Surfing Week No 43 - Last Week of October
Surfing lessons from 25 - 31 October 2021 The last week of October promised constant good and stable swell from the North - perfect conditions for beginner and intermediate surfers at our home spot of Kissamos!
On Monday, 25 October the swell arrived overnight with a lot of push and wind. Non the less further out the waves were nicely formed and on the inside there was a good whitewater wave to practice! In the morning we spoke with our more experienced group about wave theory, bottom turns, mid-face bottom turns, angling the surfboard. Since we planned to paddle out in bigger and steeper waves we covered additional safety rules: how to fall, how to react in a wipe-out, protecting our heads, crossing waves, how to circulate, and so on.... Our group handled themselves really well in the new situation. They were able to react with confidence on all kinds of situations, caught bigger waves and had nice rides.
In the afternoon we had a spontaneous group of three surfers. The waves were even bigger in the afternoon, so we stayed in the whitewater in order to have more practice! After safety and theory on the beach, they learned from us how to catch waves while pushing & jumping - a technique that preserves a lot of energy and allows us to surf more waves in one session. They also practiced popping up on the surfboard and making turns. All while receiving helpful tips and corrections. After the break Andy introduced stalling & trimming and even the turn.
In the morning of Tuesday, 26 October the waves were really nice again in Kissamos. There was less wind and the huge swell that started yesterday had time to nicely organize. In the afternoon the waves even organised to an A-frame and Hansjürgen and Marco surfed one great wave after the other. We had lesson in the morning and in the afternoon. In the morning we paddled out together or stayed on the inside section - whatever felt more comfortable. Our participants caught waves with and without Andy's assistance, made turns and had long rides. Frank learned how to read the waves really well during his vacation with us and even made sort of a cutback today!
In the afternoon some of the morning group continued surfing because the conditions were that good! The participants of the surf course stayed on the inside section. Claudia and her kids were so stoked about surfing that they added another session, practicing catching waves and making turns. Ricarda and Daniel learned from us how to catch waves while pushing & jumping - a technique that preserves a lot of energy and allows us to surf more waves in one session. The first exercise is gliding on a surfboard on your belly and finding the correct position on the surfboard. After we feel comfortable with this movement and board handling, we can learn popping up on a surfboard.
The surf journey continued on Wednesday, 27 October with a lovely group of three surfers. Surf coach Andy tried to cover as many topics as possible in one surfing lesson, even though it is usually advisable to tackle one skill after the other. (the pop up, paddling, stalling & trimming, the turn). In the water Andy helped with positioning and choice of wave. We focused on positioning our bodies correctly on the board, staying 90 degrees to the wave, looking at the wave and popping up correctly and at the right section of the wave. Our participants were able to have long rides today, going mainly straight.
On Thursday, 28 October we had amazing glassy waves with no wind. The height around shoulder to head high, sometimes overhead high! We had a mixed group of first time surfers and advanced beginners. Our first timers Alexander and Leonie understood the first day exercises really well, how to select and catch the wave and how to control the surfboard with their bodies. In the second half the learned how to pop up on the surfboard in a controlled manner and practiced some more! The ones who paddled out today were prepared for the turn, how lean into the wave and how to twist and turn their upper bodies. Aljosha was going for the backside turn today. We also saw a big improvement with spotting the wave and entering in at 90 degree angle. While individual aspects in surfing work out great in theory and practice, piecing them together on one ride takes practice.
Friday, 29 October could have easily been one of the best days in Kissamos bay in this past week. The wave had a good size and was steep. Surfari surfer Marco took a 6'10 and surf coach Andy switched between the foamy and his short board during the surf lesson. Leonie was surfing an 8 foot foam board on her third surf lesson with us. The surf spot had the channel to the right and the peak to the left of the bay. Hardly any wind made it easy to get around and spot the good waves. The group paddled out together and Andy coached Leonie with positioning in the water, choice of wave and timing for the take-off. The scored some good waves on this day with steeper and more powerful waves, and tried to go for the front side turn. Marco showed us some great top to bottom surfing!
On Saturday, 30 October the wave was sightly smaller than the day before - shoulder to head high - but still quite steep and powerful. Marco joined for a surfari and our two Leonies for a surf lesson. On the beach we covered paddling technique, the pop-up of course, and the turn! Leonie on her fourth lesson with us paddled out with surfari surfer Marco and Andy to catch waves further out. She gained a lot of practice and experience in choice of wave and timing. Leonie on her second lesson with us started out on the whitewater. After some assessment we switched to a different part of the beach where paddling into the wave and a longer ride was possible. In the second half she paddled out with the others, caught waves, had long rides, and gained a great boost of confidence, overcoming her fears!
On Sunday, 31 October - Happy Halloween! - the waves were once again glassy with no wind. The size was great for a surf lesson, small green waves, probably knee to waist height, and white water in the flats further inside. Our participants despite having prior surfing experience wanted to start from scratch which is a good idea to cover everything that there is to learn, pinpoint skills that need improvement and learning new aspects in surfing. After a warm up we started surfing in the whitewater, learning the push & jump, choosing the right section of the wave and finding the correct position on the surfboard. After a few exercises for board control we broke down the pop up and stalling & trimming. Then it was time to paddle out, showing paddling technique and outside focusing on choice of wave and timing. They caught a good amount of waves on their own and after fatigue set in, surf coach Andy helped them in a couple of waves just to get the extra amount of the sweet surf feeling.