A Story by Hawaiian Surf Instructor David
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.