Everything about this trip was last minute. In April Adam Sims and Max Rowe scored awesome conditions in Fuerteventura, then a week full of surfing followed by a quick flight over to Dakhla for some perfect flat water freestyle. Additionally we caught up with Adam to speak about his first time traveling to Dakhla in the Western Sahara. Read the interview below.
Spring Break with Adam Sims & Max Rowe in Dakhla and Sotavento
Interview with Adam Sims
Continentseven: Was this your first trip to Dakhla?
Yeah it was, it’s been a dream to go there since I first watched this video from Will Rogers, John Palmer and a few guys who I knew well through my university years. They were there years ago and came back with stories of perfect stacked conditions and incredibly constant wind. So it has literally been on my hit list for years.
Continentseven: How did you travel from Fuerteventura to Dakhla?
Initially we flew to Fuerte, we hadn’t even planned to go to Dakhla but after one week on Fuerte the wind dropped, there was an awesome swell forecast and the WSL was on the livestream for the next week so we did our best impressions of John John and Slater during the day and watched them killing it on the livestream in the evening… haha. Check the end of the video, almost identical right… Anyway, soon enough we were checking wind forecasts elsewhere and I saw the option for Dakhla, we watched it for a couple days then booked the trip. Ferry to Gran Canaria and flew on a 45 minute flight direct to Dakhla airport. Was super easy with our ‘kite gear’ (we booked one day before flying).
Continentseven: The entry formalities (customs, etc) used to be „special“ entering Morocco or Western Sahara. Did you have any difficulties entering the country with windsurfing gear?
Nothing special really. I mean it’s kind of the same response at every slightly less westernised country. You turn up, fill out an entry form and they ask you if you have a rocket launcher or a body in your bag, you open it and they have a rummage, ask one or two weird questions and you are on your way. The worst part was the anti-social flying hours, it was a 45 minute flight but we arrived at our hotel at 5am because we couldn’t find the place, thanks to the useful map the owner let his dog draw.
Continentseven How easy was it to get things organized in the Western Sahara? Did you rent a car or how did you move around?
Errr… haha, well let’s just say the ‘Western’ part of Western Sahara is no reflection on the organisation that perhaps much more of the western world is familiar with. We had a huge problem with the first hotel in the end, the short story, don’t stay in town, even if the price is tempting. We ended up moving a lot and I have to say it is really worth spending a little extra to stay at the lagoon (it’s 25 minutes drive from town), there are actually about 6/7 different camps to choose from. We ended up with the guys at Dakhla Attitude, which is for sure the best place to stay in terms of the location. Yep we had a car for the time but that’s pretty tricky to arrange as well. Best advice, stay in the lagoon, you won’t need a car and just do an evening trip to town if you want.
Continentseven: Did you meet other windsurfers?
Well we did hear an astonishing fact that this place has flipped on its head in terms of the windsurfing:kitesurfing ratio. We did meet a few guys, one person had driven from North Spain and stayed there for 6 months, he told us that he was leaving to return home soon but this was just his 6th day without wind (the day we arrived). It’s true, the stats speak for themselves, it’s got to be one of the most reliably windy places on the planet all year round, if not the most reliably wind one of them all. I’ve never been to a place like it.
Continentseven: Did you only windsurf in Dahkla or at the spots nearby, too?
Yep we stayed just in the Dakhla lagoon area and also the speed strip at low tide. There are trips to other places but we were there for such a short amount of time we decided to focus a bit on training as well. It’s actually an incredible training ground, near enough ideal, you have perfect flat water at low tide to train moves and then the chop of the lagoon at high tide to get them consistent in more challenging conditions, but also to try much bigger air moves.
Continentseven: How would you describe Dahkla?
The windsurfing there is as perfect as it gets, if flat water is your thing. There are also wave spots, we didn’t have time to windsurf these but we drove past them a couple times and saw the potential. It’s a playground all around this area. The only issue I personally noticed was that the wind was never really full full power. It’s hard to describe but it’s the kind of wind that is so constant and perfect that there are no gusts to get extra power in. I think we had about 20 minutes where we were totally stacked. In the end if that’s all I can complain about then you get the idea of what this place is like. We were on 4.4 and 4.6 everyday bar one. I can’t describe it better than how Max put it the moment we arrived, we were genuinely just shouting stupid stuff as we sailed inches from the sand totally alone, we stopped for the first filming session and Max said “It’s like Camocim in Brazil… but on steroids”.
Continensteven: Do you want to add anything?
I’d just like to say a special thanks to the guys at Dakhla Attitude. They really helped us out when things got a bit tricky in town, they have stunning places to stay, easy kit storage and the best tractor in town. If you ever go there take a spare cap/t-shirt/bottle of suncream to give to the staff, they’ll love you for it.
© Continentseven 2016