Surfing Week No 39 - Last September Sessions 2021
Surfing lessons from 27 September - 3 October 2021 Our surfing week started on Tuesday, 28 September with a relaxed surfing lesson at beautiful Falassarna beach! The waves were glassy, knee to waist high and there was only a slight offshore wind. The conditions were fantastic - as always in Falassarna beautiful colors, yellow sandy beach and turquoise water... early in the morning the beach was empty, no soul in sight. Everyone learned how to catch waves with pushing & jumping. The first time surfers went through the exercises in the prawn position while the others went straight to optimising the pop up. The conditions allowed for our participants to catch many many waves during one session - repetition is key! The ones who surfed before also were introduced to stalling & trimming today!
The surf journey continues on Wednesday, 29 September, surf coach Andy's birthday. As is custom in Greece he brought a small treat for all the participants. The waves in the morning started moderately sized with slight wind and were growing in size throughout the course - ideal to paddle out and catch small green waves, and also to catch whitewater waves on the inside section. By the second half of the course the whole group was out in the line up practicing to understand where the wave breaks, when to start paddling, how strong and how long to paddle and so on. Surf coach Andy helped with positioning and timing. Ingrid did some really nice turns and Michelle made great progress in gaining confidence of being out in the line-up with bigger waves!
In the afternoon the surf lesson started with a warm out. The waves were waist to shoulder high with side-offshore wind. The intermediate surfers in the group received their tips and instructions from surf coach Andy, and then paddled to the line up. Moritz had great ride following the flow of the wave. Charlotte had front and backside rides. Christian had super long rides all the way to the inside. Our assistant Prodromos was working on cutbacks.
The first timers went through the exercises in the prawn position before being introduced to the pop-up. The goal of the very first surf course is not to stand up on a board but rather understanding how and when to catch the wave!
The morning course of Thursday, 30 September belonged to the advanced beginners / intermediates. Before heading out we talked about safety rules, protecting our heads for example, and safety in the bay of Kissamos: where it is safe to enter the water and how we line up and circulate. Andy also covered priority in surfing and that we also have to check our surroundings to see if other surfers are already on the wave, for example. The dry runs on the beach covered turns and cutbacks. Star of the lesson was Stamatis' 12 year old daughter. For her the big waves are that much bigger and paddling out was that much more of a challenge. She surfed a couple of nice waves and went into the front side turn.
In the afternoon the beginner lesson focused on catching the wave and riding as many waves as possible - repetition is key!
During the theory part of the lesson we spoke about safety and communication. The waves were ideal for beginner surfers - long powerful whitewater lines. The first timers went through the exercises of the first day in order to get used to the surfboard and the waves. The ones who have surfed before also trained catching waves while pushing and jumping. It is a technique of catching waves that preserves a lot of energy! They also learned finding the correct position on the board, stalling & trimming. and finishing the ride by going back to the surfboard. After the first round of water time we had a break and then the first timers joined the others with trying to pop up on the board. Everyone received individual feedback and small corrections and we saw great improvements.
On Friday, 1 October the intermediate group took a surf trip to a surf spot East of Chania that can handle big swells. Before heading out we talked about safety, how the bay works, where we enter, where the wave breaks and so on. We covered turning, the cutback, paddling technique and corrected some aspects for each surfer individually. Then we paddled out and tried to surf as many waves as we can. The size of the wave was shoulder to head and overhead high. The wind was side-onshore and changed from time to time. The sun was shining with a couple of cloudy patches. Charlotte made a couple of re-entries, Mo performed the cutback, Katja managed to chose and catch waves on her own and ride straight to the beach. Super fun session - one to remember :)
In the afternoon the beginner surf lesson stayed in Kissamos bay with long thick powerful whitewater lines. The wave had a lot of push, so it made it easy to catch. The first time surfers were introduced to board handling and the motion of catching waves first and then in the second half joined the others in popping up on the surfboard. It clicked for David today and he stood up on the surfboard. Bernhard and Sasha started to make their first turns. Marco learned stalling & trimming first and later the motion of the turn.
In the morning of Saturday, 2 October the conditions for the intermediates were similar than the afternoon before. There was still an 8 sec period, which means the waves had a lot of power. Long thick whitewater lines are ideal for practicing beginner surfing. It means you have enough time to find the position on your board and make the pop up. Everyone has surfed before once or twice, so we put focus on catching waves correctly and popping up in the first half. In the second half it started to really sink in, our participants started to get used to the waves and made improvements.
The intermediate lesson of the afternoon had to adjust quickly to some changes in the plan, as Kissamos bay was still to massive to paddle out and we had so switch surf spots. Luckily almost everyone could adapt and we went on our surf trip towards the east of Chania. The waves were waist to shoulder high, sometimes over head high at the bigger sets. Marco caught green waves with Kalo Surf for the first time during this vacation and together with Katja they practiced giving direction to the surfboard - making turns. Charlotte and Moritz tried cutbacks, top turns, bottom turns, re-entries and pumping and it worked out beautifully.
On Sunday 3 October the surf course took place in the afternoon for the hopes of less wind and a cleaner smaller wave. The size was about shoulder to head high with around 7 to 8 second period, as the waves were still very strong. During the dry runs we covered how to catch correctly the wave (90 degrees), the pop-up and turning. Then we paddled out all together and Andy helped with choice of wave and positioning. Our participants caught waves outside in the bay of Kissamos. Sasha had a nice backhand turn. Next step to focus on: Looking at the wave while paddling, while going into the wave and while making the turn.