San Sebastian Surf Camp
Life is about enjoying the simple things. Like getting sand in your crack, salt in your hair and sun on your skin. It’s about enjoying a day at the beach and an evening watching the sun set beyond the horizon with good company and cold beers.
Experience the meaning of “vegging out” with Stoke Travel at their surf camp in Zarautz on the West Coast of Spain. The camp is perched atop a grassy headland overlooking the town below, with the Basque valley’s behind and the endless stretch of aqua blue sea ahead.
After crawling out of my tent each morning to sunshine and clear skies, I was greeted slowly by sleepy faces emerging for breakfast. We loaded up the beat-up, blue Stoke van with boards and headed toward the waves. Pushing ourselves over the white wash and paddling out into the vast blue beyond, we shook off the overindulgent sangria consumption from the night before.
Guru Kelly Slater once described surfing as, “As raw of a sport as it gets”. He said the times when you really appreciate surfing are the times you’re really becoming one with nature. In Zarautz, surfing is a lifestyle. You wake up, chuck on boardies and head to the sea, coming home tired, salty and blissful. Young travellers roll in from around the world for the simplicity of the summer days spent down the beach, watching the smiles on everyone’s face as they ride waves into the shore, feeling healthy and alive.
After the routine morning surf, we headed back to camp to pour ourselves unlimited ice-cold beers, enjoying travel tales with folks from all walks of life while drinking in the sunshine. Afternoons are spent taking it easy, catching up on a good book or strolling down one of the trails through long reeds and meadows, there are ruins to explore and hidden rock pools, caves and hiking paths.
When the surf’s small or adventure calls, the activities are endless. Fight your fear and jump off a cliff into the crashing waves below, take a wine tour just down the road overlooking a fifth generation vineyard, paraglide over dramatic Basque hillside or wander into town below to sink your teeth around mouthwatering pintxos and local cider.
The camp crew built a skate ramp for the real skegs, and evening yoga is held on the headland for the hippies. A slack line is hung for balance practice, ping-pong tournaments for agility and beer pong for endurance.
At the camp, it’s hard to imagine having any worries in the world other than swell size and beverage temperature. When waking up to chilled vibes and blue skies, every day is a good day.