Week No 37 - Stormy Swells and Glassy Times, Surfing in Crete
Surfing lessons from 13 to 19 September 2021 - The new surfing week started after a couple of days break on Tuesday, 14 September. When we arrived on the beach there was hardly any wind but quickly it kicked in, making the waves stronger. We could surf all day long at Kissamos beach!
In the morning the surf course started with a warm up. Then surf coach Andy explained everything about catching waves and the prawn position. In the water we were going through those exercises to make our participants acquainted to the surfboard and the motion of catching waves! In the second half of the lesson we introduced popping up on a surfboard and again had plenty of watertime to practice.
The course during lunch time consisted of a group of surfers with prior experience. Some of the surfers felt comfortable felt comfortable to paddle out and catch bigger waves further out. Some of the surfers preferred the section with the white water and practiced catching waves there. Surf Coach Andy split his time between assisting on the outside and inside section, giving individual feedback and corrections. Some trained their pop-up, others gaining confidence and making turns.
During the afternoon course some of the participants surfed with us for the first time, others for the second time. We went through the safety rules in surfing, introduced or repeated the motion of catching waves through pushing & jumping. The first timers went through the exercises in the prawn position and then later joined the others in practicing popping up on a surfboard.
On 15 September arrived at Kissamos beach in the morning to find super glassy waves on the right side of the bay with no wind. The wind later picked up throughout the course. Our participants started with the dry runs for the pop-up and each received individual feedback and corrections from surf coach Andy. In the water we had lots of opportunity to practice. Repetition is key. In the second half of the lesson we paddled out together to catch waves further out and try performing the turn!
In the afternoon the group had a lot of fun and enjoyed surfing! The waves were nice and small with almost no wind. We all practiced the pop-up and stalling & trimming, while in the second half some trained the turns and paddling - paddling out, sitting down, turning around and paddling for the wave! Everybody was able to catch at least one wave on their own while paddling. What a feeling! Only smiles at today's afternoon lesson.
In the morning of 16 September we met our group directly at the beach of Falassarna for the morning session. The sun was shining and the waves were glassy, knee to waist height with light offshore wind. Vero started with learning how to catch waves on their own and how to glide on the surfboard, followed by popping up! The others on their second and third day with Kalo Surf trained catching waves by paddling - the far more difficult and energy consuming technique. Dani and Petar tried performing the turn in the water. Seraina, Franziska and Daria were training stalling and trimming on the surfboard. This is super important as it prolongs the ride. (1) If you land crooked on the surfboard while popping up, you can correct yourself, (2) you have to adapt your stance to the section of the wave you are surfing. Stalling & Trimming can be done by shifting your weight and by making small steps. A super important skill! On Friday morning, 17 September we surfed in beautiful beautiful Falassarna. The beach was all ours, no soul in sight. The sun was shining, no wind and crystal clear waters with glassy waves. We met with returning guests Manu and Tina. We started our session with a warm up and then advanced paddling into the wave. The goal of today was making turns in two different waves. (1) after catching the wave, giving direction to the board and then popping up, (2) after popping up turning the surfboard by shifting the weight to the back, rotating and shifting the weight back to the front. It was super fun, as we had all the waves to ourselves and plenty of practice time!
The morning of Saturday, 18 September once again was just fantastic, empty beach, crystal clear water and glassy waves. The participants were all with substantial prior surfing experience, we can safely call it an intermediate lesson, as we also focused on aspects of intermediate surfing! The waves were shoulder high with sometimes sets of head high or overhead wave. The lesson started with a warm up, saluting the sun that just had risen. Goal of the day was again making turns and continuing with practicing angling into the wave with speed to have a longer ride. Manu and Tina greatly paddled into waves on their own, angled the board in the right direction. It worked out for Lisa amazingly, one of her best days ever, according to Andy!
During the sunset session the group surfed for the first time with Kalo Surf. We started with safety, communication, board knowledge and a warm up - despite the warm temperatures at Falassarna beach! We learned how to catch waves in a 90 degrees angle with the push & jump technique. The first timers went through the exercises in the prawn position, while Mare and Fleur trained popping up on the board correctly. In the second half of the course the first timers trained also the pop up, while Mare and Fleur moved on to paddling into the wave and having longer rides. At Kalo Surf it is important to us to show you something new, no matter what level. For Mare and Fleur this meant that they were introduced stalling & trimming on a surfboard and making turns. They both tried front and back side turns!
On Sunday, 19 September we surfed again.... surprise!... in the morning. It is just the best time slot for Falassarna beach and the scenery never disappoints in the morning hours. The waves were glassy and around waist height, no wind - perfect for practicing our intermediate skills: the correct pop-up, stalling and trimming - in order to have the right position on the board in order to accelerate - and the turn. All this we did in dry runs on the beach and through visualizing. In the water Andy added the skill of leaning and angling the board to the participants that have not heard this before. Bottom turns and midface bottom turns were also on the menu! It was a super nice session, Kalo Surf all alone in the water and all the waves for ourselves. Everyone was able to train different aspects of surfing and had their achievements. Surf coach Andy assisted with individual feedback, and of course choice of wave & finding the peak - the hardest part in surfing.