Surfing in Fuerteventura for the FIRST TIME EVER
I’m a warm-water girl. I even wear a shorty wetsuit wakeboarding in the California Delta. In July. Some might say sissy and they could be right. But I do snowboard & ski in all weather and temperatures; it’s just the water thing. It’s so…everywhere.
So, even though we’ve been running our pop-up clinics in San Francisco and taking clients to Santa Cruz with the best-in-the-industry Richard Schmidtt instructors For Years (years!) ….I, myself, had not surfed before.
So I figured I was the perfect guinea pig for the Solaz Adventures Fuerteventura surf camp. If they could get me up & surfing & loving it, then this was The Perfect Surf Camp.
I did the surf simulator pop-up clinic in San Francisco. I ordered my suits, skirts, tops from Athleta . (I had planned to treat myself to shopping trips, but there really was no time.) The suits fit perfectly which I took as a good omen.
Then it’s time to leave. We fly through Houston, are met at the Liberia airport and driven an hour to the Inn. Ian meets us when we arrive and we sit down with a drink and seared tempura ahi tuna. (The tuna is incredible – another good omen.)
Ian gives us the timing on best conditions for surf the next day – a very civilized mid-morning and we agree to meet at breakfast. His stories about all the other things we can do like kayaking and sailing wiz through my brain with zero retention. I’m focused on the surfing. And he says he’ll line up whatever we want whenever we decide. No need to over plan these things.
The next morning I wake up, worried about being nervous. Or expecting to be nervous about being worried. Neither happens. I’m completely relaxed. Is it the air in Fuerteventura (people say that a lot), or the mellow style of everyone? Breakfast is amazing; we slurp down the last of the (always available) coffee and head out.
Ian has already loaded the boards on the car and we drive 5 minutes down the beach. I guess normal people would just walk, but he’s conserving our energy and we enjoy the hospitality. We carry our boards to the beach and look out at the waves. They’re Right There. Not way out there – these I can paddle out to without killing myself…though hopefully not a million times before I actually catch a wave. And the boards are a little smaller than the massive soft-tops we use up north. Much easier to carry and nice to have conditions that don’t require the big beasties.
We practice our pop-ups on the beach, each of us noticing how our own bodies line up on board center. (Still not nervous…nothing.) Next thing I know, we’re carrying our boards into the (warm!) water.
When the water is about waist-high, we lay down the boards and paddle out, following Ian who is (standing) next to us. (such treaturous conditions.) Then I’m told my wave is approaching. I turn to face the shore and hear “paddle!”. I paddle – feeling the swoosh of the wave pushing at my board. I will my body to arch up then slowly (it feels slow – it’s taking my feet forever!!) pull my feet under and stand up, keeping it low. I AM UP. And riding in. wow – good to go.
More of the same for 2 hrs. Except that when I’m tired I stay on the beach and lay down; then back out. The waves are so close even stopping for a few minutes is an easy transition. You’re back into the waves so quickly.
After our first session, we just walk up the beach back to the Inn. Rewarding margaritas are ordered. And the most amazing Asian chicken salad in the world is consumed. What a week I’m going to have.