Daniel is one of our most frequent returning visitors to Cascais and now well and truely part of the worldwide Surf Cascais family. He began his surfing journey with us 5 years ago and this time returning to find some spring waves in Carcavelos. We took the time to sit down with Daniel to hear his thoughts on his Surf Cascais experience.
Patrick: So Daniel, describe yourself to the rest of the Surf Cascais Family.
Daniel: My name is Daniel Commandeur and I'm from Zurich, Switzerland where I study medicine.
Patrick: When was your first surf lesson with Surf Cascais?
Daniel: I started coming here before the surf villa. Now it's my fifth year coming here.
Patrick: Wow, five years! Do you remember who your first instructor was?
Daniel: Of course, because it was Tomas!
Patrick: Can you remember your first impressions of Surf Cascais?
Daniel: Yeah, that surfing was difficult! Haha But seriously, the whole atmosphere in the camp was something that I really liked. I wasn't expecting that at first, I was just casually coming on a trip with my best friend back then. I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard some stuff about some other surf camps but I was surprised with how great the people were.
Patrick: And what about your first impressions of the surf lessons?
Daniel: Surfing wise, like I said, I found it really difficult at the beginning. I had two lessons every day and really struggled. But the teachers had patience, they saw what I was doing wrong. They took the time to get out of the water, taking me to the side to give me some advice during the lessons. This helped me so much.
Patrick: And since then, what about your progression?
Daniel: I realized after the first lesson that surfing takes a lot of time and effort. There is always the possibility that waves will be too small or too big, too windy etc. So then the second time I came, I came for two weeks. I realized then that after you manage the first bumps, progress goes much faster. After that, it became about enjoying the progression and my time in the water as much as possible.
Patrick: I agree, it's all about enjoying the experience! How have the instructors handled the lessons as you have improved?
Daniel: The advice has been personalised and tailored towards my ability for each lesson. They let me surf and try in peace when needed, giving me the room to improve by myself. Sometimes I feel like I need to make the mistakes and learn by myself. But also, they are always looking and helping me. And then when I need the help on specific waves, they can always give me the best advice. And now these little pieces of advice in the water are enough to help me for the rest of the day. It's really professional and that effort is what made me return here every time.
Patrick: What about the overall experience here (at the villa)?
Daniel: Since the beginning, the main reason I come back is because of the fun I have here. I have never had as much fun as I did on my first BBQ. Tomaz was encouraging everybody to dance, "let's do some warmups" haha. I even ripped my pants, but I couldn't care less. It was such a blast.
I've been to other camps, but it's much easier to connect with people here. There are so many people that come here by themselves and want to make new friends. That's what I love and that's definitely why so many people come back here.
Patrick: This time you came back in the Spring, how has that been?
Daniel: The waves are much better, Carcavelos is awesome and with some proper surf. It's a little bit quieter in the villa but this time I had different priorities. I wanted to meet the staff again, I wanted to improve my surfing. I came here to see what it looks like in Spring. Cascais is calm, it's relaxing.
It's much easier to progress in the Spring. There is often fewer people and that means you get even more time with the instructors. The instructor has even more time for you as well and he can come outside and see everything. Also, the crowd was much less, there was always space to surf.
Days like last Wednesday are Perfect! Perfect sized waves, it felt so good!
Patrick: Any final thoughts? Will we see you again?
Daniel: Definitely! As long I can find the time, I see myself returning here every year for the foreseeable future. I love it!
Thank you Daniel for all of the great times in Cascais and we can't wait to have you back in the water with us again soon.
If you want come and visit for yourself, you can see information on our surf camp packages on our website. Remember, you still have time to get 10% off all of our Surf Villa packs this Spring. Use the voucher code "SPRINGOFFSHORE" when you book online before the 28th of February.