I’ve recently got back from the annual YUSURF trip. This year, 41 surfers from the University of York spent a week in Fueteventura, in the Canary Islands.
In this blog I’m going to talk you through what YUSURF and its trips are all about.
WHAT IS YUSURF?
YUSURF is the University of York’s surfing society. It is the second largest university surf society in the UK with over 400 members. The society caters for surfers of all levels, running weekly/bi-weekly trips to local surf spots, providing free instruction and equipment.
More than surfing, the club brings likeminded people together and for me it has allowed me to make a bunch of great new friends.
Every year the society runs a surf trip for a week of the Easter holiday. Previously the trip has been to sun-soaked surf spots such as Portugal and Morocco. This year we headed to El Cotillo, a sleepy surf town in the north of Fueteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands.
The night before our early morning flight, I had been at my course’s 12-hour Spring ball. So when I landed on the island, I wasn’t feeling like the sharpest tool in the shed. My first impression, through my squinted eyes, was that the island looked a lot like the moon! It turns out that the latest Star Wars movie is going to be filmed on the island. It is a volcanic island which has been dormant for over 4000 years. Eroding volcanoes are still scattered all over the island.
Our trip was run by Star Surf, a great company which runs year round surf camps in France, Spain and Indonesia, by a bunch of British guys who were super friendly and a lot of fun.
We spent five of our seven days on the beach at El Cortillo making the most of the sun and the waves. Unfortunately, we were not super lucky with the wave conditions as the swell was small all week, but there was a consistent wave which was great for beginners and fun to mess around on.
A good number of people on the trip had never surfed before and many from all experience levels, chose to take lessons. Over five two-hour lessons, every surfer advanced quickly. Our instructor Ash, covered the basics; including wave selection, paddling, getting up on the board and moving around on the wave. The more experienced surfers in the group scoured the coast for the best waves, making the most of some tough conditions.
Everyone had a great time in the water. It was amazing to get some sun after the gloomy winter months in the UK and some much needed rest after a busy term. What I enjoyed the most about my trip was just hanging out on the beach with these awesome people, taking a break from work and getting a chance to read a book, which I rarely get to do!
On our second night, we were lucky enough to be in town for the annual Corralejo Parade. Dance groups, floats and attractions from each of the towns on the island parade down the main street. I was told that everyone taking part in the parade starts drinking around lunchtime for the 7pm parade, so as you can imagine, everyone had a lot of fun.
On our penultimate day, we took a rest from surfing with a trip to Lobos Island. Lobos is a two square-mile volcanic island one mile north of Fueteventura. The island’s jagged edge hides a number of rocky coves and sandy beaches with one large and eroding volcano standing above. We took a speed boat from nearby Corralejo, the sea was a little choppy, but it did a good job of waking us up.
Once we landed, we ordered our lunch from the restaurant on the island – Paella and Fried Fish. We were told to come back at 3pm to collect it. IT WAS AWESOME! Serious American super-sized portions. I haven’t quite got over it. After ordering our food we all set off through the rocks to the best beach on the island. Most of us decided to head up the Volcano. After over 5,000 years of being extinct, the sea had eroded half of it away, leaving a spectacular crescent shaped crater.
All round, we had an awesome chilled day on Lobos. It was great to have a break from being washing machined in the waves and a good chance to work on our sunburn 😉 If you’re ever over that way, I recommend checking it out.
Overall, our trip to Fueteventura was a huge success. We all had a great time switching off from work, messing around in the waves and having a good old time with new and old friends. I highly recommend the trip for anyone thinking about going and hope to see you there next year.
P.S. Big thanks to Pres Bella (a.k.a. ‘The Boss’) for doing such an amazing job of organising an awesome trip and taking such great care of us. Lots of love.