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A day at Billabong Girlie Surf Camp in Biarritz France

Emma up & riding at Guethary : photo Girlie Surf Camps

Girlie Surf Camps

A day at Girlie Camps Surf camp in Biarritz

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 July 2004: - -

Its eight O’clock in the morning, the sun’s shining from a bright blue sky, and we can hear the waves breaking on the beach as we’re loading the car and the mini-van. “Hurry up girls!” our camp leader Leah says, while trying to get the good old American Jeep started. Frustrated, after a few failures, she runs over to the guys’ campervan, and returns with a sleepy Christian. He, of course, gets it started on his first attempt. It’s good to have those guys around sometimes, we’re all thinking…

Normally there are only girls at Girlie Camps snowboard-, skateboard- and surf-camps, but here in Biarritz, the three guys have been helpful in rebuilding the office and driving back and forth. Apart from the three guys and our camp leaders, we’re 15 girls at the camp this week. All from different countries with different cultures; Finland, Sweden, England, France, Italy, Australia… It’s very interesting to hear the other’s stories about their countries, and it’s quite remarkable that we’ve all gotten so close in just a few days. Might have something to do with that we’re all sporty girls, all searching for adrenaline prone activities…

Our French surf instructor Axel shakes his head when we finally pull up at the beach in Bidaret. “Girls”, is his stereotypic comment about our delay. He doesn’t have time to say much more, because most of us are already on our way towards the waves with our boards. At the end of the lesson he’s actually so proud of our improvements, you can spot tears in his eyes. “You girls all did very well in these rough conditions today” he says with his French accent. He’s right! It has been a great surf session. By now everybody gets up on their boards fairly easy, some of us can even point the board diagonally with the wave and by doing so, get a longer ride.

“Honk-honk”, Marika, the Swedish woman who started Girlie Camps about three years ago, gives us the sign that it’s time to go. We all squeeze in the mini-van and head towards the next adventure of the day: to learn how to ride a skateboard, in the famous skate-park in Hossegor. It’s a great afternoon. In the beginning we’re laughing so hard at each other, falling and crashing all over the place, we can’t stand up. Towards the end, however, most are in control over this board also. It’s an exhausting sport and the cold drink and yummy French baguette tastes excellent on the way back to the camp for our little evening yoga with Marika.

During the BBQ at the camp this night we have the fortune to hear the California girl Jodie Nelson, tell us about how she started surfing. It’s very interesting to also hear about her daily life nowadays as multi-sponsored surf pro. Jodie is a great person, so humble and helpful when trying to get us to surf better, throughout the week and always with a smile on her face. This stands true for most girls here at the camp. It’s a great atmosphere!

I lean back in my chair, take another sip of my beer and relax as the sun’s last rays disappear into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s so peaceful and beautiful! Tomorrow is going to be another great day here in surfer’s paradise. I can’t wait!

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Elissa Koskinen

Surf Camps - Surfersvillage

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