1. THE BEST SURF CAMPS
2. PURE Youth Surf Camp - St. Girons - France
3. Elementsurf - Oyambre - Spain
4. Raz Surf Camp - Carballo - Spain
5. Camino Surf - Valdovino - Spain
6. Dreamsea Surf Camp - Oyambre - Spain
7. Good People Surf Camp - Zarautz - Spain
8. Ripar Surf School - Praia da Areia Branca - Portugal
9. Surflife - Atlantic Lodge Algarve - Portugal
10. Wavesensations Surf Camp - Sagres - Portugal
11. Wetsurf - Morocco Tamraght - Morocco
12. OTRO MODO Surfcamp - Fuerteventura - Spain
2.1 Surf ABC
Here you will find some surf terms that will help you to find your way in the surf world!
Deck: The top of the surfboard.
Duck Dive: This is what a duck dive maneuver is called.
Leash: Connecting line between surfboard and surfer.
Nose: This is what the nose of the surfboard is called - the front end of the board.
Rails: surfboard edges.
Spot: Is the wave to surf.
Take Off: The standing up motion on the surfboard.
Wash: When you are washed through in white water.
White Water: This is what the foam of a broken wave is called.
Wipe Out: Is the fall from the wave.
2.2 Surf Basics
If you are planning a surf session of almost two hours, then you should know that you will be busy for about an hour just paddling. Before you start learning to surf, you should answer the following questions:
1. can you swim for at least half an hour?
2. can you dive well and far - about ten meters?
3. can you do at least ten burpees or push-ups?
4. can you swim and dive in waves without losing your orientation?
Can you do all that? Then get on the board!
Otherwise: Do more Surf Fitness!
2.3 Beach flags - which color has which meaning?
Yellow: Restricted bathing prohibited.
Red: Bathing prohibited.
Black/White: Sport area.
Blue/Purple: Dangerous marine life.
Green: Bathing allowed.
Tip: If you go surfing in France, the bathing zone is marked with two blue flags. Here, the blue flags do not mean that there are dangerous animals in the sea.
2.4 Rules of conduct & safety:
Of course, there are some rules of conduct and safety in surfing and wave riding that everyone - whether a beginner or a surf pro - should follow.
- The surfer who is closer to the white water in a wave also has priority in this wave.
- If a surfer comes towards you on a wave while you are paddling out, then you have to move away in the direction of the white water.
- Always remember that currents and waves can be changed by the tides.
- Avoid paddling out directly behind another surfer. You never know exactly how they will behave once a wave comes.
- After a wash, resurface with your arms above your head. This way you avoid a collision between your surfboard and your head.
- Be careful in white water - it can be dangerous because you can't swim or breathe here.
- Do not underestimate the power of small waves.
2.5 Surf 1x1
The proper use of the surfboard:
- On the beach, make sure that the leash is not hanging around loosely, but is taut. Otherwise you run the risk of tripping over the connecting line.
- Carry your surfboard with the fins facing inwards. This will prevent other beachgoers from being injured by the fins.
- When you go into the water, you should carry your board sideways. If you carry it in front of your body, there is a possibility that the waves will throw it against you.
- Make sure that you do not hold your surfboard by the leash. The movement of the water will cause the board to move and can cause it to spin - thus, your fingers can get pinched.
When you are lying on your board, your back should be slightly hollow, because this is how you build up tension in your back. You should also keep this tension in your legs by keeping them close together and stretched out.
The take off is the stand up movement on the surfboard and therefore the most elementary movement you have to master. Almost nobody can do the take off from the beginning, but: practice makes perfect! Timing, power and the controlled movement are an absolute must for the take off.
As with paddling, you should find the right position on the board, your hands should be flat on the board at chest level - don't clasp the surfboard with your hands. This way you can optimally push yourself up from the board during the take off.
There are several techniques to do a successful take off on the board:
- Try to avoid falling in front of your surfboard at all costs. It's best to fall sideways and behind your board. This is the best way to avoid painful contact with your surfboard.
- Always protect your head with your arms.
- Pay attention to the surface you are surfing on. If you are surfing over rocks, stony ground or a reef, then you should try to fall as flat as possible. The best way to do this is to stretch your arms and legs away from your body and fall flat into the water.
- The time under water is often much shorter than it seems. Count the seconds under water then you will quickly realize that there is no reason to panic.
- Keep calm, try to save your strength
- Never leave your board
- Do not paddle against the current, but at 90 degrees to the current
- If help is needed, wave your arms
2.6 Surf Fitness
Cool. Casual. Loose. That's exactly how it looks when the surf pros are standing the waves. But it's hard work to get to where the pros are and of course a good level of fitness is very important for surfing. Because without the proper endurance, speed and general fitness, you're going to swim!
3. ARNE BERGWINKL IN AN INTERVIEW WITH PLANET SPORTS
How hard is it to learn to surf?
"Unlike other board sports such as snowboarding, kitesurfing or wakeboarding, you are not connected to the board with straps. So you have to be a bit more patient until you manage your first ride. But if you take the time and have a surf course with a good surf coach, you will easily manage the first ride within a week and from then on it's on!"
Is there an insider tip for beginners who want to stand on a surfboard for the first time this summer?
"Unplug the Playstation, put away your cell phone and head out the door to the beach!"
What should I look for as a beginner when buying a surfboard? Can I learn to surf with any surfboard?
"Don't buy the Pro model of your favorite surfer right away! It took him years to find the right shape. As a beginner, make sure you have enough volume, rather a little more than too little. Remember the dimensions of the board you learned on. And then think about how you got along with it: Was the length OK? Was the width OK? From this you can think about the measurements for your first board - go through this with your surf instructor or with a good surfer friend. Then you will find the right beginner's shape! "
Do I need a tail pad? If so, which one? What do I have to pay attention to when gluing?
"If you are slowly switching to shortboards, you will definitely need a tail pad. The kicker of the pad prevents the back foot from slipping off the tail. You should also pay attention to the height of the center bar: some are flat, others are raised. See what feels best under your foot!
Very important: Clean the board properly before gluing on the pad. Otherwise it will come off during the first session. Before that, put the pad on the board for a short time and make a small mark if necessary. You should check where exactly your back foot is on the board. The center of the pad should be exactly under your back foot, then you have play forward and backward."
Are all Finns the same? Where are the differences?
"Pooh... Fins are a science!!! The most common is a thruster set-up. Three fins: one center fin and two fins right and left. The center fin gives stability, the outer fins give maneuverability. Experience plays a big role. Besides that, your weight is a factor; as well as the wave you want to surf. The material is also important: are the fins stiff enough or do they flex? And if you want to get in right, deal with the dimensions of your fins: Base measurement, height, shape....
There are also setups for quads (4 fins) or even 5-fin setups. At FishBoards you can also find 2-fin setups without center fin. And with longboards also sometimes only one big center fin. So the board also plays a role.
As a beginner, it's best to start with a thruster and then experiment! "
Why do I need surf wax? Why does it have different colors? And which wax do I need when?
"Surf wax gives you grip on the board. So put it on top of the deck! I've seen people put it on the bottom. Happens when you come from the snowboard/ski corner....
- So: on top of it! In circular motions until it applies well and forms little dimples.
- There are different types of wax, depending on the temperature of the water. Just check and choose the right one.
- With different colors you can give your deck a personal touch, but it makes no difference to the hold."
Why are there different lengths and thicknesses of leashes? Which one do I need for which board and which conditions?
"Basically, the leash should be as long as your board. That's why there are so many different leashes. Also the thickness plays a role. For contests I use thin leashes, so called competition leashes. But for big waves and big boards you need thicker leashes. The last thing you want is that the leash breaks far out in big waves and you are hanging out there without your board. So adjust the thickness & length to your board and the spot! "
when do I need a boardbag? What do I have to pay attention to when buying?
"If you make regular surf trips, you should get a boardbag for your boards. For air travel anyway. Make sure that the dimensions of the boardbag fit the dimensions of your boards. A little longer is good, then you can pack some extra padding inside. Too long is not good, then everything slides back and forth. The boardbag should be made sturdy, because besides the boards you can also store other luggage like your neos, towels, etc. in it. There is a lot of stuff and it gets quite heavy. That's why you should choose a bag with wheels if you have more than a certain number of boards. This is really practical and facilitates the lugging."
What should I look for when buying a wetsuit? Which wetsuit would you recommend for a vacation in France, Spain or Portugal in the summer?
"Make sure you buy the right size - that means try it on first! Even if the fit is a little off, it will chafe quickly and then you won't have any fun surfing. A decent 3x2 fullsuit (long arms & legs) should be enough for the beginning, so you can go into the water everywhere in Europe during the summer season. If you really want to surf in colder water or in winter, then you need to get a 4x3 or 5x4x3 as well as booties, gloves and a hood. "
What is the most important thing when I want to learn to surf?
"Patience. Don't despair if the person next to you in the course already manages the take off. Take your time and let it be explained to you, then it will be something! Falling down is part of it, happens to me from time to time."
What is the fastest way to learn to surf?
"Book a surf course in a small group with a good surf instructor. Then it works the fastest and you all have fun. "
Which steps do I need to learn first?
"Develop a feeling for the board: Where exactly do I have to lie so that I can angle well in the wave? Paddling on the board is essential for this. Then, of course, paddling in the wave. If you lie on the board incorrectly, you'll lose the wave or catch it with the nose. Practice the take off under guidance on the beach until it sits securely. Also let a surf instructor help you!"
Do I need a surf course?
"Yes, it's money well spent and you will simply have more fun in a small group. And push each other."
Where and when would you recommend I learn to surf?
"Anywhere in Europe, actually. I spent the last summers in France. The beach breaks are great for beginners, advanced and pros. Only in winter it gets very cold. But then you can go to Portugal, Spain or the Canary Islands. You can learn surfing everywhere. So you can also use your surf trip to learn a country and language."
Can I prepare at home before my surf trip? How important is my fitness?
"As with all sports, regular fitness training will of course help you. If you are fit, you will do well - if you are not fit, you will notice it while surfing! 1-2 hours of surfing are mega intensive: the physical strain, the water, the air, the sun - in the evening you will really feel your body. A good feeling! If you want to prepare yourself a bit, you can do squats, push-ups and exercises for your shoulders and neck. "
If I can already surf the wave, what tricks should I learn next?
"Two things: speeding up (pushing) and bottom turns are the ticket to progressive surfing. So please concentrate on that and only then start with tricks. If you can already do this, you will quickly learn your first snap, cutback or floater."
When can I get a shorter board? What do I need to be able to do?
"Find your way around a spot safely and surf. When everything fits: Positioning, paddling, take off. If you want to surf steeper waves as well as backside and frontside, you have to get a shortboard to take the next step."
4. SHOPPING GUIDE SURFBOARDS
You are looking for a surfboard, but you don't know which one is ideal for you and what to look for when buying? No problem! In our shopping guide you will find the most important information about surfboards! By the way, our Top5 of the best surf brands are:
Channel islands Surfboards
Lib Tech Surfboards
4.1 Surfboard shapes
There are so many different shapes of surfboards that newcomers can quickly lose track of what is actually best for them. Basically, beginners should rather go for a slightly larger surfboard with a round nose. Otherwise it can quickly spoil your surfing fun.
Furthermore, there are various criteria that significantly influence the use of the board:
The board length: If you have a longer surfboard, the paddling is much easier and you pick up speed faster. Especially for beginners a long board is optimal, because it gives you enough speed to be taken by a wave and also the take off will be easier for you.
The board width: By using a surfboard with a wide nose, the take off will be easier for you! In addition, you can also surf small waves optimally.
The board thickness: A thicker surfboard has similar effects on the paddling and the wave yield, as a long board. Thick surfboards have a higher volume and are therefore super suitable for beginners. Advanced surfers should rather go for thinner boards, as they are simply more maneuverable.
Tail shape: Not only the nose has an influence on control and handling, but also the tail. With an angular tail like a square or a squash you are more agile on the water. With a pointed tail you have a high resistance in small waves, but more control in steep waves. A wider tail gives you more buoyancy.
4.2 What kind of surfboards are there?
- Length: 9-10''
- Round nose
- Large volume
- Low maneuverability
- High stability
- Much buoyancy
- Length: 9'
- Large volume
- Round nose
- High stability
- Easy paddling
- Perfect board for beginners
- Length: 6-12'
- High stability
- High speed
- Pointed board
- Length: 5-6'
- Ideal for river spots
- Big volume
- Fast planing
- Length: 5-7'
- Small volume
- Pointed nose
- Very good maneuverability
- Ideal for powerful and steep waves
- Length: 6-8'
- High maneuverability
- Good wave yield
- Pointed nose
- Length: 7-8'
- Large vloumen
- Round nose
- High stability
In our online store you will find a wide variety of surfboards - from longboards to shortboards. Just take a look and discover your new board!
4.3 Surfboard materials
Most of the common surfboards consist of a core made of foam and a sheathing made of epoxy resin, fiberglass or even polyester. Especially as a beginner you are often still inexperienced in handling the board and it can be that you often bump here and there. And that's exactly why you shouldn't go for a fiberglass surfboard at the beginning, because they can be damaged quickly.
5. SHOPPING GUIDE SURF ACCESSORIES
You are looking for a surfboard, but you don't know which one is ideal for you and what to look for when buying? No problem! In our shopping guide you will find the most important information about surfboards!
5.1 Surf wax
Why do I need surf wax?
With surf wax you increase the grip on your surfboard. But unlike snowboards, where the wax is applied to the bottom of the board, the surfboard is different: here the wax is applied to the top.
Which surf wax do I need?
Different waxes are needed for different water temperatures. Roughly speaking, the water temperatures can be divided into Cold Water (13-20°C), Warm Water (19-26°C) and Tropic Water (over 25°C).
Which wax is the best?
There is no general way to say which surf wax is the best. In the course of your surfing time you will find your favorite wax - smell, slip resistance, the application or even ecological degradability are decisive for most surfers.
Even if it may not look like it: Surfboards, SUPs and Co. are very sensitive due to the processed materials. And that's exactly why boardbags are indispensable. One of the main considerations when buying a boardbag should be the padding. Because this protects your board most effectively. If you want to transport your board in the bus or car, you should definitely choose a padding of at least four millimeters. If you are transporting it by plane, it can be more!
Not only the filling, but also the outer material is crucial. Some boardbags are equipped with silver foil - this protects your board ideally from UV radiation, but the disadvantage is that silver foil can tear quickly. Also with the zipper you should make sure that it is hard plastic, because this material is robust so therefore long lasting.
You have several surfboards? Then go for a double bag or even a triple bag. With sufficient padding you get so several surfboards under and save space and money!
A tailpad is ideal especially for surfing newbies to feel safe on the surfboard. But basically almost every surfer uses a tailpad. It is there to have a safer and more stable stance on the board. The tailpad is glued as far back as possible on the surfboard, preferably directly in front of the leash plug.
Due to its rough surface, the tailpad offers the surfer's rear foot super grip and thus a non-slip base.
The leash is the connection between board and surfer. The leash is not only important for beginners - it is a kind of life insurance for every surfer. Through the leash you are always connected to your board, even if you briefly lose orientation in the water.
And because this connection to your board is so important, you should pay attention to quality and a high quality workmanship when buying the leash. Also, inspect them at regular intervals for cracks or other damage.
In addition, you must also pay attention to the length when buying a leash, because this depends on your height and the length of the board.