Of course the perfect surf camp for us is our San Sebastian Surf House, with the best waves in Europe easily accessed from our converted Basque farmhouse in the mountains. Plus we’ve got the whole surf-play balance thing worked out, so your evenings can be spent trading stories in our bar/leisure room, or on the town with your new crew of best buds and fellow shred dawgs.
It’s that time of year again. Your six pack has melted into a keg, your liver disintegrated into a useless ball of lard and all you have left to comfort you is the knowledge that you won’t have to see your extended family for another entire circumvention of the sun. Your flatmate is still trying to make you participate in dry January (“You can still start on the 7th”) and Denise from accounts won’t stop going on about how she’s gone on a run every day this year.
Nobody likes January. So in an effort to forget that the month exists, why not look forward to the summer to come? You’ve got a whole five months to get that rig back in shape and to give your liver at least one weekend’s rest, so fret not on the past, but look ahead to where you really want to be – getting out into the ocean in that sweet, sweet surf.
As with all kinds of travel, there’s a ton of variables you should be looking out for when you’re scouting out where to go. Here’s a few to get you thinking before you turn those winter daydreams into concrete summer plans:
How the hell do I get to there?
‘Where the hell is my dream surf camp?’, you may find yourself asking. Whilst this question is completely subjective, your ideal surf camp should be pretty easy to get to. One of the only bonuses of January, is the January sales. Sites such as Ryanair and Vueling are chucking up flights on the cheap like they’re Donald Trump spewing out abuse on Twitter. Make sure to hit up sites like Kayak or Skyscanner first to get the best deals, but, fuck, who am I talking to, you already know that, right?
Is this place full of groms or shredders?
‘Who’s gonna be at this surf camp?’, you may be thinking. You’re stressing, because you’re a seasoned shredder but your new boyfriend has never so much as touched a boogie board. But when it comes to finding a decent surf school, every surf instructor worth their (sea)salt should be able to cater to all abilities. Whether that means teaching your fella how to pop up on the beach for half an hour, or heading out the back to show you the best waves, this should be a non-issue.
Waves? Tell me about the waves!
‘Are we hunting monsters? Pipeline, Mavericks, Nazare???’ While these waves make for great watching on the WSL tour, unless you have a death wish (or can seriously rip) you’ll be looking for something a little smaller. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want to be practising in the white wash, taking advantage of the smaller waves, and getting to grips with the beach. Beach breaks are perfect for this, such as Playa Zarautz or Biarritz (both in the Basque Country), and these two will also definitely please the more experienced crowds, with waves reaching up to three metres, even in summer.
What the hell else can I do around here?
Surfing can be a pretty tiring sport. Like really tiring. Sure, you might wanna get out in the water like it’s your 9-5, but hey, you’re on holiday – you gotta relaaaaax man. Most surf camps will offer plenty of other things to do around the area, from beach sports and paddleboarding to yoga and meditation.
Where can I get a goddamn beer?
So maybe yoga and meditation isn’t really on the cards; maybe a three-day bender is more your style. Make sure to check out the local scene before you head to your destination. Sleepy surf towns can be a nice break, but you can’t beat a surf city with nightlife right next to the sea. Every good surf hostel should be within a stones throw of a decent bar – or better still should have it’s own. Or at least, that’s what we think here at Stoke Travel….
So now you know what to look for in an ideal surf camp, surely all signs must be pointing towards:
SAN SEBASTIAN SURF CAMP
If you’re looking for somewhere to while away your summer days, look no further. Getting to the Basque Country is a proverbial piece of piss – flights are going for as little as €60 return from the UK. Our surf instructors are happy to cater to all abilities, and Playa Zarautz offers clean, fun waves for beginners and shredders alike.
Clubs are aplenty, fiestas every other day, and there’s always a chance you might find the guapo o guapa of your dreams. Our all-inclusive surf house provides plenty of activities, with daily yoga lessons for those keeping things mellow, and for the party animals, opportunities to let loose every day of the week. With an open bar onsite of all-you-can-drink beer and sangria, things tend to lean towards the latter, rather than the former – but you’d like that wouldn’t you? Ya filthy animal.
So quit daydreaming, and get involved now! Check out the surf house here and book using promo code SPARKLES to get free and unlimited beer, cider and sangria.