Our main purpose for booking a surf holiday was to entice our 12 year old son into surfing, so my husband booked himself and our son onto a one week surf package with Memmo Baleeira Hotel and Freeride surfcamp. However, in the end I had to step in and take the lessons as my husband was recovering from a broken ankle. So 6 days of surf lessons were foisted on me, and I was more of an anxious, than an eager student.
Staff were friendly, engaging and supportive. Nadine was our main point of contact and she was terrific - really positive, energetic and helpful. Our instructor, Rodrigo was patient and encouraging as we were complete beginners. He even volunteered to teach our 7 year old son, who was not signed up, but got a free lesson. They lent him a boogie board to use for the week. And, when we travelled to different surf sites, they took my husband and son along too. I think that even the non-surfers can enjoy hanging out on the beaches, as there is usually a bar/cafe to duck into, and lots of sand for castle building.
The lessons ran from about 10am-1 or 2pm. They allowed us to keep our wetsuits and if we wanted, our boards to use in the afternoon, but we were too exhausted to do any additional surfing beyond lesson hours. Instead we used the afternoons to explore other beaches or villages in the region.
We enjoyed meeting the other surfers in our group (our group size ranged from 2-7, with two instructors when we were 6-7 people). It was quite diverse in nationality and age, but it made the experience more fun, too, as we could lend each other moral support. I noticed that the instructors had different approaches - some do longer warmups on the beach, or phase the surfing techniques in more quickly or slowly. However, I think that Rodrigo's approach worked for us and our ability level. We both went from nothing to being able to ride some gentle waves (my son doing so more ably than I).
This ended up being one of the best holidays that we've experienced. The surf course met its objective: My son is now motivated to continue dabbling in surfing. And surprisingly, so am I! Thank you to Rodrigo and Nadine for inspiring us!
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