Stephi surfing the CityWave

TL;DR: I went to the CityWave with some of my buddies from my snowboarding club Union 4 Elements and it was fun!


What to do when you’re a landlocked surfer? Especially during times where travelling is difficult?

A non-surfer might not understand the feeling of missing the water. It may seem like a pure first-world issue, but to me, spending time in the water is healing. I am aware that this sounds kinda esoteric and if you know me at all, you know that I am not a spiritual person. Still, I can’t find other words to describe this sensation, this heart-felt feeling that usually also stays with me for weeks after a surfing trip. It’s strong.

Visiting a stationary wave is a chance to get back into surfing, be in the water, spend time with friends and work on your surfing skills. It’s not the same as surfing in the ocean, but it’s a start. A small glimpse of the feeling that surfing in the ocean gives me.

i’d rather surf – in fuerteventura.

on the 4th of september, we had an early start into the day at 3am. while it was dark, we drove to the airport to catch our flights, first to madrid and then to fuerteventura. the target of our trip was corralejo, a small town in the north of the island, well-known as a place for vacations in a never ending summer. the temperatures hardly ever drop below 20 degrees and it only rains on about 20 days a year. this is also the reason why there’s only a minimal amount of plantation, making a big part of the island look like the sahara or how one would imagine the surface of the moon.

i had wanted to go to fuerteventura even before i started surfing, so when i got the invitation to come visit the planet surf camp on the island, i didn’t need to think about it for long. for sure i was going!
and there we were, rolling our hand luggage towards the gate at the airport. we both had managed to fit a long, thick wetsuit as well as booties and the most necessary clothing into small suitcases, so we were able to save a bit of money for the flight.
after two flights, we safely arrived at the airport in fuerteventura and caught the bus number 3 to puerto del rosario. there, we changed buses at the estacion del guaguas (terminal autobus station) and went to corralejo with bus number 6.
we didn’t know the right station to get off the bus, so we had to walk about one kilometer to the surfcamp, but arrived happily in the end.

Foto 1
a part of the outdoor area at the surf house.

at the surfcamp, we were greeted by Nina, one of the teamers at that time. she gave us all the info we needed about the camp and our room.
next, we went to check out the town and get something to eat and then hung out at the house for the rest of the day.

Foto 5
time to load up all the boards onto the vans!

on the next day, we had our first surf session at el cotillo, which is a long beach break. we joined the beginner group, so surf instructor olly could check our surf level. we luckily made it into the intermediate course for the next week, horray!

Foto 1aFoto 2a
surfing at el cotillo.

we spent the weekend surfing in el cotillo on our own. planet surf allows you to borrow surfboards which are not used by courses on the current day for free, which is a good opportunity to get more sessions in, especially on the weekends where the surf instructors have their well-deserved days off.

Foto 4
live the search ;)

during the next week, we had a surf session each day with instructor marco from italy and were able to check out different spots. on our last day, the waves were not good during our session in the morning, so olly thankfully squeezed us into another surf session in the afternoon so we could catch some waves before leaving.
besides surfing, we also went on a lot of walks into the town and we even hiked up the big volcano behind corralejo once.

vulkan
hiking to the top of the volcano.

if you want to go to fuerteventura to surf, i have some recommendations for you:

  • find out at home what bus lines you might need to reach your desired spots. there are no line numbers to be found at the bus stations.
  • you are allowed to put surfboards into the baggage compartment of the buses, just make sure they don’t get damaged. if you give the bus driver a friendly wave after taking the surfboards out, he might even greet you goodbye with a honk. don’t be sad, only the little town train gets two honks! ;)
  • get your hands on a surf spot map. it should be available at the surf shops in town and includes info about the best conditions to ride at each spot as well as a tide timetable.
  • if you want to rent a car for surfing in corralejo, go to autos hernandez. the other companies don’t rent to surfers. the best idea might be to check where you can rent a car for surfing before starting your trip and maybe rent a car at the airport already.
  • to get to el cotillo: if you go by car, you can keep driving until you reach the last part of the beach with a long, steep stairset leading down from the parking lot.
  • if you go by bus (number 8 from the roundabout on the main street of corralejo), you can get off the bus at the first station directly after entering the town. it’s a 25 minute walk from there to the beach.
  • in case you want to spend a day just hanging out at the beach, you can walk to flag beach from corralejo, it will take you about half an hour and the sand beach there is a lot nicer than the rocky town beach. you will be able to see this beach when going to corralejo from the airport, it is next to the two big hotel buildings standing on their own shortly before corralejo.

some tips for vegans:

  • it might be good to know that there are hardly any savoury plant-based spreads available in corralejo. the spar in the big shopping center on the main street carries hummus, in hiperdinos you can get peanut butter chocolate spread and one vegan margarine. there’s a big variety of fruits and veggies available and some exotic fruits are even grown locally on the canaries like bananas and mangos. you should absolutely try those!
  • we found plenty of plant based milks in the supermarkets, even vegan yoghurt.
  • the best places to eat out were single fin (creative burgers, run by two friends from italy, with surfmovies being played on a screen outside the bar) and big wave (an italian restaurant with a huge variety of vegan toppings and nice waiters).
  • aside from single fin and big wave, you might be able to get vegan options at the mexican restaurant as well as the indian restaurants.

 
-> http://www.planetsurfcamps.com/

Surf Camp Review: Planet Surf in Fuerteventura.

Planet Surf Camps

Planet Surf Camps

on the 4th of september, we had an early start into the day at 3am. while it was dark, we drove to the airport to catch our flights, first to madrid and then to fuerteventura. the target of our trip was corralejo, a small town in the north of the island, well-known as a place for vacations in a never ending summer. the temperatures hardly ever drop below 20 degrees and it only rains on about 20 days a year. this is also the reason why there’s only a minimal amount of plantation, making a big part of the island look like the sahara or how one would imagine the surface of the moon.

i had wanted to go to fuerteventura even before i started surfing, so when i got the invitation to come visit the planet surf camp on the island, i didn’t need to think about it for long. for sure i was going!
and there we were, rolling our hand luggage towards the gate at the airport. we both had managed to fit a long, thick wetsuit as well as booties and the most necessary clothing into small suitcases, so we were able to save a bit of money.
after two flights, we safely arrived at the airport in fuerteventura and caught the bus number 3 to puerto del rosario. there, we changed buses at the estacion del guaguas (terminal autobus station) and went to corralejo with bus number 6.
we didn’t know the right station to get off the bus, so we had to walk about one kilometer to the surfcamp.

now we know the way – instructions to get to the surfhouse:

if you get to corralejo, there’s a big abandoned building site to the right, get off the bus at the next roundabout after that and then walk straight ahead for about 3 minutes. after coming past a shopping center with a supermarket, take the first road to the left into a private apartment area. this is urbanicazion royal park and the surfcamp resides in the houses 7, 8 and 9. you’re welcome ;)

Foto 1
a part of the outdoor area at the surf house.

at the surfhouse, we were greeted by Nina, one of the teamers at that time. she gave us all the info we needed about the camp and our room.
next, we went to check out the town and get something to eat and then hung out at the house for the rest of the day.

Foto 3
one of the bedrooms at the surfhouse.

on the next day, we had our first surf session at el cotillo, which is a long beach break. we joined the beginner group, so surf instructor olly could check our surf level. we luckily made it into the intermediate course for the next week, horray!

Foto 2a
Foto 1a
surfing at el cotillo

we spent the weekend surfing in el cotillo on our own. planet surf allows you to borrow surfboards which are not used by courses on the current day for free, which is a good opportunity to get more sessions in, especially on the weekends where the surf instructors have their well-deserved days off.

Foto 5
time to load all surfboards onto the vans!

during the next week, we had a surf session each day with instructor marco from italy and were able to check out many different spots. on our last day, the waves were not good during our session in the morning, so olly thankfully squeezed us into another surf session in the afternoon so we could catch some waves before leaving.

 

about the planet surf camp surfhouse in fuerteventura:

  • the surf house is the meeting point for all surf course participants.
  • there is a big dining room, which features two small kitchens, where you can prepare all of your meals and also store groceries in cupboards and fridges.
  • every house has a terrace on the first floor, which enables you to spend a bit of quiet time.
  • the outdoor area features a swimming pool, a ping pong table, a barbeque, a pool table, a huge table for about 30 people, a pool table, a bar and some beds and bean bags for lounging.
  • in the garage you’ll find the board storage. soon, you will also find a few longboards and bikes to rent there.
  • the surf board quiver includes lots of soft tops for beginners, a few intermediate hard boards (bic boards and the like, old and new) as well as a selection of shortboards for advanced riders.
  • the surfhouse just moved into the new houses, so most of the furniture is brand new and the rooms have had a makeover. currently, some final touches are being made.
  • the surfhouse is aimed towards younger people, so of course there will be a bit of partying. usually it was quiet at the house by 1am the latest, because the staff is making sure that it’s not too loud too long and send people to the bars in town instead (“everybody get out, get out, get out! we’re going to banana bar!”). if you’re more keen on getting a good night of sleep in, try to book a room not next to the dining area in the main house. also, maybe bring earplugs. i have to say i’m a bit sensitive to noise and i prefer to go to bed rather early, because i want to be able to surf properly during my holidays, but i never was deprived of sleep by noisy party people. it’s not like ballermann in your room ;)
  • the surf lessons for the next day will be written upon a whiteboard each night.
  • the groups consist of 8 people maximum. this ensures that the surf instructors can take care of everyone in detail, to enable everybody to learn as much as possible and feel safe.

 

Foto 4a

 

my personal opinion of the planet surf camp surfhouse:

the surf instructors try to make it a great experience for everyone and the whole surf house team helps to make the most of your stay. the surf house is brand new and has a great price-performance ratio. there are many options for activities beside surfing, in the surf house as well as in corralejo and in fuerteventura in general.

if you prefer to have a more quiet holiday, you might be happier living at one of the various appartment options that planet surf offers and just joining for the surf course.

 

recommendations for fuerteventura:

  • find out at home what bus lines you might need to reach your desired spots. there are no line numbers to be found at the bus stations.
  • you are allowed to put surfboards into the baggage compartment of the buses, just make sure they don’t get damaged. if you give the bus driver a friendly wave after taking the surfboards out, he might even greet you goodbye with a honk. don’t be sad, only the little train gets two honks! ;)
  • get your hands on a surf spot map. it should be available at the surf shops in town and includes info about the best conditions to ride at each spot as well as a tide timetable.
  • if you want to rent a car for surfing in corralejo, go to autos hernandez. the other companies don’t rent to surfers. the best idea might be to check where you can rent a car for surfing before starting your trip and maybe rent a car at the airport already.
  • to get to el cotillo: if you go by car, you can keep driving until you reach the last part of the beach with a long, steep stairset leading down from the parking lot.
    if you go by bus (number 8 from the roundabout on the main street of corralejo), you can get off the bus at the first station directly after entering the town. it’s a 25 minute walk from there to the beach.
  • in case you want to spend a day just hanging out at the beach, you can walk to flag beach from corralejo, it will take you about half an hour and the sand beach there is a lot nicer than the rocky town beach. you will be able to see this beach when going to corralejo from the airport, it is next to the two big hotel buildings standing on their own shortly before corralejo.

 

some tips for vegans:

  • it might be good to know that there are hardly any savoury plant-based spreads available in corralejo. the spar in the big shopping center on the main street carries hummus, in hiperdinos you can get peanut butter chocolate spread and one vegan margarine. there’s a big variety of fruits and veggies available and some exotic fruits are even grown locally on the canaries like bananas and mangos. you should absolutely try those!
  • we found plenty of plant based milks in the supermarkets, even vegan yoghurt.
  • the best places to eat out were single fin (creative burgers, run by two friends from italy, with surfmovies being played on a screen outside the bar) and big wave (an italian restaurant with a huge variety of vegan toppings and nice waiters).
    aside from single fin and big wave, you might be able to get vegan options at the mexican restaurant as well as the indian restaurants.

 

-> http://www.planetsurfcamps.com/

surfing france 2014.

so, the last week roman and i spent our days at the west coast of france, in longeville-sur-mer in the vendee region. we were lucky to find a place at a camping site, since it’s currently high season there. and we were even more lucky to not get a spot at the first two campsites we tried to get into – they turned out to be all inclusive style entertainment freakshows… lots of swimming pools with slides, activities around the clock for everyone, loud live music and disco dancing… nope. not our thing.
our campsite had oooold sanitary buildings which were not so nice (never was able to have a HOT shower there in one week ;)) but the site itself was pretty. it was located in the woods, a 20 minute walk from the beach, rather quiet and not stuffed with people.
except for one day, we had surfable waves daily. i’m not too content with my surfing during that week, but on the other hand i’m not too concerned about it either. i’m sure i have learned something and was able to better my technique, even if it didn’t show that much. we’re at a level now (i’d maybe call it intermediate beginners) where the learning curve isn’t as steep anymore, so i guess the progress might be visible during our next surfing trip at the beginning of september, where we will have a surf guide again.
other than that, our mood got better the longer we were there.
now i’m already looking forward to the trip to fuerte ventura in september!
 
here are some pics:
we set up our home nicely.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.
we had brought our surfboard for riversurfing, which is rather short. we ended up buying a longer surfboard (better for beginners and also better for smaller waves), so we could surf together.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.
friends from austria came for a visit. i want that campervan, it’s so awesome!
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.
i built up a nice surfer-tan (from wearing the long wetsuit).
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.
the nice walk to the beach.
surfing la vendee, france. 2014.
all pics here.