Occupying the Atlantic-facing north west corner of Africa, Morocco is a swell-soaked Arabic country with some of the best point breaks in the world. Lazily sprawling between the pulsing green Atlantic and the rich red hues of Saharan sands, Morocco’s coastline stretches from the Strait of Gilbraltar all the way south to its border with Western Sahara. Morocco is home to the Atlas and Rif mountain ranges and an almost exclusive Arab-Berber population.
A long-time staple of the travelling surfers, Morocco has recently seen a steady increase in travelling European bodyboarders looking for an alternative winter destination. Cheap flights, affordable accommodation and a sick variety of waves keeps those boogers in the know coming back for more year after year.
It is a common misconception that Moroccan waves consist of nothing more than a multitude of big fat right-hand point breaks. Yes, it is true the quality of the points does favour stand ups, but Morocco has a great many other variety of other types of break which more than tips the balance back in favour of the boogers.
Desert wedges, reefs and beachies are spread copiously along the rugged and crumbly coastline, which just so happens to closely mirror the dusty highway; so jump in, buckle up, and drive … you’ll see corduroy lines as far as you can squint.
The bodyboarding scene in Morocco has gone from strength to strength in the last decade with Moroccan riders gaining rapid notoriety on the European tour, which feeds to the IBA. Make no mistake, local riders shred, and will boost big moves with their own unique style from even seemingly weak sections.
With government funding available for competitive bodyboarding, groms really go for it, hoping to follow in the footsteps of top riders like Pierre Louis Costes, who took up the sport when living in Morocco as a grom himself. The general vibe is mellow from Moroccans; you are more likely to get aggro from ignorant foreign surfers who don’t understand why bodyboarders would think of Morocco as a legit destination. Little do they know.
Morocco Travel Tips
Localism isn’t really an issue in the water, the only hiccup you might encounter is if you stumble across a secret spot and park your car close by. With thousands of travelling surfers descending on the parched wave-rich coast every winter, you can’t blame local Moroccans for wanting to keep their secrets to themselves. Likewise, if you spot a few cars hastily parked behind bushes and cacti off the side of the road you may have been alerted to a spot for another day.
Morocco is a developing country, and it is very evident. Litter, poor hygiene and iffy sanitation go hand in hand with travelling here. The people are generally friendly and happy to meet you, and marketplaces are buzzing hives of colour, scent and flavour. Moroccan food is delicious, and local ‘Berber whisky’ (sweet mint green tea) is consumed by the bucket load. As Morocco is an Islamic state alcohol is a bit of a grey area; it is available from some shops but is best consumed in the privacy of your accommodation.
If you are of nervous disposition, it is advisable to spend every waking second as a passenger on Morocco’s windy roads with your eyes closed. Local drivers seem to have no concept of fear, or the dangers of overtaking on crests or blind bends. If you do get behind the wheel expect the unexpected, keep your wits about you and buckle up. Casablanca and Agadir are the two main airport destinations and cheap flights to both can be had from many European destinations.
Moroccan currency is in dirham, and although crime isn’t a big problem, beware of pickpockets and con artists in the cities.