Want to learn how to surf but not sure where to go, how much it costs and if it's all that hard as it seems?
I'll tell you guys what it's REALLY about!
I chose to go to one of my favourite islands, Fuerteventura.
Flag Beach, Fuerteventure
So, first of all you'll be wondering how to get there? I booked my Ryanair ticket to Fuerteventura (departure from Brussels Charleroi, but you can get to Fuerte from almost every Ryanair destination if you change planes in Barcelona) for about 100 Euro, which I have to give a big thanks to my dear friends Ivan and Ekaterina who gave me a Ryanair voucher for my birthday!! I surely enjoyed it to the fullest :)
Second, you'll be wanting to find a place to stay. I booked a studio for 200 Euro for 2 persons in Surfing Colors appartement, which is a very clean and cosy aparthotel in the North part of Corralejo which I definetely would recommend to other people in need of a basic, clean appartment with a kitchenette. Find out more about this place here.
So, the most important was selecting the best surf school. The first thing that is important is of course the professionalism, but for me an international atmosphere is also a main point. Believe me, if you're going on vacation, the last thing you want is to end up in a group that consists of 90% of the same nationality (not being the native one of course).
So, after some research and previous experiences of people that been in Fuerteventura, I decided that Homegrown was definetely the best option. Also their class packs were really complete, so you didn't have to bring nor equipment, nor special clothes, ...
Though the owner is German, the manager is a guy from Belgium, the surfteachers we had were mostly Italian, and the beginner group was very variated with people from many different countries like Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Netherlands and probably even more...
Flag Beach, Fuerteventura
So, let's go... Day 1. How does it all begin? How much does it cost? What do you bring with you?
The best is of course to book your classes before you arrive, but you can also easily walk into the shop and book your classes for tomorrow (subject to availability of course!). A 3 day course costs 120 Euro, a 6 day course 210 Euro. This includes the rent of a board, the neoprene (the suit that you'll be wearing to not freeze in the water after 15 min), the shoes if they're necessary and the transport to the spot where your teacher will learn you how to surf. Also, very important, you have insurance in case of... which you might not think is important, until something happens.
What to bring yourself?
bikini and towel, just as if you were going to the beach
sunscreen, preferably a factor 30 or 50, if you don't want to look like a penguin with brown feet, arms and face (oh, and don't forget the Rudolf red nose, since your nose is the first thing that'll burn, even if you use sunscreen)
a sweater, in case it's windy afterwards
a pair of balls and about a pound of motivation
... and... OFF WE GO!!!
The Homegrown surfvan
We all get in the lovely yellow surfvans, and let our surfteacher take us to the best spots on the island that suit our level. For us, on the first day this was Flag Beach, a beach in the dunes of the National Park of Corralejo, with a rocky underground but an amazing view. Everybody takes a board, we walk to the beach and get our surfing suits on.
First, we start with a warming up...
Warming up before surfing
Then, everybody puts his or her board on the sand, the teacher shows you how to get up and we all practice it... while on sand of course :) Also, if there are any special features about the water, understreams, ... you will get a full explanation about how to handle it. Always remember: surfing is also theory, not only practice!
And then, we finally get in the water!
First we try to catch a wave while lying on the board, then while pushing up, and finally everybody tries at his or her own pace to get up.
I was the only lucky one of our beginners group who was able to get up the first day, you can imagine how awesome I felt :)
I only managed to get up around 5-7 times at the end of the 4 hour class, but still it felt like getting a honor medal when my surfteacher gave me a compliment with a very surprised face when he heard it was the first time I ever touched a surfboard in my entire life!
This is more or less how it looked the first day, wrong wrong WRONG techniques... too much behind on the board, still touching the board with my hands in my quest for balance. Anyway, it was an amazing first day experience and it kept me longing for much more!
But, let's stay real, the normal time to be able to get up on a board is somewhere between 1 and 4 days, depending on the waves, your condition, your balance,... It's a coincidence of many factors, not always depending on you.
Anyway, prepare for the first day to be EXHAUSTING!! I even recommend taking a day off before your second day to be able to recover your muscles.
But be sure you'll be coming back for more ...
Smiling my face off after the first day and the first waves!