Plenty to Learn during the Surf Lesson in Crete
Medicane 2020. Every year or every other year we can observe such extreme weather conditions in autumn in Greece. The Medicane however touched the Greek coast further north at the Ionian sea and then moved south, luckily barely touching Western Crete. Strong winds out at sea creates waves, of course and ultimately the wave travel to the coast. We have been able to see the result the past several days in Crete as well as today and tomorrow.
Today, our participants witnessed conditions similar to the Atlantic coast in France or Portugal, famous for its surfing. And there was plenty to learn and improve for all levels.
For the theory part of the lesson, surf coach Andy covered communication and safety. We then moved on to the dry runs on the beach. How to lay down on the board, finding the right position and trimming. The ones who had prior surf lessons went through the correct pop up, nice and smooth - as to not stall the surfboard. Andy showed first timer Laura her the first exercise: riding the wave in the prawn position.
Before we headed in the water, we did a warm up. Then we went to the section of the beach where long powerful white water lines were breaking, perfect for beginner surf training. Andy demonstrated on a couple of waves, what the individual exercises are: catching waves by pushing & jumping, riding in the prawn position or popping up; finishing the ride by breaking before hitting the beach or falling correctly.
Then our participants went in to practice. For Laura it was the first time handling a surfboard and she got used to it during the first surf lesson! How to carry the board, how to overcome the wave, how to turn around safely and how to catch the wave. Mind you the current was strong today! The others in the group first caught a couple of waves by paddling, then Andy showed them the alternative of the push & jump technique. Launch yourself forward and land evenly balanced on the surfboard, and it will take off with the wave. This is an energy saving technique of catching waves. You will catch more waves and last longer during one session. Throughout the lesson we were able to give individual feedback and teach new skills for surfing: for some this was stalling & trimming in order to prolong the ride, for some learing or perfecting the take-off and pop-up, for some the front side turn and for some even the back side turn which is arguably the more difficult turn to master.