DANKIE – South Africa *** Youp Schmit.

Here at GVSCO we are so fortunate and stoked to be working with some of the top atheletes in the world.

Youp Schmit encompasses what it mean to be a modern athlete, surfing and competing on the PWC World Tour and he has sent us this short documentary for all of us to enjoy:

 

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What an inspiration and proof that we can achieve our biggest dreams !!!

 

Stay Stoked

GVSCO

 

 

 

Tehillah McGuinness – A force to be reckoned with!

We are very happy to bring you an interview from the extremely talented and motivated Tehillah McGuinness. Originally from South Africa, Tehillah has become a role model for many a surfer, both her athletic prowess and her business acumen are something to be admired. We are pumped to be hearing from her and will be keeping an eye on her throughout the coming years competitions!

Give a brief rundown on how you got into surfing?

I always loved the ocean and we pretty  much grew up on the beach as kids. My mom enrolled us at our local lifesaving club when we were about 11 and I would always see my friends hanging out at the club house on weekends, surfing and having a good time. Everyone was so welcoming and it made me want to be a part of this ‘surfing family’. I remember telling my mom how much I wanted to surf and (as with everything I have wanted to do through my life), she surprised me with a surf board for my 13th birthday. I used it a few times, but I was still very much committed to running at the time. We moved to house right on the  beach when I was 16 and that is when I really fell in love with the sport and the freedom I felt from it.

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At what point did you realise that surfing was going to be more than just a hobby for you?

Literally, from the very first wave I ever caught something in me changed and I knew this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  I didn’t know what exactly and didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I just knew. It wasnt until I was in my early twenties and was working and studying in the health and fitness industry, along with signing with some of my very first sponsors that my vision became a bit clearer and I started to put my plans into motion, along with the incredible help from my family. Once I started experiencing how surfing was truly shaping my life and career I knew I wanted to share this with others.

Do you think your background in competitive running affects the way you train now/approach competitions?

It definitely has an effect, up until a certain point. I am a pretty competitive person by nature, which definitely stems back to my career in running from an early age. Don’t get me wrong I have had some serious battles with my snooze alarm, but on the whole I am passionate about what I do and that definitely helps me to focus and keeps me driven. When it comes to the actual competitive arena in surfing, I find this completely opposite to competing in running events. I know there is only a certain amount which I can control in any competitive situation but with surfing there are a lot external factors which have taken me a while to get used to again.

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How do you deal with losing a competition?

I have a little cry and call my mom if she is not with me…haha 🙂 I know it sounds silly and I know I am not competing on the world tour where there is so much at stake, but I think I am so passionate about what I do and I juggle so much to be able to work, travel to contests and still have enough time to train and surf, that when I don’t achieve the result I would have liked to it is very disappointing. I know contests don’t define who I am, I do them because I enjoy them and they help me to keep improving my surfing.  As my mom always reminds me – I have so much to be grateful for in my life and so many opportunities which have come from surfing, so I focus on the good and keep moving forward. I am trying to find the perfect balance between having fun with contests and enjoy the travelling/adventure part, rather than focus on the pressure…I will let you know when I find it 🙂

You get the opportunity to train a lot of celebrities in your work? Have you ever been star stuck? And have you had to deal with any divas?

haha…good question! Hmmm…In all honestly I can proudly say I have never had to work with any divas (yet) 🙂 I think an important factor is that all the celebrities I have worked with have come to me for help specifically, so they have been much more inclined to work with me, rather than feeling like they are forced to. I treat every client the same, whether a celebrity or not and although it feels a bit surreal at times I know that the celebrities I have trained, mostly just want to be treated like a ‘normal person’…no special treatment. This will probably sound strange but I have never really been star struck. I would say I have had more ‘Am I really sitting having a post training coffee with someone a just watched at the cinema a few months ago/ heard on the radio’ type moment. Its a little crazy but awesome 🙂

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Which of your celebrity clients are the best at surfing?

Stay tuned… 😉

How do you motivate yourself on days that you feel tired or just not into it?

I have to have a strong word with myself…followed by a strong cup of coffee:) In the last few months I have felt completely swamped and I guess the strange beauty of the media and social media is that people only get to see a tiny fraction of your day. Not how you are truly feeling emotionally, your worries, your lack of motivation or any of the other barriers we all face on a daily basis. On the same side people don’t always see the ‘wow…I feel so blessed’ moments or witness the little miracles that happen on a daily basis. I thank God for my blessings and the life I live everyday, especially with all the crazy things happening in the world every second of the day. My mom helps me to put everything in my life into perspective and one day it all clicked. I asked myself, ‘who am I doing this all for?’. Its not for my own ego or self praise…its for my mom and my family. As a testament to all their sacrifices and support every single day of my life. To all the brands and people who support me and make so many things possible. To all the lives I want to help and change through what I am doing. This is what pushes me, what drives me and makes me go that extra mile when I just want to sleep for another hour or take a day off. I think when you realise who or what you are chasing your dreams for and the reason why you do it, you find something within you that drives you like never before. You find your ‘WHY’. Don’t get me wrong, I am not super human – I wake up some mornings and my body aches, I am tired and I have very little motivation. I think it is a privilege to be able to feel those aches and emotions…to be able to have the opportunity to chase your dreams when so many wake up to war or poverty. That is what motivates me.

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You’re an ambassador for Women’s Sports, how important is it getting young girls into sports?

I truly believe it can have life changing effects. Even if its not surfing, I believe any sport you love will have a positive effect on your mental and physical well being. I know people are sick of speaking about body image but it is a HUGE issue, which is not made easier by the media. I believe taking part in sport will help to take the pressure off ‘working out to look a certain way’ and actually help you to focus more on the skill and enjoy the benefits of having a ‘healthy body’ and mind. Sport builds confidence, builds friendships and helps you to stay active which has a positive knock on effect in all areas of your life. As a spokeswomen for Women’s Sports I want to encourage women to be confident and happy in their own skin. To be brave, bold and beautiful!

If you could change one thing about the way the world of competitive surfing works…what would it be?

Wow…tough question. I may have to get back to you on this on! 🙂

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Business wise, we are all working on so much as a family (my mother and siblings) and to have everything come together in the way we pray and dream about is definitely top priority. With my family, spreading the love of surfing, growing our businesses, having achieved my own personal sporting goals and making a difference in the lives of others will make me a very happy Tee:)

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Dream surfing location?

Put my family and I on a boat somewhere tropical with great waves and we can be best friends 🙂

Scariest surfing moment?

I broke my hand a few years ago and that was a pretty scary moment for me. Just looking back now and what could have happened, as the spot I was surfing was very shallow and when I surfaced (after going over the falls) I was standing in ankle deep water. I definitely had my guardian angels working over time that day. Sorry guys :/

Favourite and least favourite thing about surfing/ocean?

Favourite – Having a break from technology, doing something I love, being in nature with family and friends and just creating the best memories.

Least Favourite – Reefs, sharks, crowds and ‘flying’ surfboards 🙂

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We loved hearing from Tehillah and as we say, we will be keeping a close eye on how she gets on and with her comps this year and will keep you all up to date!

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.

A Wintery Weekend in Croyde – by Nick Corkill

We love to see people getting out and enjoying the British surf – no matter the weather! Nick has once again made us get itchy feet and we can’t wait to get back out on the water!

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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

GVSCo.

Meet The Craftsmen! – Submariner

We are very happy to announce that our collaboration with the lovely guys at Submariner has finally launched on our website.

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The majority of brands we team up with are usually found via hours of trawling through Instagram but these guys were actually recommended to us by some of our most hardy surfing friends.

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These guys have been around since 2012 and have built themselves a reputation for creating clothing and technical gear that will last and is fit for purpose. We also happen to think they just also look bloody cool!

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The following is a brief history of their brand:

Submariner was founded on the North Devon coast in 2012, with the intention of creating practical clothes made ethically and entirely in the British Isles. From a  background steeped in surfing, climbing, and windsurfing, Howard Davey drew heavily on traditional maritime influences as well as the creative input from the wider community of north Devon and Cornwall based artists.

Along this Journey, long standing friend and like minded surfer Ben Thompson joined in 2014, to become partner and co founder, and  help develop Submariner to increase its offering to the wider surfing community. Today, Submariner sells through a network of local Devon and Cornwall based stockists and relies heavily on its support/feedback from the Maritime community it was setup to provide for.

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We are extremely proud to have these guys as part of our community as they fit the bill to an absolute T and we hope that you will all enjoy what they are doing as much as we do.

You can check out their full range over on the GVSCo. website, so pop on over and take a look – we are sure you won’t be disappointment!

Stay Stoked

GVSCo.

 

 

 

2 Days 2 Waterman by Lachlan Callender

‘We’re stoked to be working with Lachlan, he’s an incredible talent and here’s just a taste of what is to come’

 

Anthony Smith, a 17 year old bodyboarder from Mossy point, NSW. He recently got his p’s so you’ll see many more shots of him in come slabs on the coast! He has a great passion with a great future!

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Leon Bushnell, 16 year old surfer from coastline of Durras. But he is mainly known for his amazing photography. Go check him out on Instagram,

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Stay Stoked,
GVSCo

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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