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7 Reasons to Cowork in Morocco

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New designs, blog deadlines and backend rewrites are few of the many professional tasks that now feature a lifestyle called digital nomadism. Instead of working in a company office, employees are armed with laptops and smartphones to complete their projects wherever (and usually whenever) they please. Coworking abroad has become more and more popular over the past few years; and lately, we have had many requests to create an environment suitable to cowork in Morocco.

Coworking in Morocco

At Original Surf Morocco, we have had the pleasure of accommodating employees and guests working on projects for companies at home. Between surf sessions and yoga classes, our digital nomads have found places to work on our spacious terraces, lounges, and dining room. CoWorking on the Moroccan surf coast consists of constant views of the sea, magnificent sunsets and sunrises, mint tea and fresh fruit – and that’s not to mention the waves! There are five breaks within a twenty minute walk, which means you can turn in your masterpiece and be in the water just in time to see the sun disappear into the Atlantic.

This blog will detail seven reasons why coworking in Morocco should be the next stop on your journey as a digital nomad.

1: Waves

The #32 bus that goes from Agadir to Taghazout has just two words on the front display: Go Surf. This area has been built around the surf scene, and it’s easy to see why. The consistency of swell from December to May and wide array of point, beach and reef breaks for surfers of all levels make Morocco a surfers dream. There are user-friendly beach breaks for the beginner to make it into the lineup for their first green wave, gently sloping point breaks for the intermediate surfer getting more comfortable in big swell, and heavy reefs and slabs that can give advanced waveriders the ride of their life. Morocco boasts world class points like Anchor Point, Draculas, and Boilers that are not for the faint of heart, but could be a perfect opportunity to reward yourself and break out your step up after finishing that website buildout.

 

2: Fuel

Like work, surfing requires you to put brain and body fuel into your body for maximum results. Nourishment in Morocco is fresh and easy to come by. As a surf accommodation now proudly offering coworking, we have adapted to the needs of our busy developers, marketers, and educators by supplying a constant flow of refreshments. CoWorking with Moroccan hospitality equals mint tea, coffee, bottled water and fresh fruit from the local souk. Tamraght is a growing village which means that new cafes and restaurants are popping up constantly to provide you with brain food for maximum productivity.

 

3: Views, Views, Views

Where better to gain inspiration than the ocean? Pictured below is where this blog was written, beneath the sun and amongst the flora, gazing at a rare flat day.

Coworking terrace original surf

The European Centre for Environment & Human Health research shows that people who live on the coastline enjoy happier and healthier lives than their inland counterparts. “Ocean therapy” has been used to spur creativity and reduce stress, if you can’t be surfing you might as well be looking at the sea while you work. The temperate coastal climate of Tamraght means that working outside year round is possible, with temperatures averaging around twenty degrees in the winter and in the low thirties during summer months.

 

4: Ease of Access

Moroccans were born with this unique type of work environment, but it is easily accessible to citizens of all countries and creeds. Agadir International Airport has daily arrivals with visitors coming for sun and surf from Europe, Asia and North America. The emergence of low cost airlines has made travel to and from Morocco easy for holidayers and digital nomads alike. Digital nomads from western countries have visa free entry and can stay in the country for ninety days at a time. Digital nomads are legally allowed to work remotely for companies in their home country from Morocco with this tourist status.

Getting around the surf coast is just as easy as getting as getting to it. The Agadir local #32 bus is roughly .5and runs frequently from Agadir to Taghazout with several stops in Tamraght. Local and grand taxis are readily available and are also affordable. With several surf breaks and businesses walkable in town or on the four kilometre cycle path along the beach between Tamraght and Taghazout, those who prefer to go via their own power have plenty of options on foot or bicycle.  

 

5: Cost of Living

We’ve touched on this a bit in the previous section, but Morocco is a very affordable place to live and cowork. Digital nomads being paid in euros, dollars and pounds can see these currencies go a long way when exchanging money for Moroccan Dirhams. NomadList states that the average total cost of living in Taghazout for a digital nomad is around 925 per month. Apartments for weekly rent are available from local real estate companies and we now offer coworking/coliving packages for professionals who have always wanted to know what it’s like to live, eat and work at a surf camp.

 

6: Vibes

While the ocean is just one example, environment influences the way in which our minds and bodies work. Comfort and productivity have a striking correlation, and it has been proven that sunlight has positive effects on mood and energy. Between three-hundred days of sunlight, the unlimited power of the ocean and world renowned Moroccan hospitality, this is the ideal place to get your mind and body right for full efficiency. Yoga classes take place twice a day, at sunset and sunrise in the enclosed studio adjacent to the dining room for the ultimate way to wake up your body and mind for the day, or wind it down after finishing work.

 

7: Balance

This last section is meant to tie all of the above into one a single point; balance. Work-life balance has shot up the list in important values for young professionals. The work to live mentality is being replaced by a live to work mindset in which people have the freedom to work when and where suits them, have their favourite activities easily accessible, and structure their days the best they see fit. This area gives digital nomads the best of many worlds: surf, fuel, environment, transportation and vibes at an affordable price.

Coworking and digital nomadism are exciting. These concepts show workplace progression that is at the same rate of technology and human values are evolving. At Original Surf Morocco, we are proud to provide a space where digital nomads can let their minds and bodies run free. We have surf hire and lessons on site, fibre-optic internet connection, two local chefs freshly preparing pre-ordered meals, unlimited refreshments with a coworking day pass, yoga classes, co-living packages, and Moroccan hospitality with plentiful dosages of sun and sea.

 

Contact us today at marketing@originalsurfmorocco.com to see what coworking or coliving could look for you on the sunny shores of the Moroccan Surf Coast.

Yoga and surf in Tamraght

Visitor’s Guide to Tamraght

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Nestled between bustling Banana Village and the tourist town of Taghazout, Tamraght has a much more chilled out vibe than its better-known neighbors. While it may be harder to find a buzzing night scene, Tamraght appeals to travelers keen to experience the pace of local life. With houses built up the hillside overlooking the sea, there’s plenty of good spots to relax, check the surf, and watch the sun go down over the water. Two main streets make up the core of little Tamraght, framed by two mosques which call to each other 5 times per day. Small local shops selling Moroccan flat bread and other essentials are dotted along the road, framed by houses with brightly painted doors and intricate decorated tile walls.

Tamraght may be a small town, but a few hidden jems are tucked away in its quiet streets. One of these is ‘Jus de Fruits’ up the hill from the mosque; a favorite for their legendary Avocado Smoothie (quickly becoming an Original Surf tradition!). The lovely ladies in this hole-in-the-wall cafe will whip you up the most incredible mixture of avocado, dates, and nuts, so thick and creamy that it’s served with a spoon!

Another spot, popular among locals and tourists alike, is Babakoul. The outdoor tables and delicious pancakes at this funky joint make it a great place to hang out after sunset. A recommended order is the Banana and Almond Butter Pancake, and of course a pot of traditional Moroccan Mint Tea.

After surf refresher

Walking along the main road you will come across restaurants, a currency exchange, and surf shops where you can buy clothing, sun cream, and other beach essentials. Ding repair services are also available. Staying in Tamraght puts you in a prime spot for surf expeditions – not only can you see the surf from your roof Terrance, but you are just a 20 minute walk away from the main beach and Devils Rock. Likewise, Banana Village and Taghazout can be reach by foot or by the regular local buses running between the two towns, making it easy to pop to the Wednesday souk in Banana Village, or for dinner in one of Taghazout’s restaurants.With the whole surrounding area set to see much development over the next few years, it’s a privilege to experience the peaceful local lifestyle that still prevails in Tamraght. Catch it while you can!

The Authentic Moroccan Experience

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Beyond the endless sandy shores and waves, what truly makes a stay here at Original Surf Morocco invaluable is the immersion experience into authentic Moroccan culture.

Our camp is run entirely by local people who grew up in this beautiful seaside village of Tamraght. They are indigenous Berber people, whose ties to this land trace back for generations.

They speak their native Berber tongue to one another, while communicating in Arabic to Moroccans, English to tourists, and often French, Russian, and bits and pieces of other languages from around the world. The fluid mastery of a handful of languages is commonplace amongst Moroccans – it is truly incredible and humbling to witness!

Being native to this coastline, our surf instructors have a sixth sense for which break will be working when – depending on the tides, swell, wind, and other factors that must align for a day of clean surf.

They graciously share the secrets of their home breaks with us travelers passing through, always bonding with people from around the world over the pure joy that is surfing. A love for the ocean and chasing waves creates a universal bond, that transcends any cultural or language barriers.

Our live-in chef, Omar, is a true artist of authentic Moroccan cuisine. He prepares delicious culinary masterpieces for us three times a day in his native style of cooking. Each meal is fueled by fresh produce regularly purchased from the local markets, or souks.

The Tajine dish is a classic trademark of authentic Moroccan cuisine – an absolute must-try  while traveling in Morocco.

The Tajine pot is made of earthen clay and used to slow cook vegetables or meat. The dish is served in the same pot it was cooked in, preserving the flavor in its’ richest form. We usually enjoy the Tajine dish each night at dinner.

Moroccan cuisine is infamous for its’ sublime use of delectable spices. Common spices include cumin, pepper, turmeric, saffron, ginger, paprika and cinnamon. 

In the classic Moroccan style, we always sit down to take our time enjoying the home-cooked meal together. Breakfast and dinner are served on our rooftop terrace, sporting sweeping views of the ocean and the whole village beneath us. We usually eat lunch on the beach, in between our morning and afternoon surfing sessions.

Each day living here, I learn a little bit more about what it means to be truly Moroccan – a culture centered around community, compassion, and spiritual devotion. I am so grateful to have at least two more months to sink in here, and to be able to share my experience with our readers!

Desert Trek: Sand Surfing in Morocco

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Once you catch the bug, chasing swells becomes a never-ending, lifelong quest. 

But when the sea is flat, it takes a bit of creativity to satiate the thirst – welcome the art of sand surfing, or shredding down the face of a steep desert dune. 

We started off the day at our home breaks in Tamraght, but everywhere we checked was flat, flat, flat as a flat thing could be.

So we embarked North toward Tamri, a magical stretch of coastline dripping with world-class reef and point breaks hidden around each bend. These spots often pick up more Northwest winter swell, but to our dismay we were only met by small, mushy waves, smothered by onshore winds.

“Well then,” smiled our surf-instructor Abdellah, a mischievous glint in his eyes, “Time for sand surfing!”

 

 

So the quest to gnarnia continued — but this time deep into sweeping desert fields, steeped on massive cliffs overlooking the dreamy turquoise sea.

We tromped through the fiery sand under a blazing Moroccan sun, winding our way up and down towering dunes until we finally reached our destination peak.

Removing the fins from our favorite foamie, gnar shredding commenced:

The afternoon lazily flowed by, sinking deeper and deeper into the endless expanse of the desert, not another soul in sight.

The desert has a piercing ability to make a human feel small as an ant. 

 

An eerie stillness permeates the throbbing landscape, holding the distant echo of waves crashing into the cliffs, howling winds swooshing through the valley.

One moment, all was completely still.

The next, a wind picked up with so much force it nearly swept us into the sea. At mercy to the elements, we quickly packed up our things and step by step, made the trek home.

The journey is endless, the destination an illusion… For the gnar, brah. For the gnar.

 

3 Ways Surfing & Yoga Become One

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When someone asks me if I’m good at surfing, I have a similar reaction as to when I hear someone say, “I’m so bad at yoga, I can’t even touch my toes!”. Surfing & yoga are both a journey to enjoy not a destination

My socially inept response is one of perplexed silence, a baffled head tilt and furrowed brows… The essential framework of this conversation is nonsensical to me.

With both practices, you never reach an end goal and say aha, I did it, it’s done! I have mastered all the waves of the sea, and I no longer need to breathe.

The only yardstick to really measure growth in either practice is equanimity – the ability to ride the ever-pulsing waves of life with internal ease and grace.

Sometimes these waves are literal – a double overhead set is rapidly approaching the razor-sharp reef, and you’re caught inside. Other times, metaphorical – your partner dumps you out of nowhere on the same day you got laid off.

Practicing yoga and surfing complement each other on every level. In my own experience of body, breath, and mind, I notice increasingly subtler connections between the practices the deeper I dive: 

1. BODY – Physical Strength & Flexibility

Through asana, or the physical practice of yoga, one cultivates a deeper integration of core strength throughout the entire body. This is absolutely essential to surfing, which requires full-body strength and endurance.

In ‘Vinyasa flow’ yoga, we find all the the essentials of the surf pop-up woven into the core sequence.

The classic flow of lowering from a high plank to chataranga and into a heart-opening backbend perfectly mirrors the buildup of paddling, catching a wave, and finally popping up to stand:

 

 

 

Practicing this sequence on the mat cultivates the muscle memory needed for the rapid pop-up on a wave.

Surfers that don’t practice asana tend to have extremely tight shoulders from all the muscular exertion, minus the stretching. By ignoring flexibility, a non-negotiable pillar of health, they hold themselves back from taking on the next level of surf.

2. BREATH – Pranayama & Staying Calm

In surfing, there is a time to dive into your deepest strength reservoirs and fight with all your might – perhaps when paddling out past the break, or going for a wave.

But there is also a time to surrender to the sea and let go of all the muscles in your body – when a wave sucks you under for an extended period of time and you have to calmly hold your breath and wait it out. It is only when one panics and struggles to fight their way to the surface that the danger of drowning arises.

Through pranayama, or breathing practices, we consciously harness and expand our ability to intake pranaor ‘life-force,’ manifested as breath. These practices enable one to fully utilize their lung capacity and hold their breath calmly for increasing periods of time.

There are also different pranayamas one can apply to specific surfing predicaments – kapala bhati to heat up the body internally when in freezing external conditions, or ujjayi to calm the mind when fear creeps in.

3. MIND – Awakening Intuition & Being Present

Through surfing you fluidly merge your being with the sea. This does not occur through the linear, rational part of your brain, but rather through the intuitive, feeling-sense instinct of your heart.

You can’t think your way on to a wave.

You’ve got to learn to get out of your head, drop into your body, and trust the flow of your intuition to guide you. Surfing reconnects us with our primal instinct, immersing in the raw unbridled energy of nature.

And the more time you spend in the sea, the more you become naturally attuned to her rhythms – I swear sometimes I feel a set coming before I see it.

In our yogic practice of meditation, we are awakening our latent intuition and deeper feeling-sense to navigate our lives. We cultivate patience and non-judgemental awareness toward ourselves and others. This is an essential quality to maintain a lifelong dedication to surfing, as often it can feel like we spend more time waiting for swells than riding them.

For me, just being in the ocean is meditation. The word yoga actually translates to union – union of the individual ego with the greater whole, of the limited individual being with the infinite ocean of existence.

So whether I’m in the sea or on the mat, the moment I catch myself thinking, ‘look at me, look how good I’ve gotten!’ I know my ego has crept back in and I’ve missed the point.

Sometimes I think of my time spent in the sea and on the mat as practice for real life. When difficult circumstances arise, as they are bound to, the only thing I can control is my own response.

Thus my surfing and yoga practice are one in the same, as they both enable me to connect with Source energy and go beyond my limited ego to embody my highest Self.

Inhale, Exhale~~~meet the waves head on, without fear~~~the only way to go & grow.

Journey to Paradise

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Nestled in the lush greenery of Morocco’s southern coastline lies the special nook of Paradise Valley, the desert oasis you thought might only exist in dreams. But these naturally carved out turquoise swimming holes are the real deal, encircled by swaying palm trees and all.

 

Usually the rhythm of our day here at Original Surf Morocco is centered around surfing. But when the sea is flat, windy, or just straight unmanageable, we take an excuse to explore a different side of Morocco–rare journey away from the sea, into the mountains and trees. 

The hike into Paradise Valley begins by winding up and down a series of steep mountains, dropping in to a lush river. Steep cliffs run along the water’s edge, which is vibrant and flowing after this year’s strong winter rains.

 

Massive palm trees frame the trail, gentle giants swaying with the breeze. As you trek deeper into the valley, secret get-a-aways begin to pop up left and right, where Moroccans have set up their own oasis hangouts of hammocks, cafes, art spaces and the likes.

After about half an hour of winding deeper into the valley along the river, the trail leads to a series of smoothly carved out turquoise swimming holes. The pools are deep and clear, the occasional school of fish coming up to nibble your toes. Small waterfalls connecting the pools make perfect smooth waterslides.

Every so often a dare devil climbs up the steep rock walls surrounding the pools, and makes the 10 meter jump into the crystal clear waters. 

 

As an adventurer begins to scramble to the top, the chilled-out crowd of sunbathers and swimmers begins to watch in anticipation, sometimes even erupting into cheers when the jump is finally made. 

Hours can seamlessly flow by in this relaxed sway of Paradise Valley. Stretched out like a lizard on the warm slabs of rock, dipping into the cool perfect waters when it gets too hot, time dissolves into the passing rhythm of the sun.

At the end of the day we slowly made our way back along the winding trail, feeling recharged, refreshed, and ready for the evening ahead – a calm sunset yoga session followed by a classic Moroccan dinner, settling in for the evening and preparing for the next day of surf.

Legends & Lore of Devil’s Rock

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While Devil’s Rock is most popularly known for its clean, consistent, waves, a deeper glimpse into it’s past reveals an ancient air of mystery surrounding the powers of the rock. 

Today, the massive rock hosts a nonstop flow of activity.

Fishermen are seen casting their lines off from the point around the clock, surfers jump from the cliff to skip the paddle out and join the lineup. Local women shell and cook oysters in the afternoon, rock-scramblers and wanderers watch the sunset and waves breaking from above.

 

There are a handful of local legends about how the name ‘Devil’s Rock’ came to be.

According to one local, the crumbling walls and steps on the rock are ruins from an ancient castle built by a king from the Netherlands.

The king’s presence was not exactly welcome by the local people, so at this the time rock was known as ‘Imourane Ahjareef’ – ‘Imourane’ meaning ‘rude’ in the local Berber tongue, ‘ahjareef’ meaning ‘rock.’

It is unclear exactly when the spot came to be known as Devils’ Rock.

 

Some say it got this name because of the ghostly shadow of a massive man that can be seen wandering the rock only at night.

Others say the name came from when a couple of drunken sailors were sitting up on the rock, and mistook the distant flash of a lighthouse as an evil spirit, or devil.

Some locals say there are still mysterious lights with unknown forces seen flashing at the rock from time to time.

There is also a local tradition of using the power of Devils’ Rock to bring a woman a husband.

Each September, there is a festival in which women bathe in a hole of the rock where the waves wash through. It is said that if she stays in the hole for the washing of seven waves, a husband will soon come to her.

Some say that this power stems from the ancient story of two past lovers who used the rock as a secret meeting point at night. 

The magic of Devils’ Rock can still be felt in every which way today, whether its’ getting ready to make the jump to surf under the blazing Moroccan sun, or soaking in the warm ocean breeze and full moon beams radiating off the sea.

 

Agadir Open Coming to Devil’s Rock!

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The 7th annual Agadir Open Surf & Bodyboard Competition will take place this weekend, here at our very own home break of Devil’s Rock!

The 3 day competition will run from Mar 24-26, hosted by the Imouran Surf Club and Moroccan Royal Federation of Surf and Bodyboard. The event is expected to draw 250+ competitors from across Morocco and beyond, with both international and national champions in the mix.

 

For the first time ever, there will also be a separate league just for female competition.

Beyond just surfing and bodyboarding, the event will feature local musicians, art, and food throughout the weekend, with a concert on Saturday evening beginning at 5:30 PM.

A solid 1 meter swell is expected to roll in just in time for the beginning of the competition on Friday. However the current weather forecast predicts heavy winds, so the start time of the competition may shift around to adapt to the conditions.

We are extremely excited to watch our own surf instructor Abdullah compete in the body boarding portion of the competition! If you are in Morocco or anywhere nearby, this event is an absolute can’t miss. Come join us for a taste of local surf culture, and authentic Moroccan food, art and music!

 

Meditation Practice to Up Your Surf Game

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While surfing does require a solid level of physical vitality, mental strength is the critical factor for taking on the next level of wave.

Surfing is in and of itself a moving meditation–we are constantly moving dancing with the sea, intuitively responding to the motions of the ocean, relaxing out of the thoughts and onto them sweet ocean swells. I find when I am frustrated, afraid, or just thinking too much, it can be impossible to catch waves and enjoy the endless bliss that is surfing.

Cultivating your own meditation practice on the shores will bring greater clarity and fulfillment to all aspects of life — surfing is no exception!

So next time you’re about to paddle out, take an extra moment to try this simple practice — it will shift you out of your head and into your true center, so you can glide onto those waves with a crystal clear calmness.

Meditation practice to up your surf game:

  1. Relax Your Body
    • Lay down on your back with your spine fully extended. Rest your legs out long, your feet out a bit wider than your hips, toes relaxing away from each other. In yoga, we call this shape shavasana.
    • Rest your right hand on your low belly, your left hand on your heart. Let your elbows relax onto the ground.
    • Close your eyes. Begin by relaxing all the muscles in your face, especially your jaw and forehead, slowly relaxing and letting go of all the muscles in your body.
  2. Deepen Your Breath
    • Once you feel your body is completely relaxed, begin to deepen your breath long and smooth, in and out through your nose.
    • Feel that at the bottom of your inhalation, your belly expands into your right hand first. As the inhalation deepens, your chest expands into your left hand. Than as you begin to exhale, first the chest deflates, than the belly softens. We call this practice the full 4 part yogic breath – the movement of the chest and the belly each make up a half of the inhalation, and a half of your exhalation. Feel your breath move up and down your spine like a seesaw.
    • Continue to lengthen and deepen your breath, each one a little longer and slower than the last. The deeper, quieter, more subtle your breath, the better.
  3. Calm Your Mind
    • As you continue to deepen your breath, notice whatever thoughts are passing through your mind. Without judging what you are thinking about, witness your thoughts for what they are. Bring your awareness to whatever expectation you might have for the approaching surf session.
    • Through the deepening of your breath, see if you can gently let go of the thoughts, let go of the the expectations and just relax into the ever-pulsing wave of the expansion as you inhale, the gentle contraction as you exhale.
    • Continue breathing until you feel you have shifted into your center and are shreddy for the gnar… than keep breathing and shred da gnar.

Infinite variations of this practice are available to you at any point in life, and also while surfing – whenever you notice you are distracted or moving out of your center, gently begin to deepen your breath. Let the fresh wave of prana wash through your mind, cleanse the mental space, and come into the sweet ever-presence of the now.

Over time, as you continue to practice, you will notice that you are not only catching more waves, but perhaps knowing and loving yourself a bit more, maybe even perceiving your external reality with an increased zest of compassion, grace, light.

For the gnar, brah, we do it for the gnar. Always be shreddy, always move toward greater presence in all the micro-motions of life – on the mat, off the mat, in the sea, on the shores… hayetti. And get stoked for the massive swell hitting our coastline in just 3 days!

Read more about the interconnections between surfing, yoga and meditation here!

 

The Final Swell: Ending an Epic Surf Season

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Clean, double-overhead sets have been firing across our stretch of Moroccan coastline these past two days—a rare treat of a swell this surf season of the year!

It’s been far too heavy for any beach breaks, massive towering lines close out as far as you can see. But our world-class local point and reef breaks such as Anchor Point, Banana Point, Boilers, Draculas and Spiders, have been perfectly lit up, and stoke levels are at an all time high. 

Our peak surf season here is November-February, when the winter storms roll down from the North. So to have a swell this massive and clean at the end of March is a truly special rarity—the cherry on top of an incredible season!

This winter brought much bigger and more consistent waves than a typical year. There were a handful of double overhead swells that rolled in with near perfect conditions — 15+ second periods, little to no wind under sunny Moroccan skies.

The best part? It’s still not over! 

While this swell already peaked on Thursday evening, chest to head high sets should keep rolling in throughout the week. A 2 meter swell will peak again on Tuesday, and another swell is coming the following week… it’s not over till it’s over!

If you are looking for a sunny, warm winter escape and want to learn to surf, eat amazing Moroccan food and meet like minded people then a surf camp in Morocco is a perfect place to be.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook  for live updates as the swell continues to roll in!