As I write these lines, an acute awareness of the past 10 years hits me. Laura, one of
our volunteers scrubbing walls downstairs, is 18 years-old. She was eight when this all
started. Yesterday, when preparing for the following weeks, I noticed that Birte, a
friend and regular client who is joining our intermediate camp, has been surfing with
us since 2014. It was also in June 2014 that I began as a surf instructor: A mutual friend
gave David my number, and I vividly remember being at the dining room table and
receiving a message asking if I could teach the following day. I could not imagine that
ten years later I would still be involved with Surf Cascais. Yet, here we are, old time
staff, old-time friends, returning guests, new guests, new staff, new friends.
There are many reasons why we are all here and excited to begin another season. But
if I had to choose one, I would say that the real driver behind Surf Cascais is the sense
of family we created over the years. We jokingly talk about the “Surf Cascais family”,
but the expression only came to exist because it portrays a true feeling of connection
and belonging. This is how we feel towards one another, how we treat one another
and how we treat our clients. It is also why they often become friends. It warms my
heart to see last-year’s staff meeting with guests and friends in Indonesia, just like
reading the names of people I know in booking emails makes me smile. Yes, we are a
business, an organized business with rules and procedures, without which we would
not be here today, making a living out of our passion for surfing. But the reason why
this works so well can be found in a quote from the founder of Vans: “we are not a
shoe company; we are a company of people who make and sell shoes.” Mutatis
mutandis, the same holds true for Surf Cascais.
And this is why the ongoing preparation to re-open hits us. Deep down, we are
preparing a family home: friends will come and they will bring their friends, who will
also become friends. We want the house to be clean and functioning well, the food to
be good (BTW: we are updating the breakfast!) and everyone to have fun both at home
and in the surf lessons. Our commitment therefore remains the same as is has been for
the last 10 years: the best quality with the best vibes.
So come join us in our season-long anniversary party. We are here to welcome you
with open arms!