Surfing Morocco

Surfing Morocco

Surfing at Taghazout, Morocco

Amelia, our instructor and surf guide for the day, a sun bleached ex-pat, arrives in a dust covered, beaten up old jeep with a stack of boards on the roof, fully prepared for all abilities and surf conditions. We eye the biggest and sturdiest of the boards with relief, we’re no Laird Hamilton or Kelly Slater, just an Englishman and Aussie exploring the coast of Morocco, with a days surfing thrown into the mix. 

Woodhouse Coffee Co ~ Welcome to Devon ~ Surfers

Back then this area was raw and authentic, untouched by commercial development. This was before the golfing community had even heard of this corner of Africa’s Atlantic outpost. This was the surfing worlds’ closely guarded secret.

Before flying out we jokingly mentioned on e-mail that our instructor should bring croissants for her valuable clients. To our amazement she has, and our fears of her being “too cool” for us newbie-surfers quickly disappear. This should be a fun day, for all of us.

We pile in the Jeep and head for Panorama Café to fuel our days upcoming efforts with a local Moroccan coffee or three. The name of this establishment doesn’t disappoint. We sit on its terrace overlooking the wide open expanse of Plage Taghazout, just north of the popular resort town of Agadir. This is a wild and untouched place, reminiscent of the open beaches of Fuerteventura out to sea somewhere south west of us at this very moment, but without the crowds.

Surfing Morocco

We’re introduced to the local Nous Nous coffee. It’s a half coffee, half hot milk Moroccan favourite and a staple along with the single espresso. Morocco doesn’t have the coffee culture that a lot of Middle Eastern countries do. Here drinking coffee means pulling up a chair in a café and sitting for a while. You’d never see a Moroccan standing at a bar and drinking coffee, nor would you see them walking with a cup of coffee in their hand. Starbucks territory this is not.

We take in the last of the views and relaxation and head down to the shoreline. The waves are being picked up by the off-shore wind. Everything looked more peaceful from our headland viewpoint but luckily we’re in good hands. A brief warm up and we’re paddling out back ready for our first set. Amelia fires out some quick pointers, just two things to remember on each wave so that we’re not overloaded, and we paddle into our first waves. 

The waves here seem more powerful than at home in Devon and Cornwall. Quicker also. With more luck than judgement (and something to do with the canal boat sized boards she’s allocated us) we both take our first waves of the day. Charging in on the face of all that energy just cannot be explained unless you’ve witnessed the same. It’s that same primal feeling you have from skiing or cycling at full, almost in control, speed down a mountain. It stirs something inside that makes you go back for more again and again… and again.

Yes there are wipe-outs. Yes there times when you’re arms are sore from the constant fight against the swells. And yes, there are times when you’re breathing in more Atlantic swells than air, but these are the days when we feel most alive.

The days and the place when we realise that it’s all just one big adventure.