As we spent our childhood glued to our TVs, we secretly admired surfing as a sport. Apart from the fact that surfers were always the cool characters, the whole concept was new to us since we’re not used to seeing this in Egypt. What you might not know is that we have some decent amount of breaking waves; in the Mediterranean to be more specific. This has made surfing in Egypt more of a reality, rather than just some sport we used to gaze at in astonishment as we watched TV. And guess what? It’s been around for the past 20 years!
It all started with what is known as word of mouth. Some people who used to live abroad found that Alexandria has the perfect conditions needed for surfing. So they bought some boards and started the circle. From there, they started tutoring their friends and their friends tutored their own friends and so forth. Lack of equipment in the country formed an obstacle along the way. One had to buy his/her own board abroad, and that surely came with a hefty price tag. However, that was no longer a problem when Surfing The Nations paid us a visit.
Surfing The Nations is a non-profit humanitarian organization based in Hawaii. They live by the motto “surfers giving back” which quite explains what they came for. The NGO came to Egypt and held competitions where surfers who couldn’t afford a board were simply able to win one just by winning a competition. They kept on coming back year after year but sometimes failed to show up with the rise of political turmoil in the region.
Today, there are around 30 hardcore devotees that surf all the time. Half of which are Cairenes, while the rest are Alexandrian. Since our quality waves are in the Mediterranean, riding those breaking waves is better done in Agami, the North Coast or some beaches in Alexandria. A few years ago, those devoted surfers started a non-profit surf school, called Surf School Egypt. They kicked off in Agami then moved to the North Coast; they had a booth in Hacienda last summer. The main focus of the school was kids, as they would love to pass down their passion for surfing to a whole new generation.
By now, you’re probably wondering why the sport isn’t widely known or common to find like kitesurfing or windsurfing. Well, the answer is simple. Surfing isn’t just a sport, it’s more of a lifestyle, a lifestyle that you should be ready to give your all. True surfers wake up early, jump into their wetsuits and head to the sea as early as 6 am. They don’t care whether it’s summer or winter; they surf anyways. So if you’re ready to jump into Alexandria’s freezing cold water in December, then you’re good to go.