Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Everybody can surf, says Johanna

Johanna surfing
It's not as difficult to surf as many people think. Almost all beginners take a wave the first day, says my friend Swedish surf teacher Johanna. We use lightweight mousse boards and tandem boards, to facilitate for the beginner. The basque coast is one of the best places to start, because here you can always find a calmer spot.

Johanna is sporty and move with ease and energy. Her eyes twinkle when she gives me that bright, bronzed smile. She started her career with extreme ski competitions in the Alps. Then she went to Biarritz for vacation, met Christophe, a legendary surfer and fell in love. Now they are married and have a daughter.

Surf school for childrenI am now a certified surf teacher, continues Johanna. That took a big effort and I am very proud of myself for achieving this. Today I work together with Christophe in his surf school. We teach everybody, adults, teenagers and children. It is a fantastic sport where you have fun from day one and keep learning the whole time. I coach a team of women every Saturday, most of them in their forties. Afterwards we drink tea and chat..... pretty far from your stereotype surfer guy, right!

You find good surf waves the whole way along the Atlantic coast, but the best ones for beginners are on the basque coast. The coast is more curved and cut, so the currents are not so strong and you can always find a more protected bay. On the Landes coast, you find the real big waves and the tubes, the waves that roll over themselves - for real good surfers.

The waves are so great here because of the Biscaya bay, that leads them in here. Best spots are supposed to be in Hossegor in Landes and Biarritz on the basque coast.

Christophe Reinhardt on a tandem board

Johanna's husband Christophe Reinhardt is a real surf star. His father invented surf in France and Christophe grew up on a surf board. He recommends a surf school, at least in the beginning, to learn the right technique from the start and to find the best spots for the day, depending on the weather conditions. Ask at the tourist office, you find a surf school on almost every beach!

Surf school in Bidart - where Johanna works with Christophe. Or contact the Tourist Office. And check her cool site Mamas Surf Club! She is organising a surf week for women only in June 2010 - to die for! Surf, yoga, massage, champagne and delicious French food...

Young, cool and surfers

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