Surfing Taghazout – By Sam Warren

We first came across Sam Warren on Instagram when his amazing surf photography caught our eye. You will often see his work gracing the pages of our Instagram and our blog. Late last year Sam headed to Morocco for a surf trip and has been kind enough to let us know his top tips for the famous surfing destination of Taghazout. Hope you enjoy!
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We headed over to Taghazout in December 2016 and would highly recommend it! We stayed with Surf Berbere, a surf house/hostel in Taghazout who were incredible! They catered to everyone’s needs, all dietary requirements covered, incredible staff and instructors, super duper friendly!
Whilst there the hostel also arranged for us to go on a series of different trips as well as surfing. I’d totally recommend checking out the Souk (market) in Agadir, it’s quite an experience and you can pick up some great souvenirs! It is also apparently one of the more relaxed Souks in Morocco, so you can wander round at ease!
We also headed over to Paradise Valley. It is about a 45minute drive from the hostel and is a series of rock pools hidden in the desert. It’s beautiful and there’s some sweet cliff jumping spots!
It was however the surfing that we had made this trip for so the spots that I’d recommend are:
Banana Point – The break is by the next town over from Taghazout (Banana Village). It’s a lovely right hand point break which works both on small and large surf depending on tides. It can get busy when the swell is good, but I’ve had a great time there when the tide is high and swell is smaller which resulted in us having the break to ourselves.
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Devils Rock – can be dumpy as the swell picks up but can also produces some nice left and rights. I’ve typically surfed here when the swell was 2-3ft so not crazy sizes, but still fun on a foamy! Gets a bit shit at high tide from my experience so probs best for a low to mid tide surf. There’s loads of beach salesmen here too, so if you fancy a donut (I don’t recommend the chocolate ones) or camel ride, I’m sure you’d be able to haggle a good price! (Will also have these guys at K17)
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K17 – a sorta point break between Devils Rock and Taghazout. Righthanders peel off a mini reef in the middle of the beach marked out by a ‘Magic Buoy’. You can see the reef at low tide, so it’s easy to avoid surfing on it, but at high it’s submerged so it’s best to keep the left of the buoy when you face the horizon (to the right if you’re facing the shore). What we found was just sitting right next to the buoy was the perfect take off point for most days, there’s a slight cross-current which drags you away from the reef which you’ll have to paddle against to maintain position but I’ve caught a few good long rides at this break when it doesn’t close out. Similar to Devils rock, can get dumpy when the wind and swell is strong enough.
Hash Point – situated right opposite Surf Berbere (check my insta for a photo of the lines coming through), this break is probably the most beautiful place I’ve surfed/watched surfing. Surfing here at sunset is incredible for visuals, and the waves are generally very nice! Can be a battle getting out back with the strong currents, but if you’re feeling brave you can jump in off the rocky point, although you might get smashed if you time it wrong! Popular spot for locals, but it’s totally worth getting in there just to give it a go. From what I’ve seen, it’s best at mid to high tide, but it still has surf at low. I tended to see surf of around 4-6ft here but can get bigger on the sets! Just be careful not to surf too close to the point or you’ll get smashed into the rocks!
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Sewers – Just next door to Hash Point, very similar case to Hash Point all round from what I saw.
Anchor Point + Big Swell = Heaven (either you die and go to heaven, or you think you have as you’ve just caught the best wave of your life!) Never surfed here, I value my life too much!!
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Imsouane – 1 hour north of Taghazout (totally worth the drive!) – famously the longest righthander in Africa, this is a beautiful place to surf, a very interesting wave which wraps around the headland and sea defence to scoop around the bay. I went when it was fairly small, but it was perfect for beginners. Been told on larger days it’s an incredible ride! Not sure about tides here unfortunately.
Imsouane (Cathedral Point) – point break off a headland which is very popular! The entire beach has breaks so doesn’t have to be crowded but by the headland it’s very busy. When I went it was low tide and it was nice, 4-6ft, sometimes bigger!
The dunes just south of Imsouane are another great place to to visit, amazing scenery and a little bit of sandboarding! Take the fins off a foamy and take the short hike up the dunes to witness beautiful landscape as far as the eye can see! There’s multiple slopes you can ride down, but we found the higher up you went, the better/steeper the slopes became! Probably best to ask a local or a surf camp about this as it’s pretty remote location and easy to miss the entrance of the dirt road which leads to the dunes!
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We had an absolute blast during our time in Taghazout, eating well, surfing well and even seeing a few sights! Who can ask for more!
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You can follow Sam on Insatgram here.

SurfEars: Worth the Hype?

We are in the lucky position to be sent some of the best new products in the surf market and are also lucky to have a great team of bloggers, photographers and sportsmen as part of our community. So when we were sent a couple of pairs of SurfEars we decided to get some members of our team to take them for a spin and to let us know what they thought!

These crafty inventions came into being after one of the inventors got a serious ear infection on a trip to Morocco. They were tired of poorly performing ear plugs so they spent a long while testing and developing what they believe to be the best ear plugs on the market.

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The two reviews come from our very own Mr Brown – he is our man in the know when it comes to surfing. He has surfed most of his life on the sunny coasts of Australia and knows a few things when it comes to getting in the water! Our second review comes for Nick Corkill – the Bristolian who is proving to be a rising star in the world of surf photography.

Review 1: By Mr Brown

I don’t suffer from surfers ear, but I really struggle with too much water getting in both my ears when I duck dive. I usually spend a minute trying to jolt the water out of my ears every time I paddle back out after catching a wave.

I have a pair of water ear plugs from the pharmacy, but they don’t have a secure way of staying with me when I’m surfing. They are fine for the swimming pool, but I’ve never chanced them in the ocean. So I was very excited to have an opportunity to test a product that at first impressions seemed to address this issue.

Test Day 1, 18th October 2016
Location: Yanchep, Western Australia.
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It was a particularly classic sunny Perth day, but with a moderate SW swell the conditions called for short drive up the coast to this not so secret spot that loves a bit of SW swell. It was a great spot to test out Surf Ears for the first time as there is generally a lot of duck diving due to the consistency of the waves and the skate park nature of the line up – lots of take off zones.

The test didn’t start well, as I had carelessly tossed the SurfEars casing in to a very messy boot when packing the car up – so I struggled to find them once I was suited up. Maybe a brighter casing would avoid such issues? Or I could not completely disregard the convenient carabiner which is attached to the case. I now know better!

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Removing the SurfEars from the casing is a breeze, no tangles etc.
Placing the SurfEar plugs in my ears was even easier and I really like the extra orange element which hooks under the hard cartilage in the middle of my ear. Its a nice security check that you’ve placed them correctly.

Paddling out, I duck dived a few wide set waves which proved two things instantly.
No water was coming into my ears.
The SurfEars were securely placed in my ears.
We surfed for 2 hours and I didn’t have any issues with water leakage or the plugs coming out.

As the wind picked up and turned side shore I did have some struggles hearing people talking to me from a distance of more than 5metres, but so much better than my soon to be extinct swimming plugs. I didn’t expect to hear the same as I do without the plugs, but it was still a huge improvement.

SurfEars will be a ubiquitous piece of surf hardware for me moving forward, in the ocean and in the pool.

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Review 2: By Nick Corkill

I’d never used any before so didn’t quite no what to expect! I decided to use them over the course of 2 days during a trip to Wales.

Day 1 – The surf was pretty heavy and obviously being the photographer I was in the ‘kill zone’ all day. I was sure that the earplugs wouldn’t last the day after the bashing that I had taken but even though we left with slightly bruised and sore bodies, I left the water with two ear plugs!

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Day 2 – The surf had died down a little and so was able to check out the affect the plugs were having on my surf a little more. The sound quality was pretty good, a little muffled but then again, you’ve got ear plugs in right! More importantly the fact they were stopping water getting in my ears was pretty damn good. They also folded really nicely into my ear and were comfortable to wear.

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Overall – 5 stars all the way! I will definitely wear them again!

Well it seems that SurfEars were a great success, with both of our reviewers saying that they would use them again! If you fancy picking up a set you can find them here.

Also if you get a chance to try them out, make sure and let us know how you get on!

Thanks for reading!

GVSCo.

 

A Wintery Weekend in Croyde – by Nick Corkill

We love to see people getting out and enjoying the British surf – no matter the weather! Nick has once again made us get itchy feet and we can’t wait to get back out on the water!

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#2minutebeachclean – The Mission to Save our Beaches!

We are honoured to be partnering with the #2minutebeachclean movement and selling their water bottles!

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#2minutebeachclean is an incredible movement run by The Beach Clean Network Limited who are an non-profit charity based here in the UK. They are standing up and taking action against marine litter and plastic pollution on beaches all across the globe.

Martin Dorey founded the charity back in 2009, but the social media phenomenon that is #2minutebeachclean began in the winter of 2013/14.  Since then it has exploded with support from beach and sea goers, wild life lovers and the general public all looking to make a difference in just 2 minutes of cleaning when they’re at the beach.

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This wonderful charity is funded by sponsorships from beach clean stations and sales of merchandise. This is where we step in!

If you watch #2minutebeachclean’s video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNGhAERqxLA) you will see that a staggering 38 Million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the UK each day. This is a simply mind blowing number of plastics that will take years and years to disappear, some may never even disappear. The negative impact this will have will be irreversible.

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This is why #2minutebeachclean are dutifully selling these reusable stainless steel water flasks.

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We, Great Venture Surf Company (GVSCo) have partnered with Martin and #2minutebeachclean and will be selling these brilliant water flask on our site here! We will also have them at our stall at The Mill Xmas Fair:

If you wish to follow #2minutebeachclean and perhaps even post you and your marine litter next time your down at the beach. You can follow their brilliant journey here:

Website: beachclean.net/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/2minutebeachclean/

Stay stoked!

GVSCo.

Meet the Photographers: Catarina Edén

 

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My name is Catarina Edén and live in a quaint coastal town on the west coast in Sweden called Varberg, and it’s my own little Paradise. Working as a freelancing photographer and craftsperson this place has everything I could ever dream for – the powerful ocean, mystic forests and beautiful valleys.

 

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I also love to travel and explore new places which also is my biggest source of inspiration. I lived in California, USA for three years as I attended school there. After those amazing years I see it as my second home and it has a dear place in my heart. This makes Varberg even more special to me because it is a lot like a Swedish version of California with its coastal nature and lifestyle.

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I spend a lot of time along the coast exploring new places, either by foot or together with my horse. When I cant bring my bigger camera along my iPhone or older Olympus OM-1 will assist me. Either way I always need to bring one of them because there will always be a beautiful scenery that I want to capture.

 

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I recently started selling my photos along with wood prints and camera straps that I create my self by hand. You can find them them under designochprints.com but also on http://www.etsy.com/shop/designochprints

 

 

 

Surfing Norway – With Nick Corkill pt.3

And so we bring you the last instalment from Nick and his travels in Norway. It is always such a struggle for us when he sends in his pictures to decide which ones to pick, but we hope you have enjoyed them and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for us next!

DAY 5

We decided to go for a hike today. I say hike, It was a small mountain that we had to traverse with none of us having any real ‘mountain walking’ experience other than wearing North Face jackets and going to climbing walls ( I don’t even do that) but I think we did a good job! Even if Adam was dressed like he was going on a night-out and I had the worst sprained ankle I think I have ever had…. “Lets go for a little walk shall we? We’ll can surf later” …….. 9 kilometres and 1000 ft later we made it, apart from not being able to tweet or get a good latte at the summit I was pretty chuffed!

We didn’t surf….!

Later that evening my mate James from Bristol turned up with a friend at our lodge (as you do, just passing by in the Arctic) and joined us for dinner. Later that evening we had our first taste of the Northern Light’s which blew our MINDS!!!!! 6 lads running ( me hobbling) around a field shrieking with delight and annoying James into lending me his camera gear and to get some pictures! (He  had also basically brought a small ‘Jessops’ store with him!)

 

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DAY 6

Last day so Mee-Mee ( French surf instructor empress) took us to Kvalvika where the film ‘North Of The Sun’ was made. We hiked in, surfed, had a bonfire, hiked out, saw more northern lights (yawn) got back to the surf lodge (Unstad Arctic Surf Camp) where the camps owner, local shredder, Tommy had prepared a traditional Norwegian hot tub (outside)….the whole thing was very, very, VERY cool! ( bordering on ‘Hipster’ but no one has to know that..!)

 

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DAY 7

Our final day was another long day of travel back to Bristol

It was an incredible trip with some incredible people and given the chance I would go back in a heartbeat!

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Surfing Norway – With Nick Corkill pt.2

Nick’s journey continues with the second instalment of his blog from Norway. If you would like to read part one, you can find it here.

DAY 3

We decided to stay at Unstad again as its been pumping all day but still super windy and rainy! We had a morning surf north of the beach with faces of  about 15ft! The boys managed to get in a few barrels. Even a few double overheads and super chunky! BEAUTIFUL!

We got out after a few hours to have some lunch and then decided to try out the south of the beach ( the break here is named ‘garbage’!) I have never seen wind like it! The guys in the water said they couldn’t see anything on the take off because of spray!

I shot from the boot of the car, and felt like even that was going to roll away with the wind! The highlight was seeing a French girl, Mimi, paddling out on a FLOATY, no hood or gloves! BEAST! There were a couple of South Africans who also rocked up and I’ve never seen surfing like it, definitely pro standard! 

We had news that the wind was dying off to 20mph tomorrow which apparently is good?!?!  

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DAY 4

We headed up the coast to Delp to change it up a bit. The spot is north facing and needs a big west swell to get up there. The boys were lucky and had a westerly swell, 10ft@13seconds with a light southerly wind and we surfed here for around 3 hours. Oh and those Saffers that I mentioned, low and behold were there and not only that, one of them, Steve ‘stezzy’ Sawyer is ranked WSL 49th and SA longboarding Champion whilst the other, Shannon Ainsleigh is a pro-surf instructor/mentor and SHARK ATTACK survivor! The pair of them were absolute gems !

That evening we went and watch Steve play an acoustic set in a local bar which he nailed, obviously! ( not jealous much). I bought his CD for my mum…..!

 

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Surfing Norway – With Nick Corkill pt.1

Many of you who have been following our Great Venture Surf Co. blog for a while might know, we work with a network of talented photographers and bloggers and Nick Corkill just happens to be both!

A few months ago Nick told us he had been invited to go to Norway on a Surf and photography trip by Tim Nunn who is another talented  photographer and runs The Plastic Project . We were obviously incredibly keen to be kept up to date on every detail of this trip and Nick thankfully agreed! So we hope you enjoy his amazing story

DAY 1

The first day started off with a very early 3am start. The journey to Norway was not going to be a quick one! We flew from Bristol to London > London to Oslo > Oslo to Bodo and then a Ferry to Lofted. All in all taking a mighty 20 hours to reach our destination. The group consisted of Jamie Gatley; Nick Rees and Adam Parsons.

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DAY 2

We headed down to Unstad beach which is next to our lodge and the most consistent break in the region. It has South Westerly swell direction – cross/offshore wind – gusting 30-40mph, head and a half high. I entered the water from the rocks on the north side of the beach and surfed a right hand point break, breaking over shallow Kelp covered rocks. Surfing with a seal and a load of cormorants was a pretty special experience and surfing a beach the size of Croyde with only 4 of us was even better! It also rained all day!

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Keep y0ur eyes peeled for the second instalment from Nick

GVSCo.

Meet The Craftsmen! – Submariner

We are very happy to announce that our collaboration with the lovely guys at Submariner has finally launched on our website.

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The majority of brands we team up with are usually found via hours of trawling through Instagram but these guys were actually recommended to us by some of our most hardy surfing friends.

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These guys have been around since 2012 and have built themselves a reputation for creating clothing and technical gear that will last and is fit for purpose. We also happen to think they just also look bloody cool!

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The following is a brief history of their brand:

Submariner was founded on the North Devon coast in 2012, with the intention of creating practical clothes made ethically and entirely in the British Isles. From a  background steeped in surfing, climbing, and windsurfing, Howard Davey drew heavily on traditional maritime influences as well as the creative input from the wider community of north Devon and Cornwall based artists.

Along this Journey, long standing friend and like minded surfer Ben Thompson joined in 2014, to become partner and co founder, and  help develop Submariner to increase its offering to the wider surfing community. Today, Submariner sells through a network of local Devon and Cornwall based stockists and relies heavily on its support/feedback from the Maritime community it was setup to provide for.

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We are extremely proud to have these guys as part of our community as they fit the bill to an absolute T and we hope that you will all enjoy what they are doing as much as we do.

You can check out their full range over on the GVSCo. website, so pop on over and take a look – we are sure you won’t be disappointment!

Stay Stoked

GVSCo.

 

 

 

How to Improve Your Surfing: A Step by Step Guide. Part 1. 

Let’s go surfing

An online educational series with an aim to teach you how to make the best decision on where and when to surf .

It’s easy when you know how…

Series 1 – the very basics .

Volume #1:

It may seem obvious but having the skills and knowledge to read and interpret surf reports and meteorological weather charts is vital to you catching waves and not . The thing is with surfing , most of the time we  are forced to make compromises. The winds to strong, swell is to small or its just to bloody cold. Always waiting and searching for that occipitcal  report when you know whatever happens it’s going to be firing and glassy AF. But the truth is these days a seldom and we make do with what we can , this series aims to educate you so no matter the weather and surf report you can get the best waves possible on the day 🙂 .
Step 1 – The wind

We have all been there, waking up at the break of day stepping out of our tents or crawling out the back of the car to freeze our bollocks  off as we twist, turn and contort ourselves into a wetsuit which your growing ever more convinced has shrunk since you last did battle. And after all the effort and what to normal people seems insane you are stoked and pumped to walk over the crest of the dude which till now has blocked your view of the mornings perfect A frames. You make it to the view point board under your arm and you are greeted with wind blown mess , heart sinks (que the violins) as you realise the day you had planned to nail some manovers isn’t going to happen. But the day is not in Vein because you haven’t come this far not to got in !!! Now it’s that surfers determination coupled with some prior research and knowledge that’s going to improve your surfing.
The wind is what create swell miles out at sea and drives it towards us eger land dwelling surfs. Where swell meets the shallow waters we find surf. Simple enough . But it’s not just this swell you are looking at,  the wind is just as important . One of the first things to consider is the winds direction and how it will effect the wave you are going to surf. If there is strong onshore wind you will most likely be faced will wind blown mess (waves which have been pushed over, creating what we see as white wash) , not great surfing conditions. The opposite happens with a strong off shore wind , this holds the face of the waves up for longer than normal results in a heavier more peaking wave more likely to close out and dump. These effects can be magnified or reduced with the strength of the winds.

IN A NUT SHELL.

Location, location, loaction,  It is key that you choose the most ideal surf break for the condition on the day . Looking for those break that may be sheltered from high winds or that may be fetching more swell .
Here are a few screen grabs from today’s forecasts, see if you can get an idea of what the waves will be like from the information presented:

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Keep your eyes out for those low wind days (like today) swell isn’t everything you can really improve and focus training when the waves a clean 🙂
Stay stoked

More on swell, periods  and weather charts to come.

Gus

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