West coast is the best coast
I just got back from surfing and training surfers on the west coast of Africa, now I am back on the west coast of Norway training surfers in the colder waters! #coldwatersurfing
Nigeria exceeded my expectations a lot. Yes I expected a lot of poverty and slums around Lagos, but the people made up for it. Although they are desperate for daily basic needs which cause them to hustle a lot, they are super nice and friendly people. I felt very welcomed by the locals and they showed good hospitality!
We spend most of our time on an island called Tarkwa Bay in Lagos. The only way to get there was by boat of course. The island is run by the military so they monitor who goes in and out. Once you're on the island you feel a lot of peace and safety. Lagos is super busy and crowded so for a lot of people this island is good escape, especially for expats living in Lagos.
The island was filled with coconut trees with some mango and papaya trees scattered here and there. The main surf spot we stayed at was a very good surf spot which allowed for a good barrel and one or two big turns. The other surf spot called 'lighthouse' was a bit too big while we were there, but I did walk along that beach and was surprised to see at least 3 shipwrecks. Apparently there are more as you walk further down the beach.
We ran a surf coaching course for the International Surfing Association together with the Nigerian Surf Federation. The course was run to qualify the local surfers to be able to give surf lessons and run surf camps on a professional level with safety. The whole trip was sponsored by a French non profit called Paddle Paddle. They paid for the trip as well as donated about 30 surfboards to the community.
Not only did we coach, educate and train the surfers, but we also surfed and hung out with them talking about life and surfing. The island had no electricity and no wifi, so it was also an escape for me to take a break from all that stuff. The weather was about 28 degrees and the sea temperature about 26 degrees. It was a good tropical climate and the waves were so fun. We surfed twice a day and left with big smiles on our faces.
Getting back to Norway was good because everything works and runs so smooth. The only thing is that although the country is safe and stable, the waves and weather are not. I had a couple of surf coaching sessions booked for when I got back, but the waves were too small so I needed to postpone. It's common for this time of the year. Usually from September the waves get a lot better and more consistent in Jæren.
This made me make a quick plan to head up north to Hoddevik and Ervik for some surf coaching. There is a bit more swell up that side this coming weekend so will be heading up there for a couple of days to coach some of the local surfers and some other surfers who might be interested. From there I will head up to Andøya to do the same thing and then depending on the surf forecast I might head to Lofoten and Finnmark.
The nice thing about being a self employed surfer and surf coach is that I have the chance to move up and down the west coast here and there. I feel like it is a good opportunity to provide some surf coaching to surfers in other areas along the west coast of Norway. And of course, I get to do a road trip, surf and explore a little too.
What I love about the west coast of Norway is that you have a beautiful coastline and amazing fjords with high steep mountains everywhere. It is so beautiful and allows for a lot of adventures. Having a vehicle which you can drive and camp in here in Norway is very practical too! That is not something you can do in Africa due to safety reasons of course.
Speaking of the Norwegian coastline, and I know I've said it before, is the second longest coastline in the world. Having said this I feel that there is a huge opportunity to develop surfing and to grow surfing communities and cultures along the coastline. We know that Stavanger and Lofoten have these surf communities already, but there is a lot more. One of my goals is to travel up and down the coast finding new 'unsurfed' waves and to teach people how to surf and coach them in those areas.
A lot of surfers think it is not a good idea to grow the sport of surfing and they feel the need to keep waves to themselves. I understand their reasonings because I think the same at times, but I feel that we as surfers often have selfish motives behind these reasonings so I think it's good to think how surfing can benefit and grow a community's economy. If Norway has a beautiful coastline and waves all over then this is a resource to be tapped into! It is a free and natural resource that keeps on giving.
So, if you are a surfer and are in any of the areas between #stad #hoddevik #ervik #lofoten #andøya or #finnmark and want some water coaching or video coaching then let me know and we can arrange a couple of sessions.
Or if you just want to meet up for a coffee or hike that is good too!