Article

Adventure And Solitude Delivered

| posted on July 22, 2010

Surf wise this trip has been lackluster. We surfed two really good days and watched onshore winds and rain rip into a solid swell the rest of the trip. The jet stream hasn’t treated us well, sinking south and sending much needed rain into North Africa. Good for Africa, bad for surfers.

Nevertheless, as surfers who have ventured into Morocco for decades can affirm, this region is rich with surf potential. There are the definite go to spots: Rabat, Safi, Immessouane, and Anchor Point. However, Morocco’s greatest assets for the traveling surfer are the numerous not-so-famous reefs, beach breaks and slabs on offer. Solitude abounds.

What also abounds is raw sewage. Especially a problem when it rains, as it is doing as I write this. Everything, and I do mean everything, flows into the ocean. Not good. It is the dark plume that spreads over the otherwise bright surfing future for Morocco. Especially here in Taghazout, which, as I mentioned in an earlier dispatch, has grown and continues to grow into a unique surf hamlet, the Puerto Escondido of North Africa, if you will. A surfer flies in, settles in and surfs all around town with world-class waves within walking distance. It is one of those unique surf villages. While Morocco actively promotes surfing, it will someday have to face the issue of sewage treatment. If the surf boom that has given this small village an economic shot in the arm is to continue, a sewage plan will have to be drawn up and implemented.

To the local surf communities’ credit, they are proactive. In January a beach cleanup took place. I know, it is not much–a small pebble thrown in a large pool. However, any move towards cleanliness, even small steps, help to shift the consciousness. It would be nice to see a Surfrider Foundation chapter set up in Taghazout, even if it is, to begin with, nothing more than symbolic. The local community is keen.

Yesterday we lucked out. The surf was stormy; ten to twelve feet accompanied by a 12knot onshore wind. As the sun burst out and the day wore on the conditions eventually sorted out. The tide pulled low and the wind lay down and Anchor Point served us relatively clean six-to-eight foot chunk swell. Good fun and a much-needed surf. In this country, it seems that no matter how flat or rainy or windy, there is always hope just around the corner: a four-foot peak, a burst of sun, a glassy patch tucked inside of a point. More than anything this is what characterizes surfing in Morocco. This country, with its prime surf geography, offers the traveling surfer a full platter of promise and possibility.