In Morocco, with no temperatures going below 20ºC, one is able to enjoy waves during all seasons, and yoga sessions with amazing views. Like Shiraz, an English mother of two and co-founder of Amayour Surf in Taghazout. Shiraz has a deep knowledge of surfing in Morocco and since 2010 has seen it unravel into a huge, trendy culture. She tells Culture Trip why surfing in Morocco is so unique and how it became so popular among worldwide surfers.
Amayour Surf was co-founded by Shiraz Ksaiba, who decided to travel to Taghazout in 2010 and since then completely fell in love with this small fishing village. While there, Shiraz met M’hand Naciri, a surf teacher with whom she instantly hit it off. She definitely felt something was right about the place, and started thinking of moving to the surfing town.
“You can wander down the little alleys and find all sorts of sceneries. Be it a cute kitten, or an amazing wall mural, or even some cool fishing boats and dudes playing cards,” she explains. After her son got his A-levels and her daughter turned six, she executed the plan she had been dreaming of. In 2015, Shiraz and Naciri founded Amayour Surf together, a boutique hostel, surf school and yoga retreat.
Amayour Surf is different from the other surf schools, as it provides ISA surf coaching certification to its teachers—a certification most locals cannot afford—and helps them grow for the future, as well as give the best surf lessons in Taghazout. It is definitely a win-win situation, since the teachers are local surfers who have deep knowledge of the area and its waves, and classes are in English for foreign guests.
“Morocco’s surfing season is one of the longest, starting in September and tailing off around the end of April. During this time you are mostly guaranteed waves. But saying that, if you want to come and learn to surf, you could come any time. I would avoid August, as the area gets crowded,” says Shiraz, as she knows Taghazout like the back of her hand.
However, the small fishing village is not quite the same as it was in 2010. “[Taghazout] has changed a lot since I first came here over seven years ago. It certainly is a different beast,” she continues.
She also explains that it is the perfect destination for Europeans, since it is not very far from the continent, and describes Morocco as the gateway to Africa, with cheap and short flights for a complete change of atmosphere, culture and tradition.
She describes her experience in Taghazout as worthwhile, since she and her daughter first moved to Morocco with one huge suitcase and nothing more, and now she owns a surf school and yoga retreat.
Wherever you’re coming from in the world, if you love art, music and surfing, you could probably make it in one of these small surfing villages. It doesn’t require much to live a happy life, waking up to the waves every morning, stress-free.
Culture Trip contacted Amayour Surf for this article.