Interview with Sophie Mathews – Founder of Be BeachThursday 24 July 2014
Sophie Mathews is a 28 year old Londoner who quit the Rat Race to adopt a beach orientated lifestyle. Kitesurfer, Windsurfer, Surfer, Wakeboarder and fitness model, she does it all to a high level. Also a freelance writer and brand image contributor for numerous leading, international extreme sports brands her passion lies in travel, adventure and all things ‘beach’ (head over to her blog www.bebeach.com for bikinis, technical apparel, beauty products and travel.) After years travelling the globe to some of the best spots available we hear her take on one of her favourite spots, Fuerteventura.
What does surfing mean for you?
Surfing means a lot of things to me and catching a wave gives me more pleasure then anything else in the world. At the same time it can be unbelievable frustrating, gnarly when you get it wrong and there can often be some unpleasant and agro people sharing the break with you. Surfing is a sport that teaches you patience and although it sounds like a long list of negatives my point is, riding a wave washes it all away and fills me with a huge amount of adrenaline and elation. There is nothing better.
Where is your top destination for a surf trip and why?
I was introduced to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands a few years ago and it’s a destination I gladly revisit a lot. Its Northern coastlines are soaked in surf and sprinkled with afternoon breezes. It also offers a welcomed contrast with it’s volcanic and somewhat bleak landscapes starved of greenery. No matter the time of year it’s warm and there’s always a wave to be found. Fuerteventura is where the sun is a permanent fixture, the sand champagne colour and the surf your playground.
Did you take a surfing buddy?
Always! Although as a chick, there is usually someone willing to hang out on the break with you. My ultimate surf buddy is Tom Court ; boyfriend and Pro Kiteboarder. He’s great to ride with as he pushes and encourages me all the time, also lending some knowledgeable tips. Surfing with someone can also offer up a feeling of safety and security which is one less thing for me to worry about as I fly down the face of a wave.
A five minute boat ride from Corralejo port is the island of Lobos. When it works, it’s world class. There are about four breaks running perpendicular to the coastline. Starting at the peak with the heavy rollers often cluttered with a lot of testosterone, just below a large hollower ride, down to a much more mellow wave and finally an ideal beginners break.
Where did you stay? How was your flight/ travel?
I stayed in a beautiful house in Lajares, a quite village 5 minutes from Corralejo and the epic North Shore. If you take a drive along the 10km bumpy track, you are guaranteed to find a wave. Travelling to Fuerteventura from London is so easy, any day, all year round and with a flight time of 3.5 hours it’s a great place for a long weekend even. From Puerto Del Rosario airport in the south of the island it’s a short hour drive to the North of the island where all the action happens, often refereed to as the mini Maui of Europe.
In the North of the island, there are so many great Surf Camps where you can get everything from a board to a bed. If you’re travelling with a group of friends there are lots of private houses to rent. For something more luxurious a 5* Hotel on Flag Beach should fit the bill. Just outside of Corralejo town it has stunning views overlooking Lobos.
What kind of waves did you get? How was the weather?
We have done some trips on a forecast before and it was firing! Lobos was double overhead for days. Fuerteventura has hundreds of breaks varying in size so you can always find what you are looking for regardless of your level. The outside temperature is between 20-25 degrees all year round but the water temperature varies quite a bit. I’d always recommend a 3.2mm wetsuit in the winter and a shorty or bikini during the height of summer.
After surfing your socks off all day, where do you go to chill, drink and eat?
In Cotillo, a quaint and rustic Spanish town there is the most beautiful waterside restaurant where you watch the sun go down. Called La Vaca Azul, the beer and wine goes spectacularly with the fresh fish and brilliant staff who love to charm and make your experience one to remember.
And a message of inspiration to our readers?
Make sure that life is a great adventure and surf.