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Posted: July 24, 2014 by Francesca

This article was added by Francesca Bingley 

The sensation of melting into soft sands, being lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves, and the warmth of the sun on your skin is what being at the beach is all about.  Choosing which beach is going to be your holiday home for you and your friends or family is all part of the fun.  So to inspire, excite and energise you for your next surf holiday, here are a few top tips for how to pick your own perfect beach:
  • 1- Surf

It may seem ridiculously simple, but choosing waves that you and your party can play in is essential to having a great time. There is no point setting up camp on a surf beach where the waves are too powerful or too weak for your surfing ability. So talk to your surf instructor, or local guide and find out where the best surf is for you and your group’s levels.
  • 2- Sand or no sand?

Beaches are all made of golden sand right? Wrong… Part of the beauty of beaches you will discover whilst on holiday is that they can really vary.  Rocky, stoney, white sand, golden sand (think of the Côte Atlantique and the surf town of Hossegor)… even black or mink coloured sand (like in Fuerteventura), have a think about where you want to sunbath for the day, especially if you’ve got young kids, as black sand beaches can be notoriously hot.
  • 3- Cafes

One of life’s great pleasures is being able to sit back, watch the ocean lapping away, and have a drink in hand. So when picking your beach check out whether there are beach cafes nearby to keep you refreshed during the day. One of our favourites is the promenade that runs alongside Ericeira’s main surf beach Foz do Lizandro. Perfect for when you want a light lunch of fresh local cuisine, or simply a cool drink by the water.
  • 4- Location, location, location

You’re on holiday, so make life easy for yourself and your group. Think about visiting beaches that are easy to get to from your accommodation, then you always have the option of doing other things/your group having the flexibility to do their own thing during the day.  If you want to leave the beach for a spot of shopping, or maybe even for a siesta, if you are close to your accommodation/a town you have options. Check out the photo of San Sebastian's surf beach above- it's beach is next to the city's shops, cafes, and hotels, so would keep everyone happy throughout the day.  

Posted: July 12, 2014 by Francesca

This article was added by Francesca Bingley 

There is a thin line between what is surfing memorabilia and what is surfing cheese.  Just as one beautiful surfing artwork suits a surfers taste, another may turn another’s stomach.  When it comes to investing in vintage or surfing pieces the market is full of advice for what to buy, and what to sell… But I say invest for the love of the item, because as always there is no guarantee that everyone is going to appreciate that strange hybrid surf creation that’s one of a kind from way back when. You may find yourself staring at it for the next 30 years in your living room after all.
  • 1- Retro Boards

If there was ever something worth investing in it would be a retro surfboard, especially if it was shaped or ridden by a former surfing giant.  Think beautiful Hawaiian Balsa boards from the early part of the 20th Century, or iconic longboards from California in the 60s.  If the board has a famous name attached to it, it naturally becomes more valuable.  Even today boards that have been ridden by the likes of Kelly Slater or Mick Fanning (with their signature) become coveted by their worldwide fans.
  • 2- Classic Surf Magazines

There is a real artwork to the original surf magazines that were produced in the 60s and 70s.  Today’s surf publications carry the stunning photographic work of extremely talented surf photographers, however when surf magazines were first being produced it was more about artwork to represent the sensation of surfing.  Look out for amazing original copies of publications such as Surfer, Surfabout, and Surfing World.
  • 3- Vintage Posters

Not just for investment, vintage posters are something to adorn your walls for years, so choose wisely.  Whether it’s for a surf contest or surf film there are some very creative and beautiful posters out there. Just think of some of the best classic surf films such as ‘Big Wednesday’, ‘Gidget’, ‘Endless Summer’ or even more recently ‘Point Break’ (although already over 20 years old), and look for their original posters to frame and enjoy.
  • 4- Original Prints & Artwork

There is so much surfing artwork now available that it is difficult not to become overwhelmed.  The ocean has forever inspired people with its raw power and beauty, so it is little wonder that people have used whatever they have at hand to attempt to capture something of the ocean’s magnificence.  Sometimes it is just good to go back to the origins, so explore the older paintings and prints from Hawaii that capture the heritage and love for surfing from when it started gaining worldwide popularity at the beginning of the 20th Century.
  • 5- Surf Trophies

Not necessarily the first type of surf memorabilia that comes to mind, surf trophies can be surprisingly unique and pieces of artwork in their own right.  Some are very simply and understated, even to the point that they are functional, such as bowls or drink glasses; whereas other trophies will need their own showcase.  The best trophies have a story attached to them, whether it was owned by the ‘Father’ of surfing Duke Kahanamoku, or modern day living legends such as any of the world champions.

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