Surfing Week No 40 - Surfing in October in Greece
Surfing lessons from 4 - 10 October 2021 You can really feel that it is October in Crete. The days are getting shorter and the mornings cooler. Crete is a very green island, and we need the humidity and some rain in the winter months for the water reservoir, the agriculture and so much more. We know that after cooler days there will be sunnier days again, even in the colder half of the year, so we are not mad! We just make sure to switch to the long 3.2 wetsuits and start the session with a good warm up.
In the morning of Monday 4 October the session started in fact at 9:00 with a warm up. Each of our participants had different previous surfing experience, so what they trained today was very individual. Everything was on the menu this morning surfing in Kissamos:
Training catching wave by pushing & jumping, popping up on the surfboard, stalling & trimming, making turns, and paddling for waves further out. Fabian made such great progress in just two days with Kalo Surf: positioning, choice of wave, optimizing the pop-up, many backside turns and also front side turns.
In the afternoon of Monday we all paddled out together in the bay of Kissamos. Before heading in the water Andy explained how the bay of Kissamos works, how we circulate in order to be energy efficient. With the current conditions (wind and waves) and the current shape of the sand bank, we enter at the right side of the bay where we can walk almost up until the line of the line up. Then we paddle sidewise or even let the wind drift you to the peak. There we catch the wave and ride to the beach. Repeat.
Ben stayed in the whitewater practicing catching waves and the pop-up. When it comes to a progress in surfing repetition is key. Try to catch as many waves as possible during one session and repeat over and over the one aspect that you want to focus on!
In the morning of Tuesday, 5 October had a cosy group of 4 participants. The goal of this stage of surfing is to learn and practice to catch waves correctly and glide on the surfboard no matter in what position. Your weight distribution on the surfboard ist crucial because when the board sinks in the back, in the front or on one of the sides, it loses speed, topples over or nosedives. When attempting to pop up on the surfboard speed is again crucial. Just like on a bicycle you need speed for balance. And then the motion of the pop-up has to be smooth with a balanced weight distribution at all times - again as not so sink and slow down on the surfboard. It is important not only to land in the correct position but keeping the right amount of your body's weight in the front and in the back throughout the whole process.
In the afternoon of Tuesday we had another cosy group with Katja and Olga. Katja caught waves on her own and made back side turns as well as front side turns. Olga stayed first on the inside section to train her pop up. Then she paddled out and was able to catch waves on her own and make the back side AND front side turns for the first time! Charlotte surfed the best possible wave Andy has seen her surfing ever, with pumping and a cutback. Mo bedazzled us with his board control and speed. Super fun session in Kissamos, Crete.
In the morning of Wednesday, 6 October the whole group consisted of advanced beginners and intermediate surfers. In the beginning the waves were waist to shoulder high, by the end of the lesson they were head and overhead high.
In the beginning we did a warm up, followed by the safety rules and communication signals. Then Surf Coach Andy explained the bay of Kissamos, where it is safe to enter and exit the water and how to find the peak. Then we paddled out together, Andy was there to help with positioning and timing for catching wave. Our participants had many rides with Andy's assistance in timing and without. Observing waves, anticipating waves, looking at the wave during the whole progress, trying new maneuvers, repetition and time spent is key for progress. The progress is not always radical in surfing but time spent in the water will help overall along the line.
Ryan and Emma can add a newly learned skill to their surfing portfolio: making front and backside turns. Thao was having super long rides and in the end of the course even had a drop on a super big wave followed by a front side turn!
In the afternoon of Wednesday, the waves stayed really big, there was whitewater for those who preferred to stay on the inside section and big green waves to paddle into. The set-up in Kissamos, Crete on this afternoon was beautiful, the sun was shining, the waves were glassy and the vibes were excellent! The whole group first stayed in the whitewater to practice, improve and train each their individual skills. Sophie, Jessica, Laura and Sasha trained their turns, Menslu and Irini trained the pop-up and stalling & trimming, and Torsten trained catching waves and popping up. The ones who felt confident to paddle out, paddled in the line-up with surf coach Andy, where he assisted with choice of wave and finding the peak. The participants made sure to look at the wave, chose the side where the wave stayed open and perform back-side and front-side turns accordingly.
On Friday, 8 October the swell direction was from the West and the wind and weather came from the South, so it was suddenly a lot warmer than any of the previous days here in Crete. The surf course took place in sunny Falassarna. Despite the sunny and warm weather, the water is much cooler on the West coast than anywhere else in West Crete. The day started with nice and small waves that gradually picked up the more the current swell started pushing!
Everyone who surfed for the first time today, was introduced to the art of catching waves by pushing & jumping and went through all the exercises in the prawn position. These exercises help you get used to the board, to the elements and most importantly to understand that your body weight needs to be distributed evenly on the surfboard in order to keep up speed. Once all this becomes part of your flesh and blood, we learn how to pop up on the surfboard. Popping up might not happen to everyone on the first lesson, but the most important part - catching waves and positioning yourself on a surfboard already makes you a surfer! Olga and Peter learned and practiced the motion of the turn today. We love Olgas effortless style, Peter achieved performing many backside turns. The conditions today allowed us to get back out easily after each wave ridden, so we were able to catch and ride many many waves. We know that we REPEAT ourselves in this blog, but REPETITION in key in anything you want to learn and improve. Ride as many waves as possible during one session, no matter small or big, no matter if its sunny or cloudy :)
On Sunday, 10 October we had an intimate surf lesson at Falassarna Beach with three participants. The waves were knee to waist height, the sun was shining and the water was crystal clear. After a quick warm up and the theory part with the safety rules our group went through the exercises that help with board control. This first part of the lesson we take our time to catch as many waves as possible, understand where and how the waves break, and learning to steer the board with our bodies. After that we add the pop-up to the game and for Simon also the motion of making frontside and backside turns.