Who we are
Hooked on surfing, Nicolas has been taking to the waters since the age of 20. Along with his girlfriend Tamara, they run unique yoga and surf holidays located on the beautiful Banana Beach in Morocco. Today we take a closer look into Nicolas and Tamara’s story into creating Zen Surf Morocco. Sun, surf and yoga- the perfect combination!
Why did you decide to set up Zen Surf Morocco? What were you doing before?
Really good question! We used to have office jobs before my partner Tamara and I decided to leave everything behind in Europe and try the Moroccan adventure. I had already visited that place full of magic in the South of Morocco and had had such amazing times. My dream had always been to live by the ocean and do what I like most: surfing. Tamara is a certified yoga teacher while I am a certified surf coach. We decided it was time to move on and do what we love! Plus I believe that it is always a good experience to try something different to challenge yourself and become a better person. Not to mention the fact that I lived all my childhood in Africa, so coming to Morocco was like a return back to my roots. 😉
Do you remember the first time you tried surfing? How old were you?
I am very lucky to have my mother living in Reunion island, which is one of the most beautiful surfing paradises I have ever known. I decided to give it a shot 18 years ago (I was 17 by then so quite an “old” age to begin). I remember the surf school did not have a lot of material and they gave me a shortboard which was the only thing they had available. I struggled in the whitewater for 3 hours and could not ‘pop-up’. I was so determined that I went back a week later and rented a longboard and managed to pop up on my first wave. I’ll always remember it as the best thing I had ever felt! The obsession of surfing never left me since then, and I’ve had truly memorable sessions in Reunion, sometimes hitting the reef hard but always coming back home with a smile.
What’s the one tip you have for someone who’s learning how to surf?
Look towards where you want to go! The one simple thing about surfing is that your surfboard will go where you look. A lot of beginners do this very common mistake of looking down at their surfboard instead of looking far forward. This tip helps a lot when keeping your balance and speed on the water!
What’s the hardest thing about surfing?
I would say reading the waves is the only thing no one can teach you. You need to learn it by yourself, which is a beautiful thing because you get to spend a lot of time in the water to be able to read the ocean and get closer to its rhythm. Being at the right place at the right time is the key to catching a lot of waves and make your take-off in good conditions.
What makes Taghazout great for surfing?
So many things! First the water temperature never drops below 17-18° even in the middle of winter, which is so great for a place that is only 3 hours away by plane from Europe, with more than 300 days of sunshine and warmth guaranteed all year.
It’s a paradise for beginners because our area has sheltered places where you can still learn to surf in safe conditions. There are also a variety of of point breaks in the area (one of them being Banana Point which is right in front of the surf house) which makes it a great place for experienced surfers too. There are many guests that told me after a session when I guided them: “man I caught the best wave in my life today!” That feels so good. Not to mention the amazing food, the friendliness of the Berber people and the rich Moroccan culture.
Where do guests practise yoga?
We have set-up a beautiful rooftop terrace in our beach house where you can enjoy daily yoga lessons with an amazing front-row view on the Atlantic ocean, be prepared for mind-blowing sunsets! Besides, we are one of the only “real” surf & yoga retreats in the area by offering classes every day with our talented resident yoga teacher.
What type of yoga is it?
We mainly practise Hatha yoga, which is the most accessible type of yoga. Our yoga classes are adapted to the level to the participants and accommodate all levels, everyone goes as far as (s)he can in each posture.
What’s your accommodation like? Is it in a city/by the beach/in the countryside?
We are pretty much the only surf & yoga camp on the beach in the whole area. Our amazing location makes it the perfect spot to spend sporty and relaxing holidays away from the crowds while still being very close to typical Berber villages. Our typical Moroccan beach house has been made for your comfort and to provide the most relaxing vibe, and we’ve been spending years decorating it to make it look like the coolest surf house in the area 😉
What do you recommend guests do when not surfing/doing yoga?
We can organise a wide range of activities. On top of the list is the traditional hammam and massage in a professional institute nearby. You can also go and visit the Agadir souk (market) that is very popular in the area. We are a 2-minute walk away from the famous Wednesday souk of Aourir, that is also a must see! it is a very colourful local market with mountains of fruit and vegetables with some nice handicraft as well. We will be happy to organise trips to the Paradise Valley, a beautiful place 30 minutes from the surf camp with a canyon and natural pools where you can swim and sunbathe. We are also partners with a local ranch that can take you on a beautiful horseriding circuit on the beach and across the mountain. Last but not least we can take you to a local artist’s gallery where he will serve you a delicious tea and will show you how to make hand-made mosaics.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Tamara and I have started Zen Surf in 2014, and we are now very proud to say that we turned it into one of the most successful camps in the area 😉 We are working hard every day to improve our surf & yoga camp and provide the best surfing and cultural immersion possible. We have absolutely amazing customer feedbacks and nothing can make us happier than guests leaving with a big smile on their face. A lot of them come back and it makes us feel like we are all a big family that loves having fun while surfing, doing yoga and being Zen! 😉
Take a look at our packages to find out more about the fantastic yoga and & surf holidays packages that Nicolas and Tamara provide!