Last but not least, our photographer, drone flyer, marketing expert and lifestyler: Tomas Grootveld
In this mini series we will introduce you to our crew. This week, the one and only mrs Surftrips herself: Carine van den Berg
In this mini series we will introduce you to our crew. This episode: Bert Smit. Chef, lifestyler and barrel rider.
In this mini series we will introduce you to our crew. First up: Daniel van der Ploeg. Surf teacher and allround good guy.
Thalassophiles: a documentary about individuals who love the ocean and a display of the impact of surfing on your body & mind.
A documentary made by our cook Charlotte Eckebus and our photographer Tomas Grootveld, where our Carine van den Berg and others will be followed in their lives near the ocean.
Idea behind the movie
”Thalassophile: Someone who loves the sea, ocean; a lover of the ocean”
Thalassophiles “A surfers mind” shows you the impact of surfing on your life, body and mind. We will follow two individuals that use surfing as a guidebook in their lives; Cainã Souza da Silva & Carine van den Berg.
Cainã was born in a small village in Brazil; Baía da Traição. He taught himself how to surf on a piece of wood when he was only seven years old. It was hard for him to find a proper surfboard. Through persistence he was able to create opportunities for himself and he is working hard to make surfing his source of income. Cainã is a super positive and thankfull person. He puts all his effort in surfing competitions, aiming to reach the top 30 of the best surfers in the world. His dream is to be able to financially provide his family and friends back home in Brazil. He currently resides in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, where he lives with his Dutch girlfriend.
Together with Cainã, we will travel to his hometown in Brazil. We’ll get a look inside his place where he started surfing. We’ll also film his current life. Who is Cainã? Where does he live? How does he spend his days? How does he deal with competitions? What happens to his body? And how does he mentally prepare himself?
Besides Cainã we will follow Carine, a globetrotter born and raised in Amsterdam. After her studies in Clinical Psychology, she started working at Surfana as a surfteacher. In 2015 she became co-owner of Surfana Surftrips. She spends about four months a year surf tripping in different countries throughout Europe, which enables her to share her passion for surfing with the surf trip guests. Carine is a charismatic and inspiring woman that lives her life fully and open minded. Her dream is to set up a place where she can spend her life with her loved ones and create different kinds of things she would like to share with guests. We follow her in the search for such a place.
Surfing is a lot more than just riding a board and hanging out on the beach. We dive into the physiology and psychology behind surfing. Therefore we’ll be following Tim Binkhorst and Alex Spiller.
Tim is a physiotherapist, manual orthopedic & dry needling therapist. He is the founder of Flowfysio. He specializes in different sports, but mainly surfing. His view on the human body is innovative. He has a lot of knowledge about the link between body and mind and is eager to tell us more. Tim is also the physiotherapist for the Dutch surfing team.
Alex studied Sport Science and did research regarding the psychological, sociological and metaphysical effects of surfing.
The movie gives you a good impression of what life looks like if you choose to stay close to the ocean and to nature. You feel the intensity, pure love and joy of Cainã & Carine when they surf, but we will also cover the uncertainties that cross their paths. How is it to chase waves? To move around a lot? To continuously evolve yourself in a sport? What does their relationship to the ocean look like?
After working as a producer in the commercial sector for some years, Charlotte got burned out. The only thing left on her mind was surfing and so she started traveling around the world and working in places with good surf. Close to the ocean and mother nature. It brought her back to the person she once was. During these years, her passion for producing or ‘telling stories’ never faded. Real stories. About life. Stories that make you think. Stories that show the beauty that life has to offer.
With this film, Charlotte want to show us what the ocean and surfing can give you in life. The power, intensity, the depths, the mirrors. By sharing this, she hopes that our love for the ocean can grow and be strengthened. To cherish what we have and take good care of it.
This film is for anyone that feels attracted to the ocean and surfing. And for the open-minded ones that are curious to what the ocean can tell you more about life.
Waves in the sea come and go. Just like your thoughts and emotions. When you enter the sea, you loose track on time, you forget about everything. You just feel one with the powerful ocean, one with nature. That’s why I love to go surfing and to play with the waves in the sea.
A couple of years ago I started to host Surfana Surftrips. We organize surf trips for adults, who want to learn how to surf or improve their surf skills and mostly, who want to spend some time outdoors, not thinking about time or duties.
With a positive, adventurous and open-minded crew we create a loving vibe which makes you feel at home immediately. Since groups are small and you share the same goals for that week, you grow into a feeling of being friends or family quite easily. Bearing in mind the fact that people don’t even know each other before that the trip because pretty much everyone comes alone! It doesn’t matter if you have surfed before or if you are a complete beginner. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, how old you are and what your background is, we love sharing this life with every single person.
Surfana Surftrips takes you to the best beaches in Europe. In one week you will be able to surf a lot and you will be spoiled with healthy food, luxury accommodation and tons of good vibes in beautiful surroundings.
We love to chase waves, good weather and to avoid crowds. So we pick the locations for that best time of the year, when there are plenty of waves and sunshine and the least amount of tourists around.
Portugal is Europe’s #1 surf destination. Along the 943 km long coastline, you can find many beautiful beaches to surf at. During the autumn months, until December, we will be searching for waves in the Algarve, where the sun shines more than 300 days a year.
For the winter season, we have found a pearl in the Atlantic Ocean: Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. You will be amazed by the beauty of this island and it’s special landscapes. It feels like spring all year round and there are waves enough for everybody.
If you’re in need of a holiday, want to escape winter or just want to go surfing, don’t hesitate to come with Surfana Surftrips and you’ll experience it yourself.
This week was the first surf & explore week ever. In the North of Spain, besides surfing, we would be going on a hike and go canyoning and paddle boarding in the Picos de Europa. So exciting!
The first days we went surfing on the beach at Langre. We caught so many waves. No one can get their smile of their faces anymore. After a long day at the beach, it’s time to relax at the villa. The villa is like a mini castle: it dates from the 17th century, and many paintings and other parts of the interior do as well.
Time to explore some mountains
After a half an hour drive we park at the end of a dirt road: the start of our hike. A walk through a hedge of ivy on a small path through a vast forest brings us to an open field where we can see the mountain peaks lighted by the bright sun. Whilst walking along a beautiful creek, we pass a bridge and church that must be at least four hundred years old. We decided to go for a picnic and a swim, and not finish the entire walk (which would have been at least three more hours), since we would like to spare some energy for tomorrows surf sessions.
The next day, we have another surf lesson at Langre. One after the other is making rides all the way to the beach, everyone is cheering, laughing and enjoying very much! The waves were bigger today and they are hard to get onto, but once you’ve got them, you just keep on going. Such a good feeling!
Another day of exploring takes us into the Pico de Europa. On a small river in a truly idyllic village with an adorable church by the water, we are going paddle boarding. We paddle past the church and go underneath a small bridge, where a water mill on the side appears behind an old yellow house. Just stunning. After this relaxed paddle we go for a slightly heavier one on the ocean where some of us try to catch some waves.
After this relaxing session it’s time for the big work: canyoning. We get ourselves into some 5mm thick ’90’s wetsuits, jackets, helmets and very sexy yellow, diper looking, gliding shorts. We first walk uphill for about 15 minutes, where besides us a stream with various waterfalls goes downhill. Overheated we reach the starting point of our way down. We jump into the first pool we can see. It’s such cold water coming down from the mountains, brrrr!
We start gliding and climbing down some natural glides. We get connected to a rope, with which you have to abseil yourself down. I try to look over the edge, but I can’t see where we have to go. I ask myself if this is a good moment to remember I’m afraid of heights.
A good couple of hours we are busy sliding of rocks, abseiling and climbing in the hot afternoon sun.
Exhausted – more from laughter than the climbing – we get back to the cars and we are ready to have dinner in a Mexican restaurant.
What an amazing week we had. Doing so much exploring, laughing so much and having the best time surfing. All with a beautiful bunch of people. At the end of the week, it feels like the group would never leave us; we were grown into a good group of friends. However, it is time to say goodbye and we drop the guests off on the airport in Bilbao.
The villa feels empty when we return to Galizano. It’s good to have a moment alone with just crew to chill and do nothing, but I prefer this beautiful place is supposed to be filled with a lot of lovely people. Fortunately we will be back here next year, Hasta pronto!
C’est la Vlie
It all refers to the beautiful island in the North of the Netherlands in the Wadden sea. In Harlingen you can get the boat, which takes you in 90 minutes to this peaceful place. No cars are allowed on the island except for the islanders and only 1100 people live there all year round. In the summer time it gets really busy with a lot of (mostly Dutch) tourists of whom the majority stays on camping Stortemelk.
Here you find Surfana Vlieland. Surfana Vlieland consists of a surf school and a surf camp. Kids between 13 and 18 can join a surf camp here during the summer holiday. They learn how to surf, do games and a lot of fun activities together. During the weekends the surf camp is open for adults who enjoy a week of surfing and chilling at the camp. At the surf school everyone can join a surf lesson. Lessons are divided in groups for kids between 6 and 9 years old, a group for the ages 10 till 13 and a group for 14+ years old.
All the crew sleeps behind the surf school. We all eat together and we are all enjoying the island together. You are really living together with the crew; everyone contributes something to the Surfana Vlieland community.
The last month I’ve spend here, I realized again how much I like this island:
Being on Vlieland feels free. It starts when you hop on the boat in Harlingen. You get away from the main land. Most people stay on the East side of Vlieland. Here is a small village and the camping is there as well. The rest of the island is mainly nature. Endless dunes and beaches, forests, a polder and half of the island consists of the Vliehors: sands where during the week the military practices and which you can visit only on Sunday or with expedition the Vliehors.
You can keep exploring the island: by bike, hiking, horse riding, sleeping on the beach under the stars, making a camp fire, meeting old and new friends, picking berries, surfing empty line-ups, watching the sunrise and sunset and all the amazing sky art made by clouds and all different kinds of weather. It’s a big playing field and the best 360 degrees film set to watch.
The best waves I’ve surfed in the Netherlands, I surfed on Vlieland. The only people who are surfing are the ones living or working there, which means: a lot of empty line-ups and a lot of nice longboarding waves, with or without current. Seals who welcome you in the water, or who scare you. Sailing boats, jelly fish, a view of Terschelling, the neighbor island.
After surfing it’s time for coffee at Leut Coffeebar where you can drink the best coffee and eat nice cakes (absolute favorite is Banana bread) or lunch.
We ended the summer with an absolute amazing edition of Into The Great Wide Open festival. Good music, sun, great food and so many beautiful and happy people; a celebration for all senses.
Besides enjoying the island, it is really special to spend so much time together with all the people who stay on the island during the season. There is a small community life going on there. Being back on the main land I realize how special it is to live so close to each other and enjoy the beauty of life together. Surfing, eating and laughing so much.
Vlieland soaked me up again with all the timeless adventures.
I’m truly thankful for everything.
A lot of love and Vliefde 🙂
Photos by Tomas Grootveld
Watch more photos and video (first one on the page is a video) on:
When I first heard about Surfana Surf Trips, I thought it sounded like a dream. Exotic locations like the Canary Islands and Portugal, gorgeous villas and cottages to stay in, and just all day having fun in the sun and surf with amazing vibes. I envied Carine and the Surfana Surf Trips crew as I trudged through the snow during the Canadian winter; I seemed to be living the exact opposite life as they were. So when I was offered the chance to come along as a surf instructor for the trips, it took me very little time to tell my job I was taking a leave of absence and book a ticket to join Carine, Tomas, Bert and the guests in beautiful Moliets.
When I first arrived in Holland for the drive down to Moliets, I was a little unsure of how things were going to go. There didn’t seem to be a whole lot of structure to the trip, a very easy-going, free-flowing sense of scheduling and dealing with things. Coming from a year of working with strict deadlines, plans, job requirements, and finances, this took a little time for me to adjust to. However, my expectations for the trip were blown away as soon as we started to drive down. We faced obstacles along the way that might have dismayed others but with the Surfana Surf Trips crew, vibes were always high and positive and no matter what crossed our path there was no complaints, just good times and creative solutions drawn from the flexibility and practice of this Surfana crew. This vibe and mindset, of just loving life and enjoying every day for what it was, is so integral and natural to the Surf Trips experience.
The next month spent in Moliets was a blast. I woke up every day, so stoked and so happy to be where I was and I think every person, crew or guest, felt the same feeling every day. Rain or shine, we were making the most of our experience, whether it be dawn patrols and surf lessons or day trips to Biarrtiz, Hossegor, and San Sebastian. This vibe created a sense of friendship and closeness between everyone there that I haven’t felt often, from deep philosophical discussions around the dinner table about connections between social change and environmental policy to seeing how far someone could ride a surfboard across the pool. Early morning pre-surf missions to the bakery for fresh bread, surf marathons beginning with a morning lesson and ending in everyone surfing together at sunset. Every week was different, but every week was so much fun. From playing games in the yard to the occasional late night with a few beers and good times, I couldn’t have asked for a better time. Added to that, I think I ate the best tasting, healthiest food I’ve possibly ever had in my life every single day for every single meal.
At the end of the day, these trips are about surfing as much as possible and learning as much as possible, and as the surf instructor, I hope we achieved that. We were out there every day possible, doing beach drills and techniques as well as trying to tailor instructions personally to every individual there depending on their skill level. Some surfers confidently paddled out the back to work on their down-the-line surfing, turns, and steep drops with an instructor while other beginners stayed on the inside whitewash perfecting their pop-up. Surfers of every level, from beginners to experienced rippers, can take something from these trips. These trips offer a whole experience that can’t be matched, combining travel, lifestyle, food, surf and incredible people, and I’m so thankful to be involved.
An unknown paradise in the middle of the Atlantic.
A new adventure lies ahead. I’m on my way to Sao Miguel, the main island of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, about 1300 km west of Portugal. I haven’t done much research this time. I know the islands lie far away from the European continent, that it belongs to Portugal, that Ponta Delgada is the capital and it is said to be the European Hawai’i. After my adventure to Hawai’i last March, I was very excited to check out these islands, which are a little bit closer.
When the plane took off, I realized how incredibly lucky I am with the life I’m living (you can read about it in my last blog ‘Behind the scenes’). I’m on my way to an unknown paradise to see if it might be a possible location for a new surf trip. Doesn’t seem too bad to spent my first weeks of the summer there.
I arrived in Ponta Delgada but my luggage was still in Amsterdam. I imagined it had to happen once, with all the traveling I’m doing. The only thing I could do was laugh about it and hope it would arrive sooner or later.
A friend of mine knew a guy on the island where I could spend my first nights. He knew the islands very well and told me all about it. He was telling me about this special place on Sao Jorge island. A surf spot where you could only come by foot, where a friend of his build some huts and where there was barely anyone in the water. 2 days after I arrived, my luggage was found and brought to the place I was staying. Since there was some swell coming, I decided to go to Sao Jorge island for some days, to relax and surf.
Sao Jorge is indeed a beautiful island. Small, very green, a friendly vibe (where in the world can you leave your car open, ready to be used?), clear water and even though it’s the high summer season, barely any tourists. After a couple of days of hiking, surfing, sleeping and relaxing, I went back to Sao Miguel to pick up Tomas, who would join me for the last week.
Our adventure of wild camping, exploring the island and doing research for a possible surf trip location started. After our first night sleeping near a waterfall (our shower), we caught some waves on the South side of the island. The most crowded spot where many locals surf, since it is the closest to town and not a lot of people own a car here.
Over the next days there wasn’t much swell coming in. But being on a ridiculously beautiful island, an adventure is never far away. We hiked down a volcanic crater and made camp next to a lake. Making fire was a tough job since there wasn’t much firewood and if we found some, it was very humid. But Tomas was committed to the job and made it happen: 2 hours later we had tea, a smoky fire and a instant food meal.
The Azores is a volcanic archipelago which has a lot of rain fall. This results in green, hilly islands with lots of lakes, rocks and a lot of flora. The only reason I can think of that the islands don’t attract many tourists is because of the climate. In the summertime, it doesn’t get much warmer than 26 degrees Celsius with some cloudy days and some rainfall every now and then. For the rest, I was really surprised not to see many people. For what I’ve seen so far, it’s incredibly beautiful, peaceful and friendly with a lot of amazing hikes, astonishing nature and warm waters with a big chance to see different kinds of dolphins and whales throughout the whole year.
We camped on some beautiful places: on a cliff with amazing sunsets on the North shore, at a rocky beach at the quiet West coast and on top of a mountain range on the East coast. We hiked some random hikes through forests which made me think of the Lord of the Rings set, on top of volcanic craters with views you can hardly imagine, passed waterfalls and ocean views where you can only dream of. It really felt like we were super far away from the rest of the world.
Oh yeah, we also came here to surf, and to check out some locations for the surf trips. We found another beach break on the North coast. The most well-known, with hardly any people surfing when the swell was on. Pretty much every day there where some waves, good for beginners and for longboarding. Some days we took out our shortboard and we had some fun sessions.
The island is amazing really. The surf is good, but like the rest of the Atlantic, not the biggest waves during summertime. But you shouldn’t want to come here only to surf. The island is too beautiful not to go on an adventure. It’s perfect to go to in summertime since there are not too many people and the weather is just fine.
One way or the other, I will be back here one day. There is too much to explore and there are still plenty of breaks to surf, whales to spot and trails to hike. I can’t wait to dive into that beautiful clear and warm water again.
What a life we are living, what a life to share and what a beautiful world we live in.