Catchin’ Foamies

When we rocked up at Peguera on a very sunny November Sunday, it looked more like Waikiki than Mallorca.  A series of big waves were rolling in and breaking on the beach and a veritable army of neoprene-clad surfers had seized their boards and the opportunity to catch some foamies (or whatever the cool kids say). 


Now, I am not a surfer, have never surfed, do not do surfing.  All I wanted was a lazy Sunday SUP, so we went to discuss our options with the rather nice Belgian chap at Alaia Surf Shop (formerly Uiimohani) tucked into the pines at the back of Peguera beach.  They were as follows:  Option one – rent a board, have a surf lesson.  Two hours’ tuition with some bruises guaranteed.  Option two – rent a SUP, get on knees, paddle beyond the breakers, stand up, SUP as usual.  Tempting as option one was, two seemed like the best idea.  We informed Mr Belgium of our decision.

This is where I clearly need to work on my ‘sporty’ image.  Although we insisted that we were seasoned SUPers (we are!) he took one look at my sparkly jewel-clad H&M bikini and oversized tortoise shell sunglasses (and refusal to wear a wetsuit) and assumed otherwise.  He seemed nervous to entrust his ten-foot RRD Wassup Epx boards (printed with lovely Jacques Cousteau quote “after the magical moment my eyes opened up to the sea, I was no longer able to see, think and live as before”) to us in rough seas without a quick lesson.  This included basics such as which way round to hold the paddle – his faith in us clearly wasn’t particularly high.    

Finally released, we strapped on our leashes (it was the kind of sea that if you fell in, by the time you’d surfaced your board would be half a mile away), knelt gingerly on our boards and went to battle the breakers.  Now, if you have ever been on the Tidal Wave log flume at Thorpe Park, you’ll be familiar with the sensation of water slapping you in the face.  The five minute paddling frenzy to beat the ‘surf zone’ felt like five hours and was a most exhilarating and wet experience.  The heart rate took a while to settle as we finally stood up to SUP the calmer outer waters.

Peguera is an attractive bay and, direction Cala Fornells, there are plenty of little coves to paddle in and out of and explore.  With 26 degree sun beating down, it turned out to be a rather pleasant SUP.    

After a quick time check we about-turned to head back to Alaia, but something weird had happened.  The onshore wind had flipped into an offshore and it took every ounce of muscle strength, arms and legs, to get ourselves and the boards back to base.  I could imagine Mr Belgium eyeing us through a pair of binoculars tutting, “I knew they were clueless, why did they paddle so far?  And that sparkly bikini is just ridiculous.  It’s not a freakin’ Nikki Beach champagne party.  Moron.”

Anyway, make it back we did, with the real treat coming at the last 50 metres – an impromptu SUP-surf initiation.  I watched all the cool kids surfing about in their wetsuits and thought “how hard can it be?” so stayed stood up and went with the flow.  Too afraid to look behind at the waves that were about to carry me, I faced forward and quickly crossed myself for luck.  Then, whoosh, I caught a wave (or rather, it caught me) and zipped shore-wards at a gazillion miles an hour, high pitched (and decibel) squealing all the way.  Although this now precluded me from ever being one of the ‘cool kids’, it was an experience that plastered a smile on my face for the rest of the day – a face that was sunburnt red the next morning, smarting in sympathy with very painful thighs.         

To end, some good news.  Alaia Surf Shop will be open during the winter if the weather’s right, check out their web page  Board rental is just 10 euros an hour, 15 euros for two hours.  What’s more the restaurant we scoffed in after, Paradise Beach ( is also open in the winter except for January.  Finally, I must stay true to my word and NOT mention the fact that my SUPing partner fell flat on her derrière as she walked out the restaurant.  I wouldn’t be so cruel as to embarrass her publicly.   


Sarah Drane


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