If you and your family or friends enjoy skiing together in the winter, maybe you need a good complement in the summer? For Magnus Haglund (45) there wasn't any activity he felt the same passion for, until he found surfing at the age of 39. Three years later he started his own Surf & Yoga camp ”Magnus & Friends” in Baleal, Portugal.
If you ever tried surfing you might have noticed that it can be pretty addictive. It sure has been for Magnus Haglund who describes it as a mixture of excitement and beautiful views that makes life more fun and leaves an unbeatable feeling of relaxation afterwards. Ever since he fell in love with the sport in 2013, he and his family have used their summer vacations looking for waves. They tried out many different surf camps, but Magnus was never really satisfied with the quality, so he decided to start one himself on the side of his job as a primary teacher in Stockholm. To-day, a few years later ”Magnus & Friends
” has become a popular camp, specially among Swedish families and conference guests.
— I noticed that there was a need for more good family friendly surf camps out there, and I figured that I should be able to start one my self, since I have lots of experience from organizing and structuring work in the school world. I wanted to create a surf camp with really high standards and a friendly atmosphere, where everyone feels welcome. My drive is to see people succeed and enjoy themselves. It’s the same drive I have when working as a teacher and principal too. In my experience a lot of people who enjoys going on skiing vacations in the winter are really happy to find surfing as a fun activity to do in the summers, and it’s usually a cool feeling when everyone starts on the same level no matter their age, Magnus explains.
What do you want to say to those who think it’s too late to start surfing?
— We’ve had 68 year olds, kids, teenagers and their parents surfing with us. I would say that there are no limits. You may not become a surf pro at the age of 70, but you can still enjoy playing around in the waves with the board and probably manage to get up on it decently too. I wish I’d discovered it earlier, but much better finding surfing at 39 than never.
What advice can you give to others who would like to start a surf camp?
— First of all you need to have knowledge and experience of what it is you want to offer. No chain is stronger than it’s weakest link. Everything from the living to the staff and the surf lessons need to be at a high level. The most important thing is to get satisfied costumers. We’re always lis-tening to our guests and make sure to improve the things that they may comment on. It’s also very important to make sure that the staff are happy with their conditions. The choice of surf spot is crucial too. I’ve picked Baleal in Portugal because it’s a cozy fishing village with long shal-low beaches that always provides opportunities for surfing on different levels. It has a nice surf vibe and is situated close to the international airport in Lisbon which makes it easy to get here.
What has been easiest with starting your camp?
— To get people to enjoy themselves has been easy.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
— To get profitability. You have to be fully booked during the whole season and try to get your costs down, specially when it comes to rent I would say.
The combo surf and yoga has become very popular. Why is that?
— Yoga stretches out your body after exhausting your muscles surfing. It also puts you in to a mindful breathing which helps you to focus out in the waves. Yoga and surf together is a really effective combination to let go of stress and feel good in both body and mind. It puts you in the right vibe for surfing. I hope you all get to try it out, says Magnus.
Read more about Magnus& friends here: https://magnusandfriends.se