Taking 'the wave'

12 January 2018

I started working at surf camps five years ago in a small town in the Atlantic coast in South-France called Moliets. I never really was interested in surfing while I was there because it is a place known for strong currents and big waves, basically a good challenge for good surfers as it is a place for them to improve their skills, but for me? No. I went in twice during the whole summer and it probably was bad luck and lack of skill, because it really didn’t work out at all, so I decided to keep my feet dry for the rest of the summer, rather skating around the town and on the mini ramp at the camp. I was the guy who went to work at a surf camp and didn’t surf. At least I wasn’t the only one.

The following year I started in Zarautz because of a different camp where they needed a Spanish speaker. Still unhappy about the sessions I had the previous year, I continued skating around the city instead of surfing because it really didn’t interest me at the time, mostly due to my bad experiences in Moliets and I kept thinking that Zarautz was the same, or even worse, which is not true since Zarautz is known for its easy waves. However, I remember that in the end of the summer my curiosity grew for why people kept surfing with so much passion and dedication, so I gave it a shot. I went in with some guests in complete, worry-free, bliss. Not thinking at all about how I wanted the session to be, but that was the session everything changed. 

Joking around with friends, 3 guys and 2 girls just messing around on soft tops in some easy waves, while the sun was setting. The moment couldn’t have been better. Every surfer remembers ‘the wave’ and this was mine, I saw it coming, slowly approaching and it ended up breaking perfectly to where I was waiting so I started paddling. The wave grabbed the board and I was off. 1-2-3 and push and I was on my feet on the board. It was an amazing feeling to be standing and feeling in control of the board, while your friends are cheering in the background. Luckily for me, my skating experience came in handy and I knew how to do simple turns and ride the wave through instinct because it is so similar to pool skating that it felt like second nature. 

I rode the wave all the way to the shore, not even trying anything but just enjoying the brief moment of being part of the wave and yet still being in control. When I reached the shore, I hopped off my board and was in dismay of what I just experienced. It truly was the best feeling. A feeling of accomplishment, pride and just pure enjoyment. Then I decided to head back in to the fray, paddling towards where my friends were and continue the hunt for more waves. Ever since then I have been attracted to surfing, trying to do it as much as possible whenever I have time in the summer. I even bought my first wetsuit that week and it was such a monumental moment for me since now I was committed. Too bad that I got ‘the wave’ too late. The summer was over in two weeks and I had to go back to Belgium, but the next year I returned and was committed to surf more and better. 

Now, remember that I’m definitely not a good surfer, still stuck to the basics and learning very slowly every year, but it doesn’t matter. Surfing is about letting go and enjoying the moment with some friends or just by yourself and improving at your own pace. There is no one who can tell you what you have to do, it’s all up to you. All that matters is that you have fun and enjoy being in the water and letting go of all the things in life. Just feeling completely free for a few moments.

I really recommend everyone to try surfing and experiencing ‘the wave’, the mythical moment when everything clicks like when playing Tetris and you have built everything perfectly and finally that one straight line piece shows up and you just complete the moment. This is why Zarautz Surf Village is perfect for also beginners. If I, probably the most stubborn person ever can be converted to surfing there, it can happen to anyone.

So what are you waiting for? Book your week now and come join my 3-s evenings (Silly-Softop-Sessions). We are waiting for you.

- E

Taking 'the wave'

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