Archive for category: Tips
🇵🇹 The Portuguese West Coast has plenty of beautiful beaches. Some with more, others with less consistency for Surf.
Santa Cruz is a lovely small town, with few Services restaurants and beach bars, but have all you need for relaxing vacations.
July and August is the highest season and full of people everywhere, but still quieter than any other close known beach like Nazaré, Peniche or Ericeira.
In Santa Cruz, local people have the habit of going home to lunch, so in the middle of a Summer day, you can very often find the beach almost empty until 3 to 4 pm when it starts to fill up again.
😉The rest of the year:
Mid Season: May, June, September – more services are opened but the Beach still absolutely empty. – My advice is, if you can, to travel at this time… From mid-June to Mid September you can find lifeguard control in the main central beaches. Don’t expect to find crazy night parties, because, at the moment there is no night disco. But you have some nice bars where you and your friends or family will be received has friends.
And Winter? – Well, Winter is Winter. But never forget, we are in PORTUGAL, where the Sun shines! Today, 11 December 2019, it’s 16º and of course – SUNNY! 🔆
Now, let’s talk about Surf Conditions!
The coast is totally turned to West, without cuts, to protect from the swell coming straight to the shore, which makes the sea and waves, sometimes rough even during Summer.
One thing you need to know is that, because of the tides, we have weeks without daylight Surf conditions, especially for all less experienced surfers.
Let me explain:
The slope of the beach is steep, so at high tide, usually, the waves fail to break. The best tide for someone with some surfing experience will be mid-tide and for those who are still learning, the best tide will be around low tide.
As you know, there are usually two periods of high tide and two periods of the low tide over the course of a day. The interval between high tide and low tide is approximately 6 hours.
Do your math! 📉
The classes will always have to be close to the low tide schedule.
The most important tip I can give you:
Always consider the tide, forecast and please NEVER EVER practice surf alone in Santa Cruz.
And don’t get mad at us, if we don’t want to rent you surf gear, even if you say you are experienced… We are just looking after your life!
🙏The thing we love best is that we are still absolutely alone at this beach some days, even with great surf conditions. The reason is that most of the surfers, Surf Instructors, and other Surf business owners simply live in the city, and have other jobs in Low season, so… that makes almost everyone miss the right conditions. Wich means – MORE FOR YOU!!!!
👩🎓To live the best that Santa Cruz has to offer takes ocean knowledge, and to live on top of the beach to know this coast pattern best.
⚠️If you want to take Surf vacations in this lovely Town, which we totally recommend, consult us, and we will advise you, about a good week, at least considering tides for your level.
❓If you’ve been surfing in Praia de Santa Cruz before, tell what where your difficulties and where can I help you to improve your surf performance?
It is normal for a surfer to try to teach a friend how to surf like himself. But we can never forget that whenever we have a new guest in our surf class – boy, girl, woman or man, they haven’t spent all those hours at sea like we did when young.
We need to look at their learning process from another point of view, from a teacher point of view: how can I give this person the best performance in just one week?
The only way is by knowledge. Knowing exactly where we can shorten their learning curve, how can we make them feel the correct feeling – the balanced and control feeling, how body mechanics works, how the body balances on a mobile platform, with fewer mistakes than we had time to do, with more understanding of themselves and a fair expectations to what each and everyone can truly accomplish, and also soooo important: how they can understand the sea – the element that never has a repeated moment.
The learning process has so much to consider…
If all variables are grouped, the process can be simple and efficient. On the contrary, if we try to impose a different record of the true biomechanical, physical, electrical and chemical functioning necessary for the retention of sensory-motor information in long term memory, will not work efficiently.
Neuroscience tells us that in order to learn, a specific chemical is needed – the dopamine. And this chemical is released into our bloodstream when this learning is done with excitement, happy and pleasant conditions.
Dopamine increases brain memory and also creates motivational pathways.
Negative emotions, such as the frustration of failing and the comparison with other people’s unwillingness, promote barriers to motor and brain memory.
Therefore, learning can and should be easy and fun.
Falling over and over again it’s not fun. From this point of view, I think, everyone needs adjusted learning process for individual skill and physical conditioning, especially any adult!
Who is this program to:
- If you have never surfed before – You are welcome.
- If you surfed once or twice, in schools, camps or with friends, this program is for you.
- If you’ve been in other programs, but your Standing/Staying up is not consistent, you are welcome. By consistency I mean: in every 10 waves, you are successful in at least 6 to 10. Like in any other exam, if your average is below this result, come to our Level 0 Certification.
- If you wish to learn about the science behind Surf and give yourself the possibilities of learning my method of the step by step in Surfing, this is absolutely for you.
You should get your place certification fast because we will only receive 8 persons.
24th Jun to 1st Jul – Surfing Science Level 0 Certification
1st to 8th Jul – Surfing Science Level 1 Certification
8th to 15th Jul – Surfing Science Level 1 Certification
2nd to 9th Sep – Surfing Science Level 0 Certification
9th to 16th Sep – Surfing Science Level 1 Certification
30th Sep to 7 Oct – ALLBOARD – Closing season
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been in Lagos in a Camp doing the Roxy 2.0 intermediate week. After 3 years doing this program, this Camp kind of format, it’s still new for me.
And down South of Portugal, have so many special places that I want to show the ladies.
This mixed feelings between, sleeping relax at night, with nothing but the teaching to worry about, and the wondering how am I going to deal with the difference between all the girl’s levels, is actually stressful but meaningful for me.
So in the beginning of each week, at the welcome meeting, the first thing to do is to know them all, the best way possible. And because they arrive expecting to upgrade their level, the most important is to find where are they stuck in.
I throw a bunch of questions, and by their story, and the body language they use while telling it, I collect everything I need to know. And the outcome is very commonly going to rely on one of these things:
- You learned to Surf alone, with friends, or in a big Surfcamp, and by now you’ve been repeating the wrong movements patterns, and you became so good on that bad patterns that you can catch and enjoy some waves, but that bad pattern is not going to let you go up levels. You are stuck!
2. You have the wrong board for your level!
3. You are choosing the wrong spot for your level!
4. You are not respecting yourself!
In the next posts, I am going to develop all of these thematics (2,3 and 4), but right now, I want to focus on point number 1. But please let me tell you: we need to consider all points, all together, OR there will be no improvement!
So, Big issue! I am very sorry to tell you that 95% (at least, and this is because I have in my personal contacts, lots of competitors and really good surfers), of all “surfers” I see at the beach, have been practicing wrong patterns of movements, that by now, in your intermediate level, will not let you grow any more from there!
So during this week, I have to decide if either I am going to create a chemical and psychological conflict in your biomechanics program, or if we are just going to have fun accepting that either may be too late to correct them or we don’t have the time to, because it’s not easy to go back on the whitewater and big soft boards where we can actually correct basic issues like your pop up or your basic stance on the board.
It’s really simple to correct it! So it’s actually a change for all of you, BUT, you have to:
1. Understand my teaching method, and learning process, that is suited for EVERYONE! I repeat EVERYONE because I am focused on individual issues. Either physiological or biomechanical, or social and psychological issue.
2. I really really want to learn and improve. If you just want to have fun with what you have, it’s also perfectly ok, and I accept and respect. Especially in a Camp, full of nice distractions, drinking some beers, making new friends,… 😉😁 I get it! I really do! 😌 And I will also be happy to just push you in the best waves… And I say “just” because there is a lot more you can take from this woman with 20 years’ experience, teaching sports!
If these 2 points are ticked by you, and we can manage a way of learning the correct basic Surf stance, and if you have good control of your board, I mean, if the board is simply part of your body, instead of you feeling that stability “aboard” is still an issue.
I can talk or write for hours about so many things about my teaching method, but also have a big pile of books to read, sitting on my desk, that tells me that, there is still so much more about the essence of surf biomechanics and its movement patterns,…
I am new at this blogging stuff, but I also, feel the need to pass on my legacy, because all the mistakes see other instructors doing at the beach with their clients have been in the past my mistakes too! I see a big improvement in Portugal around the competition, but none for almost 2 decades in this kind of camp services.
I saw these 2 last decades, the Surf services birth in Portugal, the accommodation getting upgraded, beautiful decoration, better service, friendly and professional hospitality managers, and nothing getting much better in the Surf service…
The vans are still rusty and dirty, the surf instructors are still smoking weed, the boards are always full of sand, dirty and crashed, the wetsuits are smelly and have holes, and no one has really brought nothing new to the beach, about their service. And when you go with a nice project to the best local accommodation, or to the biggest company, that you think may match their service,… It’s just a big disappointment… (and no more comments about it,…) For now, I see no vision,…
My biggest question is – the youngest party boys and girls I get it! The more mature adults with a budget, I don’t get it, why they still pay a bad service,… Because you already have some good services around. And don’t get confused when it’s called luxury. That is not what I am referencing; you need to search for quality!
So with this text, full of confused ideas, let’s start a new journey, where I will be sharing with anyone interested, the legacy of my last 20 years studying: the essence of all sports biomechanics, the human movement patterns, and my pedagogical point of view, and spread a WORD about Good Surf Good Love – RESPECT!
Next Post I will let you know what is the first thing to learn about Surf if you really really want to be a good one – Respect all the elements you have to deal with if being a surfer.
No Newton laws or vectors or anything like that. Just a collection of 20 years teaching, researching, and consulting in Sports.
I hope you can join our Manifest of Good Surf Good Love of Mood and behavior!