Its no secret that morocco is an amazing surf location with incredible right hand point breaks all along its coast. Its a Surf Nirvana to say the least, which keeps drawing me back year after year. Its not just the surf though! Morocco has something that other holidays destinations just don’t. Its got a sort of non stop festival atmosphere that seeps into your blood and is hard to resist. Its as if Michael Eavis took the idea of Morocco and started Glastonbury Festival. Of course, unless you mingle with the locals and do things the Moroccan way, you just may miss it. The long drum sessions that beat with the pound of the sea, as you breath in the Moroccan flavours and smells. There is a familiar Maritime Air feel to the whole coast, not too different to the west coast of the UK. You see the same friendly faces year after year, welcoming you back into their houses for a Tajine or inviting you out into their evening session, where you can benefit from their local knowledge and get the best waves!
Getting a sweet barrel ride in North Africa
The coast is huge so it worth deciding exactly which part you’re gonna head to which will also determine how your going to get there. Most people fly out but of course there’s always a few vans pottering around, most of them take the ferry from Spain. Easiest option is to fly to Agadir and hit the world famous breaks like Anchors and Killer Point. I usually fly to Marakech and spend a day or two there to get into the swing of things. It takes a while to properly get into the flow. From Marakech the closest bit of coast and one of the loveliest places in Morocco is Essaoira. Essaoira is also a windsurfers paradise with a perfect crescent shape bay and almost constant cross shore f3-4.. The Island of Mogador shelters the beach so not much swell gets in. There is a classic sand bottom point break off the southern tip of Mogador which is sheltered from the northerly winds, surfed by only a few, myself included.
For waves its best to head south of Essaoira. I usually stay at Imssouane. Imssouane has an amazingly long right hander that can be ridden for well over half a mile and is sheltered from the prevailing northerly winds. It does have huge rips though especially on big spring tides, which can make the whole spot unmanageable for the less experienced. So as usual, worth getting a bit of local knowledge of the super friendly local crew. There is also a typical beach break on the other side of the village but its the Right Hander thats the real draw.
The classic reeling point locally known as ‘The Bay’ and is best in my opinion ridden on a longboard or bigger! My weapon of choice is a 14 foot Starboard Astro. For somebody my size and weight, 6’3 and fifteen stone, the 14 footer is ideal and it even enables me to take my gear. Everything I need for the day, out in overhead chunky waves. No need to leave your towel and sandals on the beach, just take them with you! To get an 14 foot cruising SUP into a vertical overhead drop, you really need to paddle hard down the face to get the board to release! It took a few waves to remember that! Got thrown over the falls on the first couple of attempts and then it all came back to me! Paddle like a Kahuna on the drop and you’ll make it, by the seat of your pants, but you’ll come charging down the line after a sketchy just holding edge bottom turn!
Epic fun! After that you can start lining yourself up for almost endless sections, sometimes hollower and bigger as it breaks further inside the bay!
On the other side of the village is the Beach which will usually be about twice the size of the point and is far more suited to smaller gear! A nice right breaks in the north corner called Cathedral Point and does see some shelter from northerlies too, especially at higher tide.
When I was not getting half mile long rides in The Bay, I would just hang out all day in between surfs at my favourite cafe! The whole place is set up for surf/cafe culture. I would meet Hassim at 7:30 in the morning and he would look after my gear serve coffee all day with amazing food, breakfast lunch and evening meals all for around twelve quid per day!! Wow! I gave the guy a twenty pound tip at the end of the week, which when you add it all up is still amazing value. £20 is about two days wages so he was made up!
If you want a hassle free paddlesurf trip with culture, amazing food and music plus a happy surf vibe in warm sunshine all within a three hour flight, Morocco is hard to beat. I will keep returning year after year. It’s got something for everyone. Even if you’re not into the glide and don’t even get wet, you’ll still be mesmerised by the colours and smells and the friendly atmosphere. Add a few waves of perfection into the mix and you’ve got the perfect surf holiday destination!