Surfing Week No 44 - Surfing in Sunny November in Crete
Surfing lessons from 1-7 November 2021 The season 2021 goes into its traditionally last week here in Crete. Most seasonal hotels and businesses are closing down and tourism shifts more towards the cities Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion during the winter months. The winter months are also excellent months for surfing in Crete. Of course temperatures are generally lower but nothing compared to surfing hotspots such as the Atlantic coast of Portugal or France.
During this first week of November we are blessed and surprised by sunny weather and summer temperatures up to 27 degrees Celsius while surfing in Falassarna!
On Wednesday morning, 3 November Ross and Klara were so dedicated to surf one more time in Crete that they squeezed in a surf lesson right before their flight back home. This is real surf fever. The waves were waist to head high with hardly any wind in the morning. Before heading in the water we covered popping up on the surfboard, turning, and stalling & trimming. Surf coach Andy helped with finding the peak and then moved on to look at the participants head-on, in order to be able to give feedback and corrections. Both had great rides today.
Then around lunch time we moved on to our second group of two families - first timers and beginners with prior experience. After handing out the surf gear, we started with a warm up, very important safety explanations and the break down of the first exercises. The wind picked up slightly compared to the morning which made the wave harder to spot. In the water they learned how to catch waves on their owns by pushing & jumping. It takes some time to get used to the surfboard and the motion but it slowly clicked. In the second half of the lesson Andy taught them how to correctly pop up on the surfboard or how to end up in the knee stance. By the end of the lesson everyone understood how it works and the kids ended up surfing on their feet or on their knees. Laura and her family also tried catching waves while paddling as well as with the push & jump method. The latter helps with catching more waves during one session, thus having more practice.
On Thursday, 4 October the waves were super glassy with no wind at all!!! The waves were easy to spot, knee to maximum waist high and perfect to get a lot of practice and learn new skills. The beach was empty and the sun was shining just for us. After a special kind of warm up, surf coach Andy spoke about safety rules and communication signals. The dry runs on the beach included finding the right position on the surfboard, gliding in the prawn position and stopping; as well as the pop-up and later stalling & trimming and the turn. In the water they learned push & jump as an alternative to paddling into the wave. Andy helped with positioning in the water, choice of wave and timing. For the ones who opted for paddling into the wave he showed some tricks in the water, sitting down, turning around and correct paddling. By the end of the lesson our first timers were able to catch a wave on their own and stand up on a surfboard. Robin worked on his backside and front side turns as well as shifting the weight on the surfboard. Christin put her focus on the backside turn, with shifting her weight and rotating the upper body. Laura caught the wave very well today with a combined effort of push & jump and paddling. We registered plenty of backside turns and some front side turns. Glassy glassy waves in sunny Falassarna in November - a surf session to remember!
On Sunday, 7 November the surf spot of choice was once again Kissamos! The swell was coming from the North-East with hardly any wind in the bay of Kissamos which makes for glassy waves! The sun was shining for us, the beach was empty. Not only are there no other surfers which is a rare privilege given the popularity of surfing as a sport world wide, but there were hardly any beach goers, sunbeds and umbrellas are stored away for the winter months. With this exclusive setup we started our lesson with a warm up and explanations on the beach about safety and the goal of today: Being able to catch a wave on your own! We practiced in the whitewater with the push & jump technique, learned how to position our bodies on the surfboard as to not sink or nosedive it, and to glide on it to the beach. As a next step we practiced popping up on the surfboard this time on a section of the beach that allowed for a longer ride. To top it all up we paddled out together to the green wave to get the feeling of being out there. The conditions were ideal to do it all of the above, perfect to start or continue the surf journey of our participants. Thank you for joining today!