2021 In The Rear-view
So, one of my goals when I came back to Surf Cascais in September was to bring the blog and the podcast back to life. Suffice to say I failed miserably. This happened in part because there was so much going on. New projects and a super strong late season were some of the reasons. The other is that I chose surfing over writing blogposts. Sorry…
But now time has come to put you up to speed, and also to tell you how we plan to apply everything we learned in this new year. Hopefully, you’ll be coming along for the ride!
The beginning of the year
With a pandemic raging through Europe in early 2021, it was hard to settle on what to do. Flights were scarce and expensive. Not knowing what kind of restrictions they would find, everyone was afraid to book holidays. It was hard to go anywhere.
We thought this would be a good time to further develop our work with Portuguese students. But Portugal went into full lockdown from early January until the end of February. Nothing was really happening and, with vaccination rates starting slow, the prospect was dire.
But come April things were starting to turn around. The sun came out, some people started traveling and the restrictions began to fade. The Villa was bursting with live. Guests enjoyed a relax mood and uncrowded lessons. At the same time, our intermediate program was gaining momentum. Some of our students were improving so fast we had to develop new categories, from which we are now learning the first lessons. More on that later.
So when June showed on the calendar we were getting into fifth gear. Bookings trickling in and a pool full of happy and tanned faces were the most clear signs. Guincho season was on and, after a few glitches adjusting staff, the team was bonding again. Barbecues, family dinners by Alizé and fun nights out were just the cherry on top of full surfing weeks. Good times, as usual. Meanwhile, the kids where on holidays, and so we kept the training sessions going, as well as the intermediates. Looking back now, it is amazing to see how far everyone came along!
After a fully booked month of September, everyone was eager for things to slow down. Personally, I had just started working, and was trying to get a handle on things. But instead of the gentle introduction I was hoping for, October turned out to be an intensive crash course. Sunny skies and great waves had us fully booked for the whole month, as well as the first half of November. Everyone was still at the pool, BBQ’s were still happening outside (mostly) and the waves were great. What else could we ask for?
In the meantime we decided to develop an intermediate intensive course. With the first iteration happening just one month after the announcement, we were not sure it would run. But it did. It was fun and, more than anything, proved that despite being on to something, we needed to work on a few things. With our Maldives trip looming on the horizon, several of our students are looking for opportunities to improve, and we want to provide them! So several of us got further training in surf coaching, both to improve our beginner and our more advanced lessons.
Which brings us to…
Happy new year, by the way!
So, what is it that we want this year? What is it that you want this year? We thought about it and came up with the following: first and foremost, more fun! Surfing is all about having fun and enjoying yourself immersed in nature, and this is precisely what we want to give you. But we also thought that more fun comes from better services: a more enjoyable experience at the Villa, better lessons and better training sessions. So this season we committed to forming a team earlier on, to make sure everything is well oiled and running smooth as soon as possible. With all instructors undergoing and/or renewing their training, we have new ideas to spice up the lessons. From new games to more refined technique, we are hoping to apply all our experience into your lessons. In addition, some of our intermediates are beginning to join the advanced training sessions, whereas some of our beginners are moving up to intermediate lessons. This makes us want to improve in these areas as well. To do so, we have two confirmed intermediate courses running in late February and early March, as well as two back to back Maldives trips. It is all part of our main goal this year: to provide a better and more complete service to anyone who wants to surf and have fun with us.
Oh, and of course: more blog posts and podcasts ;) We will use them to stay in touch with you and to keep you up to date.
Finally, I want to take this chance to thank all of you on behalf of the Surf Cascais team. We end every year with a full heart and a few more wrinkles, all from smiling so much in the sun. Thank you for staying with us and eventually becoming our friends and family. You are the reason why we do everything we do, and we sincerely hope we have helped you to finish this year with a full and happy heart (and a few more wrinkles).