Great Swell at Kissamos Bay for Surfing
Great swell these September days in Kissamos Crete for all kinds of levels of surfing. In the morning we scheduled our beginners that learn how to catch waves on their own at the inside section. And in the afternoon we scheduled our intermediates that learn how to paddle further out and catch unbroken waves on their own by paddling.
First to the beginner lesson in the morning. We started our day with a nice warm up to get into the flow. Then we sat in a circle to talk about communication and safety, and then we moved on to the exercises on the board on the beach. This was today the pop up and stalling & trimming as well as something completely new: a quick introduction to paddling. After a demonstration from surf coach Andy on how to catch a wave by push & jump and as well as by paddling, all went in the water. In the water then we tried how it is to paddle on the surfboard, how to sit down on the surfboard, how to turn around and how to catch a wave by paddling. This was great for the first time until the waves picked up and got bigger and we started feeling the fatigue. So it is a good thing that we can return to the push & jump technique that is much more energy efficient so we can keep on having fun while catching many waves.
In the afternoon we met Robin and Marcel for their 4th surf lesson with us. Both progressed really quickly during their time in the waves of Crete. As a warm up we went through the various motions of surfing, from paddling to the pop up, the turn and so on. We tried something new as well: Visualizing how to follow the flow of the wave, by making a turn, a bottom turn, top turn and/or cutback. Wherever the wave takes you, you try to follow. This visualizations by translating the environment of the water to the beach, by moving up and down a sand dune, for example, can be very helpful. We know that it can be overwhelming to be finally surfing a wave and then freezing not knowing what to do. Once you understand that the wave has a flow that you can follow, it is a whole new level. Before heading out Surf Coach Andy explained where the channel is and where the peak is. Some waves were right handers, some left handers. Then they paddled out together. With bigger surf it can be harder to position yourself in the water and finding the peak. With some guidance, our participants found themselves on the right spot. Marcel succeeded today in performing a front side and back side turn while Robin made the back side turn more than three times, according to Andy's account!!! Epic!