coaching, 1:1 with your personal surfcoach
A six days intensive SWF, tailored to your skills and goals, is available for 825€. If you are hooked and want to extend your coaching week, you can easily add additional days (120€ per day).
Ready to challenge yourself?
If you feel that a week of intensive surfing and training with us on Fuerteventura is your way forward, get in touch straight away and enquire about dates availability.
To get a bit more information and see a coaching week in full swing head to our Insta account and follow our next coaching week starting today Saturday, 27th February 2021. Stories will be saved in the highlights.
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.
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.
Sounds a little strange, doesn´t it? Why should you not want to join a NOMB Surfcoaching trip you wonder?
We love to have you on board but to make sure that you, too, have the time of your life we have put together 5 reasons why you shouldn´t join us on one of our trips 😉
1. YOU DON´T WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR SURFING
The focus on all our surftrips is surfcoaching. Doesn´t matter the type of trip you join (surf-holiday, intensive surfcamp or one of our adventure surftrips), they all include daily surfcoaching. Through personalized coaching, drills in and outside the water, photo/video analysis and surf theory you can be sure to take your surfing to the next level. Our head surfcoach Angie is very experienced and qualified and, together with our local surfguide, will make sure that you really improve your surfing.
2. YOU ARE NOT LOOKING FOR EMPTY LINE-UPS
NOMB Surftrips take you to off the beaten track surfdestinations. At a time of the year when empty line-ups are guaranteed. Or have you considered surfing in Ireland in November?? Probably not 😉 As we always work with a local surfschool we are taken to those cool secret spots, at just the right time and the right conditions. Shame is that we can´t really talk about those hidden germs.
With a maximum of 6 surfers our surftrips are pretty small. However, we surf, eat and travel as a group. Apart from the participants there´s always a head surfcoach joining the trip, a local surfguide and a campchef / fitness expert / entertainer. Great memories were made on the past trips and a lot of new friendships were created. Being on a group surftrip can be intense but there is always someone who lends you an ear, gives you a hug or cheers you up. Any better way to start a new friendship?
4. YOU DON´T LIKE NEW PLACES & CULTURES
Apart from our yearly evergreen trips to Ireland and Galicia we always introduce new trip destinations. Some of them will even take you outside of Europe. Our next surfcoaching trip for example, #Ghanarama, will take you to Ghana, West Africa. How is that for a change of culture? Surftravelling always includes going somewhere and most of the time this ´somewhere´ is not just around the corner (unless you live near to the ocean of course). A new destination means new smells, food, customs, language, a new culture. You don´t find that exciting? Well, than better don´t join us 🙂
The beauty about NOMB Surftrips is that EVERTHING is organized for you. Transport, accomodation, surf equipment, yoga classes, perfect time at the right spot.. We even organize the food for you. On our surf-holiday and intensive surfcamp trips we have our very own private campchef travelling with us. She/he will make sure that you indulge in tasty and nutritious breakfasts & dinners. During our adventure surftrips we eat locally, due to the nature of the trip. But don´t worry, even this is organized for you. All you need to do is surf, surf and surf.
If you want all of the above, prepare yourself to become a NOMB Surfer and join us on one of our next exciting surfcoaching trips. How about Ghana for example? There are only a couple of spaces left on #Ghanarama in September. Maybe one of those is yours??
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