Cloudy Monday and Crazy Swell, Surfing in Crete
This morning we are still seeing the impact of the most recent weather phenomenon passing the coastline of Western Greece, the so called Medicane. The swell is still sizable, it's quite windy and dark clouds were hanging over the mountain chain south of Kissamos. Luckily they passed by and it did not rain anymore.
Our beginner surf lesson today had participants with prior surfing experience and first time surfers. It is important to bring everybody to the same page regarding communication (signalling) and safety, i.e. protecting our heads and falling correctly. After that we did a warm up and this morning it was really worth it as it was still chilly and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. Then we went through the dry runs on the beach. This means for the first timers laying down on the board correctly, trimming and the prawn position. For the others the movement pattern of a smooth pop up. A smooth pop up is so important, as not to stall the surfboard by abrupt motions or having your weight distributed too much in the front or the back. In the water surf coach Andy first demonstrated how to catch a wave by pushing & jumping, riding either in the prawn position or popping up on the board. Followed by stopping without ditching your board or falling correctly. The surfboard is considered the biggest hazard in surfing, for yourself or others. That is why it is important to follow basic safety rules, such as not holding the board between your body and a wave, protecting your head when nose diving and not ditching your board as it could hit others around you. Push & Jump is an energy efficient way of catching a wave. This allows you to last longer and have more repetitions of catching waves and surfing during one session. After a small break our first time surfers learned how to pop up on a surfboard while the ones with prior experience learned stalling & trimming, a pre-exercise for the turn and also a way of prolonging your ride. While stalling and trimming you shift your weight during the ride according to which part of the wave your board currently is. Your board should always lay as flat as possible on the surface of the water in order to maintain speed.