Meet the brands: Six Foot and Clean

Who are Six foot and clean I hear you scream !

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Six Foot and Clean evolved from our love of the surfing lifestyle, travelling and living out of vans.

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Native Moments by Nic Schuck: A review

Native Moments is a novel written by Nic Schuck focusing on surfing and adventure. Nic got in touch a while back to ask if we would like to review his book and we were more than happy to oblige. Once again we dipped into our extensive pool of talent and decided that Grace Melville, one of our bloggers, an avid traveller and an English Literature student was the perfect person to write our first ever book review! So somewhere in-between all the turkey and red wine she sat down during Christmas and put this review together for you and we hope you enjoy! It may even inspire you to read the book?

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Native Moments is a novel that takes the reader on a journey with the main character, Sanch Murray, as he seeks escape from traditional American life. With his arrogant, ex-pro surfer friend, Jack, the two embark on an adventure to Costa Rica, attracted by the low cost lifestyle and the great conditions for surfing.

The author presents the reader with two imperfect main characters who, despite their flaws, the reader cannot help but love and become invested in. Schuck gives much attention to character development, slowly unpicking the personalities of the characters in the story. The result is an intimate narration and the attraction to the characters is so strong that it makes up for occasional lapses in the quality of writing.

The story is easy to follow, keeps good pacing and also manages to surprise the reader at times. Most notably Sanch’s relationship with Andrea. It is left ambiguous whether she really cares about Sanch or whether she’s using him as a ticket back to America. Plus her being referred to as a ‘whore’ really muddies the waters around the authenticity of her attraction to Sanch. Regardless the characters are displayed with vibrant humour and colour, and we’re sad to see them go when the story pushes on.

Ultimately this book is a homage to the free spirited world of surfing and a celebration of a life not tethered down by materialistic wants and needs. Sanch Murray is escaping a life back home which would see him enter the Navy, a future he does not want for himself. This trip is a way to depart from his childhood and family tradition and carve out a new individual identity. What’s more the reader supports this decision and actively encourages him to continue down his chosen path. Schuck gives those who are stuck in a rut in their lives, uncertain of their future, a character to root for and hopefully a character to aspire to be.

Schuck clearly has a soft spot for Costa Rica and this shines through in his writing. If Costa Rica was not on your radar before, it will be after reading this book. This novel is one for those who are seeking adventure, and for those who already have the travelling bug, this story will leave you dying to get back out there and on your surfboard.

 

You can find Native Moments available to buy on Amazon here.

Surfing Taghazout – By Sam Warren

We first came across Sam Warren on Instagram when his amazing surf photography caught our eye. You will often see his work gracing the pages of our Instagram and our blog. Late last year Sam headed to Morocco for a surf trip and has been kind enough to let us know his top tips for the famous surfing destination of Taghazout. Hope you enjoy!
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We headed over to Taghazout in December 2016 and would highly recommend it! We stayed with Surf Berbere, a surf house/hostel in Taghazout who were incredible! They catered to everyone’s needs, all dietary requirements covered, incredible staff and instructors, super duper friendly!
Whilst there the hostel also arranged for us to go on a series of different trips as well as surfing. I’d totally recommend checking out the Souk (market) in Agadir, it’s quite an experience and you can pick up some great souvenirs! It is also apparently one of the more relaxed Souks in Morocco, so you can wander round at ease!
We also headed over to Paradise Valley. It is about a 45minute drive from the hostel and is a series of rock pools hidden in the desert. It’s beautiful and there’s some sweet cliff jumping spots!
It was however the surfing that we had made this trip for so the spots that I’d recommend are:
Banana Point – The break is by the next town over from Taghazout (Banana Village). It’s a lovely right hand point break which works both on small and large surf depending on tides. It can get busy when the swell is good, but I’ve had a great time there when the tide is high and swell is smaller which resulted in us having the break to ourselves.
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Devils Rock – can be dumpy as the swell picks up but can also produces some nice left and rights. I’ve typically surfed here when the swell was 2-3ft so not crazy sizes, but still fun on a foamy! Gets a bit shit at high tide from my experience so probs best for a low to mid tide surf. There’s loads of beach salesmen here too, so if you fancy a donut (I don’t recommend the chocolate ones) or camel ride, I’m sure you’d be able to haggle a good price! (Will also have these guys at K17)
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K17 – a sorta point break between Devils Rock and Taghazout. Righthanders peel off a mini reef in the middle of the beach marked out by a ‘Magic Buoy’. You can see the reef at low tide, so it’s easy to avoid surfing on it, but at high it’s submerged so it’s best to keep the left of the buoy when you face the horizon (to the right if you’re facing the shore). What we found was just sitting right next to the buoy was the perfect take off point for most days, there’s a slight cross-current which drags you away from the reef which you’ll have to paddle against to maintain position but I’ve caught a few good long rides at this break when it doesn’t close out. Similar to Devils rock, can get dumpy when the wind and swell is strong enough.
Hash Point – situated right opposite Surf Berbere (check my insta for a photo of the lines coming through), this break is probably the most beautiful place I’ve surfed/watched surfing. Surfing here at sunset is incredible for visuals, and the waves are generally very nice! Can be a battle getting out back with the strong currents, but if you’re feeling brave you can jump in off the rocky point, although you might get smashed if you time it wrong! Popular spot for locals, but it’s totally worth getting in there just to give it a go. From what I’ve seen, it’s best at mid to high tide, but it still has surf at low. I tended to see surf of around 4-6ft here but can get bigger on the sets! Just be careful not to surf too close to the point or you’ll get smashed into the rocks!
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Sewers – Just next door to Hash Point, very similar case to Hash Point all round from what I saw.
Anchor Point + Big Swell = Heaven (either you die and go to heaven, or you think you have as you’ve just caught the best wave of your life!) Never surfed here, I value my life too much!!
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Imsouane – 1 hour north of Taghazout (totally worth the drive!) – famously the longest righthander in Africa, this is a beautiful place to surf, a very interesting wave which wraps around the headland and sea defence to scoop around the bay. I went when it was fairly small, but it was perfect for beginners. Been told on larger days it’s an incredible ride! Not sure about tides here unfortunately.
Imsouane (Cathedral Point) – point break off a headland which is very popular! The entire beach has breaks so doesn’t have to be crowded but by the headland it’s very busy. When I went it was low tide and it was nice, 4-6ft, sometimes bigger!
The dunes just south of Imsouane are another great place to to visit, amazing scenery and a little bit of sandboarding! Take the fins off a foamy and take the short hike up the dunes to witness beautiful landscape as far as the eye can see! There’s multiple slopes you can ride down, but we found the higher up you went, the better/steeper the slopes became! Probably best to ask a local or a surf camp about this as it’s pretty remote location and easy to miss the entrance of the dirt road which leads to the dunes!
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We had an absolute blast during our time in Taghazout, eating well, surfing well and even seeing a few sights! Who can ask for more!
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You can follow Sam on Insatgram here.

Surfing Norway – With Nick Corkill pt.2

Nick’s journey continues with the second instalment of his blog from Norway. If you would like to read part one, you can find it here.

DAY 3

We decided to stay at Unstad again as its been pumping all day but still super windy and rainy! We had a morning surf north of the beach with faces of  about 15ft! The boys managed to get in a few barrels. Even a few double overheads and super chunky! BEAUTIFUL!

We got out after a few hours to have some lunch and then decided to try out the south of the beach ( the break here is named ‘garbage’!) I have never seen wind like it! The guys in the water said they couldn’t see anything on the take off because of spray!

I shot from the boot of the car, and felt like even that was going to roll away with the wind! The highlight was seeing a French girl, Mimi, paddling out on a FLOATY, no hood or gloves! BEAST! There were a couple of South Africans who also rocked up and I’ve never seen surfing like it, definitely pro standard! 

We had news that the wind was dying off to 20mph tomorrow which apparently is good?!?!  

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DAY 4

We headed up the coast to Delp to change it up a bit. The spot is north facing and needs a big west swell to get up there. The boys were lucky and had a westerly swell, 10ft@13seconds with a light southerly wind and we surfed here for around 3 hours. Oh and those Saffers that I mentioned, low and behold were there and not only that, one of them, Steve ‘stezzy’ Sawyer is ranked WSL 49th and SA longboarding Champion whilst the other, Shannon Ainsleigh is a pro-surf instructor/mentor and SHARK ATTACK survivor! The pair of them were absolute gems !

That evening we went and watch Steve play an acoustic set in a local bar which he nailed, obviously! ( not jealous much). I bought his CD for my mum…..!

 

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Surfing Norway – With Nick Corkill pt.1

Many of you who have been following our Great Venture Surf Co. blog for a while might know, we work with a network of talented photographers and bloggers and Nick Corkill just happens to be both!

A few months ago Nick told us he had been invited to go to Norway on a Surf and photography trip by Tim Nunn who is another talented  photographer and runs The Plastic Project . We were obviously incredibly keen to be kept up to date on every detail of this trip and Nick thankfully agreed! So we hope you enjoy his amazing story

DAY 1

The first day started off with a very early 3am start. The journey to Norway was not going to be a quick one! We flew from Bristol to London > London to Oslo > Oslo to Bodo and then a Ferry to Lofted. All in all taking a mighty 20 hours to reach our destination. The group consisted of Jamie Gatley; Nick Rees and Adam Parsons.

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DAY 2

We headed down to Unstad beach which is next to our lodge and the most consistent break in the region. It has South Westerly swell direction – cross/offshore wind – gusting 30-40mph, head and a half high. I entered the water from the rocks on the north side of the beach and surfed a right hand point break, breaking over shallow Kelp covered rocks. Surfing with a seal and a load of cormorants was a pretty special experience and surfing a beach the size of Croyde with only 4 of us was even better! It also rained all day!

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Keep y0ur eyes peeled for the second instalment from Nick

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How to Improve Your Surfing: A Step by Step Guide. Part 1. 

Let’s go surfing

An online educational series with an aim to teach you how to make the best decision on where and when to surf .

It’s easy when you know how…

Series 1 – the very basics .

Volume #1:

It may seem obvious but having the skills and knowledge to read and interpret surf reports and meteorological weather charts is vital to you catching waves and not . The thing is with surfing , most of the time we  are forced to make compromises. The winds to strong, swell is to small or its just to bloody cold. Always waiting and searching for that occipitcal  report when you know whatever happens it’s going to be firing and glassy AF. But the truth is these days a seldom and we make do with what we can , this series aims to educate you so no matter the weather and surf report you can get the best waves possible on the day 🙂 .
Step 1 – The wind

We have all been there, waking up at the break of day stepping out of our tents or crawling out the back of the car to freeze our bollocks  off as we twist, turn and contort ourselves into a wetsuit which your growing ever more convinced has shrunk since you last did battle. And after all the effort and what to normal people seems insane you are stoked and pumped to walk over the crest of the dude which till now has blocked your view of the mornings perfect A frames. You make it to the view point board under your arm and you are greeted with wind blown mess , heart sinks (que the violins) as you realise the day you had planned to nail some manovers isn’t going to happen. But the day is not in Vein because you haven’t come this far not to got in !!! Now it’s that surfers determination coupled with some prior research and knowledge that’s going to improve your surfing.
The wind is what create swell miles out at sea and drives it towards us eger land dwelling surfs. Where swell meets the shallow waters we find surf. Simple enough . But it’s not just this swell you are looking at,  the wind is just as important . One of the first things to consider is the winds direction and how it will effect the wave you are going to surf. If there is strong onshore wind you will most likely be faced will wind blown mess (waves which have been pushed over, creating what we see as white wash) , not great surfing conditions. The opposite happens with a strong off shore wind , this holds the face of the waves up for longer than normal results in a heavier more peaking wave more likely to close out and dump. These effects can be magnified or reduced with the strength of the winds.

IN A NUT SHELL.

Location, location, loaction,  It is key that you choose the most ideal surf break for the condition on the day . Looking for those break that may be sheltered from high winds or that may be fetching more swell .
Here are a few screen grabs from today’s forecasts, see if you can get an idea of what the waves will be like from the information presented:

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Keep your eyes out for those low wind days (like today) swell isn’t everything you can really improve and focus training when the waves a clean 🙂
Stay stoked

More on swell, periods  and weather charts to come.

Gus

GVSCO

GVSCo website launch. We’re Live!

It has been a long road since 2014 and the humble beginnings of our social media campaigns. Over the two years we have developed and built an amazing following and that is down to you guys, believing, sharing and supporting us. We cannot thank you enough; all the time and work our end would have been for nothing if it wasn’t for all your constant support.

All of this love and work has brought us to this point the WEBSITE LAUNCH! We are so stoked to say that the website is now complete and live:

http://www.greatventuresurfco.com

Please get online and check it out, and let us know what you think. Additionally please spread the word as much as you can.

GVS Co. was set up with one mission in mind – to create a place where the surfing community can access the best independent and emerging brands throughout the surfing world. Our aim was to champion the little guy, promote the true craftsmen and to keep you up to date with the next big thing and we certainly believe we’ve achieved this.

We are working with people that we like and respect and it is very important to us that everyone we take on this journey, shares our passion for ethical manufacturing and are having a positive impact on the world.

We are constantly growing and evolving, bringing new brands and products on board so take a look around, sign up to the mailing list and keep in touch, and make sure you come along for the ride!

Much love, stay stoked,

GVSCo.

Barely Back Packers – Our 5 Month Adventure

From barely having backpacked before, going traveling for 5 months certainly threw us into the deep end. But my God… it’s been an adventure of a lifetime which will be forever in our minds.
Our route: New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam. Here is the action packed compilation video of Our 5 Month Adventure.
 All credit to Barelybackers.
Let us know your thoughts.
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The Beautiful Town of Ericeira, Portugal

2016 has been a very exciting year for us and we’ve been to some incredible places, but very few can surpass the beautiful Portuguese coast line and the wonderful fishing town of Ericeira.

The town of Ericeira is famous for its surf and incredible beaches, but there is so much to enjoy here on top of the swell; beautiful seafood restaurants, enticing independent bars and an exploding culture are begging to be enjoyed.

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We stayed for four days in a brilliant apartment high above the old town boasting a balcony view with sight lines from Foz do Lisandro  in the south right across to the beach at Matadouro to the north.

Having arrived late on the Monday we spent the first full day getting our bearings and investigating the local surroundings. A short walk down the hill from our apartment towards the coast led us straight on to the boulevard, which stretches from the edge of the old town to the beach at Matadouro, home to some of Ericeira’s best surf. On the boulevard is a charming café where we sat for a late breakfast and coffee. Right on the path, Esplanada Sebastiao Café is the perfect place for a bite to eat and a coffee whilst enjoying the sea breeze and the often glorious sunshine.

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From here we walked along the coast to the already highly credited Matadouro beach front, here we stood and watched the busy waters of the late morning and planned the surfing lessons we went to Portugal to take. Down on the seafront we met Sami, surfer and owner of Activity Surf Centre, but more about them to come.

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This beautiful spot is an absolute must for all holiday makers, surfers and explorers trekking along the coast. There is access to Matadouro beach, where at low tide you can walk out across the rocks and shallows for 100’s of meters. Overlooking the gold sandy beach is a wonderful seating area which is provided by a perfectly placed American style pop up eatery serving a range of classic food and drink. This is one of my fondest memories of Ericeira, sitting with my feet up enjoying a beer and basking in the glorious heat of the late afternoon.

For the remainder of the day we walked leisurely back into Town to get our first taste of classic Portugal. We drifted in between cobbled streets dressed with white and blue buildings until we arrived at the town centre. From here we ducked down a side street and came across Cassa Portuguesa an authentic restaurant on the corner of Esperanca and Outubro. We sat on the street in the sunshine and both enjoyed freshly caught Octopus; not our usually plate of choice but honestly it was incredible, the rumours of the sensational seafood in Ericeira were true. Finishing our meal and topping off our water we received the bill.  One of the great surprises of Portugal and Ericeira was that it is dramatically cheaper than the rest of Europe, in fact you could certainly enjoy yourselves on a budget, enjoying Portugal with out breaking the bank.

For the week that we were staying in Ericeira the Portuguese Surf Film Festival was on, showing two films each evening on a variety of surf culture issues. This was too good of an opportunity to miss so we purchased tickets for every night we were there.  The films typically ran from 9pm until 11pm, which meant that after a few drinks beforehand we were usually ready to head home and get some rest before the morning surfs lessons.

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The following days passed by in a brilliant routine of surfing in the morning and enjoying lunch at Matadouro; then heading back home to change before walking down into the old town to eat at one of the many seafood restaurant, then watching a few surf films in the evening. We rarely had reservations, but this was not an issue if you are ok with eating between 7pm and 8:30pm as the Portuguese like most Europeans tend to eat dinner a lot later than us British.

The second evening we ate at a place called Restaurante Tik-Tak, decorated with nautical themed antiques with a wonderful collection of wine on display throughout the walkways.   Located directly opposite Cassa Portuguesa where we ate lunch the day before. This choice was not made because of its location, in fact it came highly recommended and with great reviews. We got to the restaurant just before 7, found all the tables were reserved and they were completely full for the evening. However one of the staff noticed us reading the menu and kindly highlighted that there was a table for two reserved at 8, but if we were happy to finish our meal within the hour she could seat straight away. Another example of the kind and friendly nature of the people in Ericeira.

The meal itself was divine. Nicole had the catch of the day and I had Monkfish Rice with Prawns. Although we only had an hour the staff weren’t pushy and the service was expertly delivered with recommendations for drinks and bars for after. We left the table at 7:55pm completely satisfied and raving about another brilliant meal.

On our third evening we decided to treat ourselves and we ate at a beautiful seafront restaurant called Esplanada Furnas. This restaurant is idyllically placed, right on rocks with a view of horizon supplied by the restaurant glass fronting. A wonderful piece to Esplanada Furnas’s romantic charm is the option to choose your fish from the counter upon entry, where the staff then grill it there and then. We had an entrée of barnacles and prawns; a messy affair but definitely worth it, the barnacles were superb. Our main was the Flounder we had picked at the start, grilled to perfection and professionally served. Perhaps not the choice of fish if you’re looking for a fish with a lot of meat on the bones, but a wonderfully light and flavourful fish. We stayed for a while after we finished our mains and watched the sun go down; this was possibly one of the most beautiful views and moments we have had on a holiday and if you do make it to Ericeira you must head down to coast on a clear evening.

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On our final evening we ate at Restaurant Prim and much like our evening at Restaurant Tik-Tak this place was all reserved and we hadn’t made a reservation. Classic! But true to form the wonderful restaurateurs of Ericeira found us a table. We sat down at 7pm and had to be at the Town Hall for 8 for our final evening at the surf film festival. Once again the staff were expert and helped us with our orders and drink choices, which came in plenty of time for us to enjoy at a slightly increased pace, but still one of pleasant company. Nicole and I both had the steak, a change in diet and menu after days of fish and other seafood. Perhaps it was the overdosing on fish that made the steak all the better, but it was so good.

So ladies and gents that concludes our whistle stop tour of Ericeira, the restaurants and the beautiful spots we found. In short you have to visit for the surf, the food and most importantly the place.

GVSCO x

Meet the Bloggers! Maria Korzeniowska

Maria Korzeniowska – a very warm welcome to the freshest member of the blogging team!
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Maria is not just a pretty face with a an extremely long surname, believe it or not she’s also a medicine student with a touch of a modern day “renaissance (wo)man” – basically her interest list is never ending! In keeping with her nomadic nature, when Maria’s not too busy balancing Med School and actually having a so called ‘life’, she’s a keen tropical traveler, fitness addict, wannabe DJ, blogger, photographer and an all around creative spirit. Still unimpressed? Her travel writing & photography has even appeared on Billabong’s blog and whenever time permits, she continues to innovatively collaborate with various brands.
To keep up with Maria, follow her Instagram here and personal blog here.
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