We've just had a stunning week in Moulay, Check out the full story here!
Clean wind, perfect waves, blistering winds, massive waves, jumps, rides, crashes, eureka moments, camels, couscous, Riads, Spa massages and a week we’ll never forget - It has to be Moulay!
Our quest for the week was to take everyone’s windsurfing onto the next level. Be that to gain confidence for real wave environments or seek prime conditions to work on old or new moves. You’re forced to learn in Moulay, not just about windsurfing, but also about yourself.This dusty, ragged Moroccan tumbleweed town tests, teases and treats, often all at the same time. Robust Northerly Sirocco winds whip side-shore with such regularity that the ‘biggest’ sail in Bruno’s Magic Fun windsurfing centre is a lonesome 5.9m. Very few windsurfing location stock ‘only’ sub 100L boards and Lilliputian rigs - 50% were under 5m!
But before you look at the amazing photos below, have a read of what happened………
I was lucky enough to have a week with a very keen, determined, motivated and talented 'whoop' of windsurfers. We kicked off with some SUPing and surfing to get us in to the local surroundings, which is soft comfy sand at high tide, revealing rocks at low tide. We worked on strategies to understand wave formation working out the best place in the break to pick up your favoured wave. It was a great start to the trip catching some nice little rides. No damage, no injuries and plenty of couscous and beers to refuel!
Moulay then delivers a decent F5, but surprises us with a Southerly, creating side-on from the left! The WINDWISE ‘office’ was fully open and the crew jumped, rode and, for some, intrepidly encountered real waves for the first time. I could tell straight away that we were in for a great week, there was enthusiasm and determination oozing from every pore. From learning to be ‘on’ rather than ‘in’ the waves, to selecting, catch and attacking that wave down the line, colossal calories were burnt, biceps were bulging and endorphins were pumping high. We soon knew we had our work cut out, not just due the conditions before us, but also the immense forecast to come……….Northerly winds, 3m swells and 25-30 knots were scheduled for the later part of our trip. We had to really get in to the groove if we were going to have any chance of coping.
With wave sailing you quickly learn that combining wind and waves is not a given. So when it happens, it’s like striking gold! Defined swell lines, sails from 4.2-5.3m and perfect side shore conditions from the normal direction $$$$$$$. I was so proud of my team and what they achieved, ride after ride, it all started to come together. Catching more waves, snappier, committed turns, going for jumps, loops and turning fear in fun! The energy and vibrancy that emanates on and then off the water after days like this is exactly what windsurfing is all about. We sailed, we conquered, we ate, we drank and we all had Moroccan massages in preparation for what was to come…..
As you drive from Essaouira along the elevated coast road you can see the corrugated swell lines rolling towards the isolated ghost town of Moulay. The view can make your throat dry from two miles away, it can make you want to turn back to Essaouira! If we’d had these conditions on day one most people would have never gone out. When only a few locals are on the water and world class Boujma is bothered to go out, you know it’s going to be a big day. This was massive! Standing on the beach, you couldn’t see the horizon – all day. Walls and walls of water pounded in. It almost defies logic to go into the water. But we had our strategy, we’d done our skills and we’d created the belief to do it. It was totally insane conditions. Hesitant double-checking of footstraps, re tightening of harnesses, extra sips of water and collective quiet captures us. Normal simple decisions become delays that slow your passage towards the water.
On the previous day there were 40-50 people on the water. Yet today the swell was so big that the channel was closed and barely half a dozen sailors actually made it out past the break. Mast high sets after mast high sets pounded, peeled and showed us that Moulay was boss. The channel was closed, the only way out was through molten white water. The wind enticed you out, but devilishly lulled just before the most engulfing sets, forcing chicken gybes and tumbles time after time, drawing beach side exclamations like watching prize fighters on the ropes. Charging gladiators, the brave and the foolish tried to breach the Atlantic surges. With pro wave sailor Boujma pretty much the only one regularly out the back, it’s a huge credit to my Windwise crew for even venturing out! But some of the gang got right out the back - amazing! Witnessing the change in everyone’s skill and most importantly their belief and determination is why I love my job. They did it, they sailed it and well! No one can take that away from them. Just go into the water took courage. To then catch, ride and cope with these conditions was a show of true progress. Moulay hadn’t didn’t beat us!
CREDIT WHERE CREDITS DUE
Ellie over came huge, “I want to get on the next plan home” demons and ventured into conditions that she’d never of dreamed possible, and then wanted more! Dave, a lion of a man, made it out the back where so few dared or could go, he rode a monster back to the shore on a wave he (and I) will never forget. Keith ‘health & safety’ Miller ventured beyond any insurance policy and proved all our hard work had paid off – real down the line wave riding, only two broken boards and huge smile on his face, well done! Jules twisted turned, rotated, spun and turned some ragged riding into fast, smooth stylish wave surfing that many people yearn for. Plus he’s now right on the cusp of some impressive loops and, I have even great plans for him! I shall take Tim’s effusive expletives as confirmation that he’d found 6th gear as he blasted away from me over previously challenging waves ,"f!!***** that was amazing", great work Tim and more to come for you. Simon was ‘taken’ by one of the biggest waves of the day face on, but he still managed to came up with his permanent grin and a defiant demeanor that saw him back out there cranking that Tri fin wave after wave. Finally James ‘Caddy’ Siddalls, made it out the back with Boujma and finished with a 100m ride along a huge mast high set that saw he scream down the line straight into the biggest pounding section. He knew full well there was no return, but still went for the lip. Engulfed and spat to the shore, he was assisted by none other than Boujma who carried his board back up the beach. James was left contemplating how to explain to Bruno that his 4.7m was beyond repair.
On our last day, we went for a ‘recovery’ session in half-mast high sets in Essaouira. Comparatively this seemed pretty straight forward, with everyone having some of their best sailing ever. So you’ve probably guessed that we had an amazingly memorable week in Moulay, both on and off the water. We worked and played hard and I cannot thank everyone enough for their commitment, work rate, sense of humour and that togetherness spirit that encourages you to do things you normally wouldn’t. As ever Bruno’s centre was superb, with plenty of kit and some of the tastiest pre and après windsurfing food you could ever hope for!
Want to get into waves? Be it Moulay or comfly pillows in places like Fuerta, Mauritius or Cornwall, we would love to show you how.
Check out the photos and comments of our week in Moulay below!