Asturias is a paradise for lovers of water sports, with kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing, canoeing, water skiing, fishing… But if there’s a star sport, it has to be surfing.The coast of northern Spain is a dream come true for surfers. And with over 200 miles of coast, Asturias boasts some of its most wonderful beaches, with excellent waves to surf all year round
Two Australian brothers brought surfing to this part of Spain in the late 60´s. Apparently they were travelling round the country and were knocked out by the waves they found in Tapia de Casariego. They ended up staying in this small fishing village for the next two months, teaching the locals how to surf and receiving food and a place to stay in exchange. The sport really took off and the Gully’s became real cult heroes. The World Surf Championship was established in Tapia in 1991. It is now known as the Peter Gulley Memorial, Peter being one of the two brothers who turned Tapia into one of the most famous surf centres in northern Spain and home to one of the biggest surf events in Europe, attracting thousands of spectators every year at Easter
Surf schools have since sprung up all over the place. You can start from scratch or take lessons to hone your skills, or just rent a board, wetsuit, whatever you need.
After several summers and experiences, I now rely on my teacher Curro. He left Madrid, his hometown, 10 years ago to come and live by the sea and is now a fully-fledged surf coach. A man of many talents, he speaks English and French and has the patience of Job. He knows the beaches and the waves like the back of his hand and gives his classes on Penarronda, either to small groups or individuals. The experience of climbing on that board and learning to ride a wave, no matter what your age, is something you’ll never forget. And believe me, everyone can stand up on a board, if not in the water then at least on the sand.
Lessons are two hours max. Talk about working up an appetite… by the end of the day, you’ll be ready to eat a horse!
Click below if you want to know more about surfing in Asturias.