Asturias en route to Austria
On the big trip home, we stopped by Asturias on the north coast to check out White Shark Surfboards. A couple of our guests had boards custom shaped by Miguel Fernandez this summer. André’s new surfboard seems a lot like mine, with less volume, and Felipo’s new surfboard is a lot like Flo’s, but with more volume. Interesting….
At White Shark's surfboard factory, we were served Asturian cider, “Sidra”. The tradition is a lttle bit like drinking Máte, you are served it, and you have to drink it straight away. I like.
A lot of man-hours go into custom shaping a board from plank to finish, and Miguel does it all by himself. Shaping is no doubt an art form and a science. I still don’t really get why I ride fish tail with quad fins, but I love my board. There is a lot of press with sustainable surfboards these days, but in my mind, if you take care of your board by making necessary repairs, and ride them as much as possible, then you are doing a pretty good job. When you ride a board to shreds, then ok, trash it, but if you’re just over it due to it’s shape or your own progression, then donate it! We're collecting used surfboards to be repaired by Flo and shipped to West Africa!
For 2012, we plan increasing Seeker Surf Camp's quiver. We're getting a couple of performance shaped boards in polyester, and other shapes boards in epoxy from Miguel. Epoxy generally last longer because it is harder (so tougher), and when the board is actually damaged, water does not fill the board as rapidly.
Miguel and our friend Felipo showed us a reef option called Peñarrubia (last photo). It was big for me (solid overhead) but the lefts looked like they ran slower, so it seemed doable. Big paddle out, and Flo and Felipo went for the fast right. The peak there was a bit shiftier and so more difficult. I went for the left and finally dropped one, but I fell before making it to the bottom for a turn. The wind changed to on shore before I caught another one, so I was outta there.
Better luck next time. It'll have to be late April in 2012, when we go back to Spain after our winter in the Alps. Hopefully this break will be on! I want a rebate!
End of the roll for 2011 :(
Surf has been pretty good into October. We had some windless days which were joyous. Some memorable rides and sessions at Lago this season, and when the swell turned up, we went back for more. The waves don’t catch themselves, and all in all, the level of surfing from Seeker Surf Camp this summer has definitely increased.
Our first-timers usually catch the surfing bug fast. Our guests are typically well-traveled, and have put in a solid chunk of time and dedication to get over the steep learning curve. A smaller portion of our guests are experts in the sport that they love. Karin at BMX, Lorraine, Jake, and Matthias at skiing, then we have team Swiss, who makes me wonder if everyone who studies sports just have this innate ability to learn to do just about everything they set their sights to, then we have really good snowboarders from X-game medalist to freeride specialists. It is amazing to see raw talent in motion, and it definitely motivates the rest of us into stepping up the game.
Pantin Classic took place in the second week of September, during a tough week of surf, with the Northwest wind on. The Pros, however, can surf basically anything the ocean throws at them. So the event went on with a spectacular showing of the attendees for the Superfinals and Vasva airshow/Expression session. It was between Basque’s own Aritz Aranburu and young-gun Argentino Santiago Muniz. The crowd were super happy that Aritz won because the Galician people… they have something in common with the Basque people… both cultures are a part of Spain, but with their own traditions and even language intact.
Soon after the departure of Doc Snyder, who knew exactly when sessions would be on, and what peak is best to poach, we got Stefan in da house! His hommie Franzl joined him 2 weeks into his stay. Thanks Franzl for sharing some of your picts with us…. especially the slide show;) We also had an impromtu stay by Nordica's Nic, and my good friend Lotta also came back to Spain since the summer of puppies.
Now we’re wrapping up the summer…. I still say summer because we had 29 degrees today…. On Oct. 9th! Flo and I are on our last week here.
The house is scaffolded for a new paint job, and we are set to come back for Seeker Surf Season 4, stay tuned. Befriend us on Facebook, as we will post reminders as soon as we make 2012 bookings possible, so you can also book your flights to LCG and SCQ for as cheap as possible. Thanks for the great times, and if your thinking about maybe coming in 2012, DO IT! -MP
Sun or Surf? Sun AND SURF!
We've been busy! We have had some amazing guests come through Seeker Surf House on Valdovino from mid-July to mid-August. Team Westerndorf were around for the beginning weeks of August, and for the last two weeks in July, we had some both beginners and advanced surfers stay with us at the house. Usually there are some down days through the summer in surfing but so far, we have been able to surf daily. Neiss! A way to avoid crowds and scored nice ways to you and your friends is morning surf! Some days we would get in the water in the morning before breakfast. And that also makes room for the possibility of 3 surfs a day!
Last weekend, we were all at the local beach bar, La Piscina on Saturday night, thinking that Sunday would be too small for surf. But we woke up on Sunday to light off-shore and it was perfect cure to a hang-over (or still drunkeness). Yr arrived late July to help us out through peak season. Flo and I (Marilyn) have know Yr for 10 years now. We met at SPC Hintertux in the summer of 2001. She is well-know for her Salsa Aerobic, Laughing Yoga, mini-ramp rampage and amazing lines on snow. As "water is only melted snow", she has been able to translate her on-snow talent into the surf. She surfed on the 6'10" Cortez for a couple of week, and now she is ripping on Dan's 6'1"! Ofcourse she feels that she should be doing better, but she's killing it!
Skate sessions have been a great diversion to the surf. The big ramp has been reinstalled at the Ferrol park. We were there yesterday for an afternoon session. Karin and Michel from Pumpwerk brought their BMX's along, and it was on! Claudia is back with from now until the beginning of September and this is her birthday week! We celebrated her birthday eve with a trip to see the Festival del Globo at Betanzo, part of the San Roque celebration. An old tradition of sending off a the most massive paper hot air ballon from our friend Jesuś' family, the sucesores de Claudino Pita. Such a wonderful tradition and if you ever get the chance to see this medieval town of Betanzo, GO!
We've also been up to Eume to climb once, when team Italia was around town. Some poker nights kept the shades drawn and surf and snowboard movies on rotation. Way more fun than a game of chess, especially because we seem to get a chessmaster in da house on a very consistent basis. Currently we have Sir Holger holding down the kingdom, under the hot Spanish sun on the balcony.
Tonight we're back to La Piscina for a concert of Ricardo's band. Should be interesting! Sunday comes the original team Swiss! Nils will be going on a 9-day trip towards West Galicia, and into Porto of Portugal in his VW bus, rejoining us in at the end of August into September! We still have a couple of spots for Pantin Classic week from September 13 - 18. Come and get some!
no time like the PRESENT
Swell rolled in a lot more manageably this month and we have had a couple of rainy day in July. These sets of storms carried us through some supposed flat days with surfable wind swells. We have also seen the best condition at the homebreak with 1 and a half meter sets! OVERHEAD!
Every session counts especially when you're a beginner and there's no better teacher than the ocean herself when it comes down to real surfing! Our guests in early July ranged from beginner to intermediate in surf abilities. And having a variation of ground swell with a double digit period and suprisingly surfable wind swell (which ours guests from Holland especially enjoyed) provided a lot of opportunities to learn and appreciate the constantly changing nature of surfing.
Our mini-mal funboards saw a lot of action. Most notably today when Fabien from four10skiing.com took some pretty decent lefts at the home break! Yeah! Exactly a week into surfing, Fabien lined up his freesking and kitboarding skills and caught some quality rides. Fabien got a chance to teach Flo the kiting ropes on our frontyard beach on Valdoviño. Unfortunately, they were grounded by the evening glass off conditions and had to join the rest of the Seeker surfers in the line-up. He managed to squeeze a couple of kiting session in this week, which made paying the extra baggage fee worthwhile.
The swell that rolled in a couple of night ago coupled with no wind produced big and surfable condition at the homebreak yesterday, one of the best sessions at the homebreak in 2011! One of the lifeguards on duty told me to be careful when I went for the second surf after high tide;) I caught some of the biggest waves I've ever ridden, lefts and rights! Martin said, "It's like a video game!" This perfect day was started with yoga in the morning with Eve, and end with an amazing dinner with Martin's Schnitzels!
From one of our surf movies at the house, it's said that surfing teaches you to live in the moment. And that's what makes the present, a present (also the name of a must-see surf-flick)!
The most memorable night in June has got to be the Noche de San Juan, which was on celebrated on the 23rd. We surf-bussed into La Coruna after dinner, amidst the hazy sunset sky for a night of bonfires on the beach.
San Juan is a tradition celebrated all over Spain, marking the beginning of summer. In Galicia it is also knows as the Noite do Meigas, the night of the witches, referencing its celtic roots. We arrived near the Torre de Hercules and found ourselves in a smaller beach with the sound of nice reggae sounds. We were welcomed by the party people with Sardines, cake, and shots. Yes! Jumping over the fire 3 times brings good luck, so we did!
We didn't stay out late as we wanted to have a surf in the morning. It happened to be Nils last night in Galicia, and he requested that next time he leaves, he gets a similar bonfire party:D hahaha! Klaus of Sempre Kaos aus Zillertal brought his guitar along for his week-long stay. Writing songs for his next album. Too-short Klaus! He definitely stepped up his surfing during his stay, and that was definitely a great end to June.
Eve arrived after her 2 weeks away from Valdovino, and is now at Casa Seeker to help us out through the beginning of peak season. She is our guide to surf-specific yoga sessions. Yoga is a great balance to surfing! Try it! We also did a bit of slacklining this week between surfs, also great balance activity.
TG and Jenni is back in Valdovino for a week's stay. They were one of our first guests from season 1, back in 2009.... brave souls. TG went out for his first surf yesterday and went straight for the big sets. YEAH!
We have had consistent surf since the beginning of summer. And no rain. My homegirl Janelle is visiting from the States and we are having too much fun playing out Blue Crush 2, in friendly summer-sized conditions. "It's firing out there!" Girls are definitely ruling 2011:D
We still have some availability through the peak-season as of now, but hit us up ASAP if you want to do Galicia right this summer! -MP
Oh my Dog...
Lucas the "wind killer" arrived in the first week of June, and we have been blessed with some sweet surf without the Northeast wind that has plagued us the last weeks in May.
The dolphins also seem to like light-offshore and showed up to our homebreak last week. Everyone got their cameras out, and just as we all thought Doc Snyder won the dolphins photo competition, Roman captured a pretty amazing shot too.
Coming into June, swell-sized has decreased a bit making our homebreak surfable. We found ourselves in rounds of surf at our homebreak through all tides. When it's a bit too big here, we would walk over to Lago, dubbed "Legoland" by Dan. Everyone took the walk down the bay one evening and were all rewarded with nice long lefts. Doc Snyder even got an amazing right! Each right I took was a close out so I don't know where this "amazing right" came from, it maybe his surf skills on his fish.
Earlier in May, the sandbar in Lago favored long rights... amazing how it has changed. Our private evening session was eventually joined by one other and that was pretty sweet. The dudes of the house had surfed the same spot in the AM with solid overhead sets, but we were blessed with waist to shoulder size waves. FUN!
We also hit up other spots in the area, as seen on the June photos.
Claudia from University of Basel has been here to help us out since the end of May. She is always motivated for a surf, and her athletic abilities has allowed her make progress in a short time! She showed us how to make traditional Zopfbrot for breakfast... yum. Sadly she flys back to Switzerland on Saturday, but she will be back at the end of August with Team Swiss.
Martin is back from his annual month-long trip to Argentina, and we're all getting fat again! Seeker FAT CAMP! Actually we have a vegetarian in da house, and Martin has taken the challenge like an IRON chef! It's been an amazing 2 weeks of healthier eats. Veggies never tasted so good! Thank Bella! And our fruit basket has never been fuller.
Bella is part of our current team of Zillertalers. She's here with Roman, Simone and Georg. Sadly, they also have to begin their drive home when the week ends. Roman's friends are arriving on Monday to keep the Chillertal vibe alive. Roman films with Nimbus Production, and is in another new ski movie "LifeLong", we will be sure to check it out!
Running into peak-season (Flo shown here with his Flo-fro) we're anticipating Eve's return to Valdoviño. She will guide us with some surf-oriented yoga sessions (SUGA, she coined the term) beginning in July. We still have space available, if you're interested just send us an e-mail. Yoga sessions will start in July and will be held 3-times-a-week at the time of your choice. They can be held outside or in our house, depending on weather. Morning or evening, depending on the surf program. -MP
Muscle Cat and Ear Worm
Some words do not translate so easily from German to English and topping the list of funny mistranslation this month is:
Ohrwurm directly translates from German to English as “Earworm”. The song that is stuck in your head.
Muskelkater is “male muscle cat” which mean muscle ache/soreness.
We had about 20 visitors in May and along with the good weather, it almost seems like summer is already in full-swing!
Flo went in for an early solo surf one morning after he had set-up our amazing daily breakfast, and met Matt in the water. He’s an Aussie who is cycling through Spain and Portugal with his just his necessities and a surfboard. They shared some waves and Flo invited him in to hang out with us! Sebi and Peter left Raindow Surf Camp in Moliet to join us enroute to Peniche, and also convinced Anna, Katrin and Maya to stop on by. With Julian, Sebi and Danni learning to surf all over again. Check out the pict. of Sebi from his last session! Nice one!
My birthday last weekend was celebrated with the inauguration of our basement bar. Maik put his crafty skills to work, built us a nice hang-out space for party hour! Schwarz Hot Zone’s Hubi and Hannes gave us a concert and I especially liked the impromptu punk rendition of a birthday ballad to me! Thanks Hannes! Hubi ended the concert with a bucket-smashing drum set. The bartender rotation included Maik, Pinti, and Flo on deck. We polished off some rum, whiskey, and also a peculiar bottle of honey liquor. Maik took off the next day from A Coruna by bus towards Porto, for his flight to Germany, and we were soon joined by Stanzi and Kati, and also Molly and Marie-Claude.
Marie-Claude was on her way home from a few months in Oz, and Molly, the evo hook-up took some time out for a few surf days while touring Spain. They did part of the Camino de Santiago together, visited San Sebastian, and Bilbao before leaving Basque Country for Galicia! Thanks chicas for the good times and helping us with outnumbering the guys!
Our good friend Stanzi, Seeker Surf Camp's super sick 2011 flyer Designerin, is here to for a short 10-day visit with Kati. Kati has showed us her amazing style and is officially banned from surfing any more foam! She woke up to glassy small surf this morning and was in the water before breakfast! She was joined by the world's best surfers! No! Not Kelly Slater, RIP Andy Irons, Mick Fanning, Rob Machado, Donovan, or Dave Rastowich... The DOLPHINS!
Julian’s edit has also been posted on our Vimeo account. Do check it out!
Original Seekers Weeks
In the first 2 weeks of May we've seen a variety of swells, allowing us to surf in a variety of spots in the Ferrolterra area. Spots we surfed include San Xorxo, Ponzos, Campelo, Lago, Baleo, Villarube, Covas, and right in front of the house, the main peak of Valdoviño. DTM (Dan the Man) was here and whipped us into shape with his boot camp / surf-a-thon. He was determined to get barreled and land an aerial, and he managed to do both! He didn't claim his aerial, but I saw him get like 3 feet of air and land on his board. Yeah... NLS... Next Level Surfing!
The weather has been good, but the wind has been rather strong at times. Waves everyday so we're pretty happy. Hustling in the morning and getting out there early has always resulted in good rides! Sometimes being patient and waiting till the last couple of hours of the day to go worked to our advantage too. Mother-nature teaches a great deal, and everyone is happy to experience the beauty of the pristine nature that is Galicia!
Fenky and Mona just arrived yesterday. Tini Gruber from Zillertal, and Maik will be arriving tomorrow. eeeeöööö!!!! Maik has been here before and is no stranger to the surf, but this is Tini's first surf trip! We're excited for her to get her feet wet in the surf. Mona's prediction is that... she will be pissed off and happy at the same time. Tini rips on a snowboard, she is on the Hot-Zone team and podiumed in every competition she's entered. Once she gets up and riding, I bet she will catch the surfing bug and ............ come visit again:D
It's been a strange winter in Europe, and we're stoked to come out to Spain to set up camp and SURF! Flo spent a few solid days under the Camper Bus while visiting los padres in Upper Austria. We packed up the supplies and stopped by our little crib in Innsbruck. Then the journey began! We stopped just outside Hossegor and slept until the next morning and the first thing we did was check the surf.
The tide was high and the main break wasn't working. We also checked Capbreton and to our surprise the break was working! The wave looked good too! No wind! But it was packed with people. We realized that it's the start of a holiday weekend and as this is one of the first breaks when you drive from inland, we opted for the Spanish side of Basque country.
On the road to Spain! Sopelana has a spot called La Triangular, a beautiful reef break. These intimidate me but it looked like it was working good, so once we had found Joseba at Milagros and had Martin's board lined up, we were in the water! A long beautiful wave normally, but the wind that got stronger through the day made the waves a bit weak. Longboarders had a better go at this one. I got a couple of drops and called it a night.
We slept like pigs on Joseba's couch, and took off the next day for Galicia! It is about a six hours drive, and the costal highway in Galicia still has section that is not ready but it is definitely getting better, huge difference than the first time Flo and I drove here about 6 years ago.
We unloaded some stuff into the house once we got to Valdoviño. And the waves were way big at home so we went to Esmelle for an evening surf. It was too big for me there too, but still good to go in the water even just for catching some foam.
We surfed yesterday at Covas, and as this spot is way filtered, I got me some happy green waves! We are going back for right now. The forecast says smaller until the weekend, so I better get it while it lasts!
Dan arrives tomorrow and it's on!