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!
walkign-along-taghazout-beach
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.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
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)
rocks-overlooking-panorama-and-taghazout-bay
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!
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
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!!
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
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!
sandboarding-on-the-dunes-just-south-of-imsouane
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!
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
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?!?!  

lofoten-day3-15lofoten-day3-11lofoten-day3-17lofoten-day3-20lofoten-day3-13lofoten-day3-22

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…..!

 

lofoten-day4-2lofoten-day4-28lofoten-day4-29lofoten-day4-5lofoten-day4-4lofoten-day4-60lofoten-day4-6lofoten-day4-61lofoten-day4-63lofoten-day4-9lofoten-day4-18lofoten-day4-62

lofoten-day4-17lofoten-day4-22lofoten-day4-26lofoten-day4-34lofoten-day4-42lofoten-day4-20lofoten-day4-32

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.

lofoten-day1-5lofoten-day1-9lofoten-day1-16lofoten-day1-23lofoten-day1-26lofoten-day1-30lofoten-day1-32

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!

lofoten-day2-1lofoten-day2-3lofoten-day2-5lofoten-day2-6lofoten-day2-9lofoten-day2-12lofoten-day2-14lofoten-day2-17lofoten-day2-19

Keep y0ur eyes peeled for the second instalment from Nick

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.
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!

_dsc0409-2

_dsc0219

_dsc0127

_dsc0393

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,

_dsc0983_dsc0146
_dsc0054_dsc0997
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.

img_7256

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.

img_7255

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.

img_7277

img_7280

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.

img_1811

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.

img_1804

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!
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
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.
img_9598

Meet the Photographers! Lachlan Callender

Lachlan is a 15 year old Photographer and filmmaker from the South Coast of Australia. He lives in a small town named Bodalla and escapes from the countryside most weekends to the beautiful coastlines of the South Coast.

Whilst Lachlan may only be 15 years old, he certainly does manage to get up to some cool stuff, so will be blogging to keep us up to date on his travels, whether that is shooting a surf trip on an ordinary weekend or working on big projects.

Lachlan originally got into photography and filming for a hobby but since his involvement with Great Venture Surf Co has realised that this is the path he would like to take in life. He is now focusing on expanding his work and hopefully one day making a living out of it. Its a tough gig but he is going to give it a go!

13835921_494727577393412_1894631148_o-png

Our Long Weekend in Rome – Day 3 by Alec Warriner

Day three began with a lazy lay in and an expresso from the authentic Italian café around the corner from our apartment. We then walked back up over the top of the Roman Forum, down onto the Piazza Venezia and down a street named Via del Corso. On this street discovered a brilliant shop called Gutteridge; now for all you gents out there I highly recommend that you visit this store, it is a taste of true Italian style and will leave you feeling very dapper indeed. So our third day became a day of shopping and enjoying an unplanned stroll around the streets of Rome.

IMG_5967

After a day of filling our bags with shopping and emptying our wallets, we decided that as it was our final evening in Rome that we should of course dine in style. Now I had planned to go to one a Rome’s most recommended restaurants, but as promised this isn’t a blog on Rome that the guide books would mirror. So in my ever romantic style I forgot to make a reservation and we ended up eating in the restaurant on the other side of the road called Barzilia. Now trip adviser gives this restaurant a 4 out of 5, but I would without question give it a 5 stars. The food was spectacular as you might expect for a small doing it themselves eatery. We both had pasta and the portions were huge, making the two bottles of red wine and prosecco a little harder to manage, but we got there in the end. The staff were brilliant, enjoyable and fun to speak with, their recommendations were spot on and to top it all off they gave us limoncello shots for free at the end of the meal!

But it doesn’t stop there folks. The waitress pointed us the direction of her cousin’s bar at the top of the road called Black Market on Via Panisperna, luckily for us it was literally a left turn and walk up the road. This cocktail bar with live Jazz is the cool, trendy and underground scene of Rome we had heard so much about and were thrilled to have found. We sat at the ridiculous high bar and order two drinks, a live jazz band played the final riffs of a song and their set, it was now 12:30am. The whole bar is covered with art of all forms and you can’t help but spend your time starring deeply at the pieces as the bar itself is very dimly lit, because it’s insanely trendy guys ha! But one particular piece caught our eye, a photograph of a naked lady laying on front on a bed. This piece happened to be for sale at a cost of €180, now it may have been the drink thinking this and it certainly was at the point of purchase, but we thought we have to have it. So it now sits proudly on our wall in London. A definite memento of our time in Rome.

IMG_5468

However in true Brits abroad style our night did not end there, we then followed another recommendation to a little known bar called APT in Monti, and in case you were wondering yes we had our new purchase with us. Now little can be told about the rest of the evening, but what I can tell you is that we stayed there with the owner of the bar and bar staff until 3:30am. APT is a proud member of the exclusive club, The Best Bars in Europe. This wasn’t down to our rather late evening there, but the bar had been given the accolade only the night before. So we were pretty chuffed to close our incredible weekend in Rome with a night full of amazing surprises and a little bit of drinking!

IMG_1102

So in conclusion guys, our recommendations are stay as central as possible as Rome is easily accessible by foot and tour buses. Get lost in the historic streets, enjoy the food and drink. Of course visit all the famous sites and make the most of your time around them. But if I was going to give a most important tip, that would be to try and make friends, be open to off the map recommendations as this is how we found our most memorable / not so memorable times. Rome is truly one of the best cities we’ve had the pleasure of visiting.

Meet the bloggers: Jeff Allen

We are extremely lucky here at GVSCO to have started working with the legendary explorer and Journeymen that is Jeff Allen. With his very unique skill set and passion for the outdoors Jeff strives to bring the nature and humanity back to its symbiotic relationship where by we can enjoy the beauty of the natural world but also respect it, view it and live with it in an educated and thoughtful manner.

jeff allen 3

WHO IS JEFF ? 

Jeff is the founder of the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA), which is a commercial guiding organisation, specialising in training and assessments of commercial sea kayak guides.

Jeff is also the founding director of several successful commercial sea kayaking businesses, specialising in tuition, guiding and expeditions by kayak/canoe, these businesses include Expedition Paddler, Sea Kayaking Cornwall Ltd and Gylly Adventures. In 2008, working with David Whiddon (Sea Survival Trainer RNLI) Jeff developed the first sea survival programme aimed specifically at the sea kayaking industry, this two day course has since been emulated by various organisations around the world in Canada the US and Europe and he is regularly consulted in areas of rescue, survival and incident management. Jeff is the technical advisor to the DGI, Denmark’s leading sea kayaking organisation as well as to various other sea kayaking businesses. He teaches and presents regularly at sea kayak symposia around the world Within the sea kayaking industry, Jeff is considered to be a technical expert in these fields and due to this recognition is also a regular contributor and columnist to the Ocean Paddler magazine.

jeff allen 4

Jeff draws not only on his proffessional awards in training the service, awards which include the highest levels of proficiency and coaching of the British Canoe Union – but also on his experience, to date Jeff has accumulated more than 20,000 miles of practical expedition sea kayaking experience, including a classic first un-supported circumnavigation of Japan, the first British Circumnavigation of South Georgia, a combination Ski and Kayak circumnavigation of the Scandinavian Peninsular and a world record breaking speed circumnavigation of Ireland as well as many other personal and commercial expeditions to the Mediterranean, North & South America and Europe. He plans the logistics and itineraries for these expeditions which run in a variety of climates where temperatures have ranged from -20 (Winter in Northern Norway) to + 35/40 (Sub tropical Japan & Mexico) Celsius and has an understanding of the requirements for conducting small boat expeditions in a whole variety of environments.

So it is clear to see that the man and legend that is Jeff is a force to be admired and not to be messed with 🙂 . With such a broad skill set and huge vault of experience to draw upon is there anything that he can not do ? We are extremely excited and honoured to bring you these adventures as they unfold so keep your eyes out for Jeffs blogs ….. they are sure to make you rethink and get up and outside.

Please visit his website and get in contact he would love to hear from you:

http://expeditionpaddler.com

jeff allen 2

 

Stay stoked

Gus

GVSCO