Surfing in Morocco is an awesome experience and something we would recommend to everyone, regardless of your ability or experience.  We at Surf Star Morocco work with all levels of surfers from the beginner who wants to learn how to surf right up to the downright rippers.  Unless you are surfing everyday, here are some simple tips that will make your sessions that much more enjoyable and are entirely optional – even if you don’t do them you will have a great time!
Surfing Fitness
Surfing can be pretty tiring and for those that are not in the water everyday, fitness can be a factor that reduces the amount of time you spend surfing.  I have found that getting in the pool in the month before I go on a surf trip greatly increases the amount of time I can spend surfing.  Swimming might not exactly replicate the action of paddling out, but it is close enough.  In a single month you can develop some extra strength in your arms and shoulders which will allow you to keep on paddling for waves whilst others around you are heading in!
Whilst this applies to everyone, it is especially significant for the intermediate surfer.  On the larger days getting to the line up can be a torturous paddle out through a seemingly never ending wall of white water; no doubt the extra flotation in your board means that duck dives are less effective than those on high performance shortboards which can sometimes mean more paddling (especially if you time it wrong).  Having some extra paddling fitness through some swim training will mean that you can get to the line up still feeling relatively fresh and able to really put in those digs to get onto your perfect wave!
Finally, at least in my experience, there is nothing worse than not having surfed for a while and finding that your arms and shoulders are impossibly tired and sore after the first two days.  Fitness is not just confined to how long you can paddle for, but also how fast you recover.  Getting some swimming sessions in prior to your trip to Morocco will mean that come days four, five and six your body will not feel nearly as tired than those who have done no training.
Probably more for the guys than the girls, and potentially only my own personal experience, but hey ho.  Flexibility is key for the most efficient pop up.  I have always had tight hamstrings and weak hip flexors which means that I have to have a very explosive pop up instead of the smooth glide to the feet that you see from the pros.  If you suffer from the same ‘my lead foot just won’t fit under my torso’ issue then doing some stretches to increase flexibility will help with this issue.  After all, the less explosive your pop up needs to be, the less energy you waste, the longer you can stay in the water and the more waves you catch!  A smoother pop up also means that you are likely to be set in your stance quicker and ready to get racing down the line!  Fear not though, our Yoga teachers will be able to help you with your flexibility when you are out here.
Hybrids are awesome
Again this is my opinion, but having spent a lot of my time surfing on a 17.25” wide toothpick of a board I started to get a little frustrated having to put what seemed like twice the effort into getting a wave than everyone else who were on hybrids.  I took the plunge and bought a hybrid last year – and it transformed my surfing.  Not everyday is going to be overhead and pumping, so on those slightly mushier days a hybrid lets you get into the wave earlier, can often be faster down the line and are more forgiving.  This means you get to catch more waves, have more fun and improve your surfing faster.  Trust me, when it is 4 foot and clean you will be having a better surf than that guy on a board more accustomed to pumping overhead barrels!
I hope these tips are useful – they are just from my experience as someone who used to live in a city and surf twice a year!  In the end, even if you don’t do any swimming, stretching or get a hybrid board you will definitely still be stoked with your surf sessions with us.
Blog post writer: Surf Star’s friend Simon.