Riding out the crisis on Spanish surf
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 November, 2012 : - - Rather than mope around at home, legions of unemployed Spaniards are riding out the economic crisis on some of the best waves in Europe, driving a surf boom on the country's northern breaks. With one in four now out of a job in Spain, surf professionals say the number of surfers has jumped on the stretch of coastline from western Galicia to the border with France.
People are taking their unemployment money and deciding to surf as much as they can. Since the crisis broke there are three times more people in the water. Surf School operators in Mundaka, Plentzia and San Sebastien all agree with the estimate. 'They don't have work, so they have more time to surf.'
Surfers in Plentzia point at beach parking lots which once stood almost empty on weekdays, now full. At 10 am on a Monday there are lots of people getting ready to surf or in the water. While long-time surfers are put out by the increased numbers, surf schools are delighted. Competition between schools has driven lesson costs down. In Mundaka a two-hour group lesson costs 30 euros. Prices in San Sebastian are similar or less. At the Prado Surf School in Galicia a set of four classes a month costs only 54 euros in winter.
For the last two summers, schools say classes were not only full, but business continued right up to and past, the mid-Autumn holidays, as cash-strapped families apparently decided to take domestic holidays rather than travel abroad. Spanish surf shops, on the other hand, have failed to cash in on the boom. If they have to buy, many surfers these days are choosing cheaper board brands, or rooting around for second hand equipment.
Source: The Age
Author: The Editors
Tags: Spain, Surf Schools,