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Surfer in Belgium, it's possible!

Testimony of Madalena

"Thanks to Engel & Völkers I managed to find the house on the North Sea coast that is a real surfer's paradise. But, you might ask, why did I choose Ostend if I'm passionate about surfing? Let me tell you my experience.

Like everyone, I watched the cult documentary "The Endless Summer". You could discover the most famous surf spots in the company of two Californian surfers looking for the best beaches and the best waves to practice their favourite sport. This is how one could dream while looking at the most beautiful and far-flung destinations: Australia, South Africa and Niger. Of course, this 95-minute film has become so embedded in the unconscious of many surfers that they feel that their paradise should be located in the sun and have giant waves. And the soundtrack "The Sandals" also helped to reinforce this fantasy by evoking tanned bodies. In the real world, however, I had neither the time nor the budget to go to such far away magical destinations.

So I decided to head to Ostend, the largest beach in Belgium, where I knew there were many water sports clubs. I took the plane and then the train that took me quickly to the destination. I only had one weekend and the train got me to the destination quickly and without fuss.

I immediately went to the surf club which is in front of the racecourse, under the dyke.

The instructor asked me if I had any previous surfing experience. I had already attended two courses, in Portugal and in France. However, I chose to say that I wanted to join a beginner's course out of fear of finding myself ridiculous, even though I already know how to balance on a board!

So we set off for the beach. The board was very heavy and I already felt out of breath. But the course on the position of the feet on the board goes out of the water, so I was able to recover. Then the teacher told me to enter the water.

Brussels - Oostende

Of course, the sky was grey and the sun was hidden, the water was cold. Fortunately, the instructor told me at the water's edge, where the water reaches the ankle and where there are only a few wavelets, to get on the board. At that moment, I realised that surfing is an intensive sport that requires a lot of energy to face the wave and makes us generate a lot of heat. Near the shore, however, I can easily stand on my board which is very rewarding and encouraging. The lapping waves are soothing and I can enjoy myself even staying near the edge of the beach. I discovered that anybody, even those who are completely non-sporty, could find happiness and satisfaction to surf here.
 
However, I asked my teacher how we can tell which wave is a "good wave". He answered me with a phrase which I have never forgotten: "It is necessary to learn to read the sea".

He explained to me that this is achieved through surfing regularly. He advised me to connect to the club site and come to train as soon as the waves seem high enough, which means, for me, to take the train and book a hotel as soon as conditions are good.
 
That day the sea stayed calm, so we decided to go to the initiation of the stand-up paddle. This sport also requires a good balance but it can be practiced even in calm weather. So I understood that the pleasure of practicing water sports is not only related to the destination or the presence of the sun but to the state of mind in which we are at the moment we go to the meeting of the sea: she expects us to let go.
After several stays in Ostend organised at the last minute and not always in a comfortable or thoughtful way, I decided to buy a house at the coast.
 
Now I can come and recharge my batteries as soon as I feel the need without having to monitor the state of the sea and the height of the waves: in Ostend, you can practice many water sports in all weathers. For me, the sight of the sea and its ever-changing rippling is a constant source of energy and tranquillity. With the help of ENGEL & VÖLKERS, I managed to find the house that meets my needs. "
 
Madalena, 34 years, Lisboa, Portugal

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