The Mamas Surf Club
In June 2017 we launched the first Mamas Surf Week in Guéthary a fishing village and cosmopolitan surf mecca on the Basque coast in south west France. This was a surf trip for women of all ages. The idea was to leave your partners, kids, dogs, cats, jobs and stress at home and join the Surf Mamas!
The Mamas Surf Club started in Guéthary in 2005. Our aim was to get more women in the water, get rid of the myth that surfing was just for the guys, and have lots of fun. We did and we still do! Our motto was “Out of the kitchen and into the surf.”
The surf camp will combine the original ideas of the Mamas Surf Club with art, expeditions, Basque cuisine and giving you a taste of authentic surf culture built up around the legendary waves along the coast.
We will be staying at the Maison Marienia or Villa Anvers both situated in the centre of Guéthary, which has been a base for surfing pioneers and travellers since the sixties, including legends like Miki Dora. You will get a healthy ‘Surfers Breakfast’ to give you energy for the day, picnic lunch for the surf trip and evening meals.
There will be surf lessons with the licensed instructor and founder of the Mamas and Surfcamp JohAnna, Johanna Reinhardt. She will bring a team of qualified instructors for all levels from beginners to advanced . This includes coaching, transport around the spectacular Basque coastline to find the perfect waves, a variety of boards to suit your skills, wetsuits and insurance.
When you’re not surfing, you’ll have a chance to explore the region, take trips to Biarritz, St Jean de Luz or San Sebastian ( all within half an hour), spend time on the beach, socialise in the village and watch the sunset over the ocean in one of the famous Guéthary beach bars.
Last year’s surf camp, it was all about: surfing, yoga, motivation, friendship, exhaustion, good food, good waves, good vibes!
Last year we stayed at the lovely hotel Marienea, which has a great surf history. The first owner used to let surfers stay for free. As the hotel is so well positioned you can see the ocean from your window. You can see the waves as soon as you wake up basically.
The surf camp was a lovely time for many people to experience something new and for some to come back and do it again. Some guests came with friends and some came alone. This is a great moment to meet new people and share the ambition to be outside, to learn something new. It doesn’t matter if you are 30 or 55, you can share the same goal.
We have had other elements at our earlier camps, for instance mindfulness, yoga and massage. In 2019 we bring in the hike as well. This is also an activity that you can share with a group of different people.
If you are a group who would like to come, then we can always create a camp just for you. It could be a group of friends or a company. Get in touch and let us know what you have in mind and we’ll be happy to help you the best way we can.
Anna Mignonneau - Bookings & Questions
I moved to the Basque country in 2010, I came from the media landscape in Stockholm. I decided to move here because I fell in love with the place and the surf. I started from the beginning, I started by taking French lessons and then a course to become a tourist guide in the Basque Country.
I am very lucky to surf with the mama’s on Fridays. This is a real boost every week. It gets you out of your normal routines and gives you a possibility to empty your head and focus on yourself for a while. This is what surf does, it gives you perspective and a complete break from everything else in your daily life.
I also joined one of the first camps that Johanna held and as the interest has grown I have the chance to develop this together with Johanna. We want to make our camps available to groups who are looking for a great time, adventure and experience the Basque nature.
When Johanna is busy in the water, I am there to sort things out for you. I look after bookings and dealing with questions. If you have a question, please send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you here with us!
Johanna Reinhardt - Surf instructor & Founder Surfcamp JohAnna
Johanna Reinhardt is a Swedish surfer and skier. She lived in Verbier in Switzerland for many years, competing on the international free ski tour. Johanna is also educated at GIH (The Swedish school of sport and health sciences) in Stockholm.
When she moved to Guéthary from Verbier and was shocked by the fact that surfing was such a male dominated sport.
She set up the Mamas Surf Club in 2005, with the aim of encouraging women of all ages to start surfing, particularly women in their thirties and forties who though it might be too late. The club played a part in changing attitudes towards women’s surfing on the Basque coast, with other Mamas groups starting up in our wake -excuse the pun- from Hendaye to Hossegor.
Joahnna is a qualified surf instructor and runs a surf school based in Bidart and Guéthary with her husband Christophe Reinhardt whose father started one of Bidarts first surf schools. His father was part of the historical generation ‘The tonton surfers‘, a group of young men who started the trend of surfing on the Basque coast in the 50’s.
I went to the camp
Why I LOVE to surf
There's no logical reason for it. Perhaps just because I CAN do it. I've been dreaming of it since I was a child, but ocean and waves were so far out of reach.
I was reminded of this dream some years ago when I was sitting at the Eisbach in Munich watching the surfers.
So I bought myself a board and went to the Atlantic ocean. I paddled straight out into the line-up without wetsuit, a non-waxed board, and no experience at all...took a wave, made a nose-dive and had a real bad wipeout which brought me back to the shore.
After this I realized that surfing wasn't as easy as it had looked to me. But I absolutely wanted to do it and so I tried to reach this aim more systematically: physically by swimming the crawl several times a week, mentally by watching good surfers for hours, talking to them, watching films about surfing, reading books.... that's how I came to Wilma's book 'Surfmama" and to the Surfmamas in Guéhtary.
It is so great to share the joy of surfing with others, especially with other women!!
/ Ines Mehlhorn