Home: Die Werkstatt Südafrikablog: Kom die Kaap na!


Salaam Surfing: In the lineup with enDo

This world holds adventure for the traveler, and the open minded will find a lot of good things still come for free. In many destinations, however, relaxation has become an organized business - where more often than not the critical customer cannot help feeling milked or finds local customs twisted and perverted to suit the taste of the lobotomized. Thus it came as great relief to find that the concept behind enDo surf camp in Morocco is definetely opposed to the superficial: Here, one has the feeling that it's all about the love for surfing, rather than making a buck.

enDo teamers demonstrate a breach of surfing etiquette:
It's always 'Ladies first', of course.

The Moroccan September sun glazes the sleepy town of Tamraght in warm colours. I strain to look into the setting sun, the waves coming in directly from the west. It's a slow late afternoon session, there is a gentle 2 foot swell just right for me to practice my take offs. I am the only surfer in the water, and have plenty of time to let my thoughts go with the flow. The muezzin calls to end the fast as the sun disappears in the ocean. I catch a last wave in. Two local boys wave to me with a mixture of excitement and bashness and I give them my board for a brief spell in the whitewater.

Tourism is not really big thing in Tamraght, a few miles up the coast from Agadir. Four surf camps exist in the area, nicheing in between everyday regional businesses and private homes. Except for water sports, there is not much exploitable toursim activity in the viccintiy. A trip to Agadir and Essaouira, a visit to the local market, a short hike up the mountian or a bike ride along the beach are the only available pasttimes, a fact that will not bother the regular enDo guest, where the declared focus is surfing, surfing, and surfing. Several great spots are in walking distance, Banana Point regularly pitches nice swells a mere stone's throw from the door step, slabs like Boilers and Killers are a short drive away.

Just playing in the foamies: enDo teamers having fun at the housebeach.

enDo was brought into existence in this spot ten years ago by two young surfers looking for a way to combine their sport with making a living. Camp philosophy is a mix of offering the grit of an individual surfari while incorporating respect for local traditions and idiosyncrasies with the carefreeness of hanging out at a friend's house. In fact, three weeks of surfing with enDo felt to me more like living in digs with incredibly sportive housemates – and an expert cook. Loosing weight is definetley not an objective when confronted with delicious breakfasts and local dinners - and perhaps one or two burgers thrown in for lunch.

The still extremely affordable prices of the camp are part of the agenda and are made possible only by the teamer system, where staff work basically for food and lodging and a little else – a perfect job for students or drifters. Thus, there ist no shortage in stoked surfers who welcome the arrangement to make their own dream of a prolonged surf time-out reality in return for passsing on knowledge, arranging transport and an occasional cocktail evening. Customers are drawn from all ranges of expertise, from surf pro to grommet, but no matter what your skill level, instruction is tailor made and precise. Regular video feedback sessions help tremendously in acknowledging one's potential for improvement. Yet there are no alures of aloofness from those more experienced. The best surfer is still the one who leaves the water with the biggest smile.

It's a fact that the more you talk about surfing, the more ridiculous you sound – which does not stop conversations on the roof terrasse revolving around swell, board shapes and surf stories. „My first time surfing was a life-changing experience“, says an enDo executive otherwise completely alien to pathos. „I realized that the things that were so important to me before, like cars, job money, career, simpy lost their relevance. Now the prime objective is to spend at least a few months surfing each year. I may make less money now, but my life is the richer for it.“ I nod and exhale slowly. What would sound like a cheesy surf dude's mantra at home in our organized and clockworked society makes complete sense in the warm afterglow of a surfing session and a belly full of delicious tagine. The muezzin is at it again, his rival answers the call from the next hilltop. There will be waves tomorrow, insha'Allah.

enDo teamer Mo attempts to demonstrate how to cross-step on a longboard

No comments: