In a recent conversation with a student who had already surfed several times before taking classes with us, a recurring theme emerged. It was his first time on the island and he wanted “big” waves. We are going to try to explain why size does not matter; that the important thing is to look for quality waves.
a common mistake
Because it is: to think that we have enough level to surf a big wave. If we have surfed for 10 years, but sporadically (2 or 3 times a year and separated from each other) we surely will not have the skill required to face waves that go beyond the height of the waist-chest.
Pre-assessment of the situation before going into the water is very important. “There are no waves”, a comment we have had to hear from some students. Surprisingly, some of these students have not been able to finish the surf session later because it turned out that they were “too big”. It is very common to think that the waves are small without having entered the water. From within, the situation is very different.
Reading the sea
That is why reading the sea is so important. If you have been through our Academy you will have heard it: “reading the sea is, by far, the most difficult surfing skill to learn”. This skill can only be pre-taught, but its learning depends on many baths, many hours of surfing and observation. And that is something that can only be achieved with time.
Because besides being complicated, reading the sea is super-important. All my surfing is conditional on the location of the wave; where and when I paddle, where and when I pick it up, where and when I stand up… and all these factors depend on one thing: how I read the waves, on the correct interpretation of what I see in the sea.
Size does not matter. More quality, less size
And that is the problem. That when we lack a well worked and developed reading of the sea, we are only able to read the big waves. In the same way that small children are only able to see, read, understand large letters during their initial learning, when we surf the same thing happens to us. We find it much easier to interpret larger waves (and generally dismiss small ones, which are harder to detect).
And there is the error. Becoming a “size”, that is to say… pretending to surf bigger waves to understand that they are better, when that relationship is not necessarily like that and, in fact, on many occasions it is just the opposite.
Learning to read the sea is a determining factor for our surfing, so take it easy because each session is different and you can get good learning from all of them. Of course, never lose sight of the fact that it is a long road and that it is not something that is learned in hours, days or weeks. It takes years to get a good swell reading.
Fuerteventura, a privileged place with many and very different waves
And that is why the north of the island is a unique location to learn to surf. Because it gives us multiple surf-spots in which to practice our passion with different characteristics. Faster and slower waves, left-handed, right-handed, more technical, softer, with a rocky, sandy, or mixed bottom, larger or smaller… see if there are variants, and we haven’t even entered a large detail!
That is why it is important to always get advice from someone who knows the places to surf and never underestimate the sea and wave conditions. And most importantly: in surfing, as in sex, size doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is playful (the wave).