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Surf Maroc

Something new crossed off the bucket list last week: surfing. Or rather, learning to surf, because it turns out it's pretty tricky to stand up on a wobbly board while negotiating an unstable surface such as waves, let alone stay upright!

Surfing is something I've always wanted to try out, but with young children, imagined it was out of reach till they were much older. But in stepped the grandparents and Auntie Phina, and off we went to Morocco for the week (huge thanks!).

No chance for a child-free lie-in, we were up and on the road every day at 8.45am, scanning the beaches for beginner-friendly waves. Day 1 saw the biggest swell of the season so far, and our instructor struggled to find a reasonable spot to start. Strong rip tides and powerful waves gave us a real taste of how exhausting surfing can be: wade out through the waves (attempting to keep hold of your board as you are buffeted about), turn round and launch onto the board before the next crest hits you, then try to stand up - and stay up - as the white water pushes you towards the beach. And repeat. Again and again.

By the end of the week we had just about mastered standing up on the white water and surfing into the beach. On our last day we got our first taste of paddling out into the deeper water and trying to catch "green water" (before the wave crests). The immense power of the wave was intimidating and mostly I crashed within moments, but when I got it right - picked the right wave, paddled fast enough to keep up with it, stood up and cruised into the shore on the back of that wave, the feeling was pure exhilaration...and I can fully see why it is an addictive sport. Just need to figure out a way of going back next year...

Here are some photos from the trip of my fellow surfers and our brilliant instructor Omar.

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