In Morocco, 30 kilometers south of Casablanca lies the small town of Dar Bouazza, home to fisherman, farmers and the country's best left-hand break. Drawing surfers from around the globe in search of exotic empty waves, Dar Bouazza is also home to a sizable lot of surfers who have been drawn to it's wave that on a good day will run for over 500 meters.
On his recent trip to Morocco, our friend Carson Myers, who can usually be found shaping boards in Hawaii, was himself lured to Dar Bouazza where he could spend a couple weeks surfing, shaping and exploring.
"Going there I was thinking that I could bust out a board in one or two days just like back home. Little did I know that it would be like building a board in your back yard..."
Kai Shapes, the only local surf shop in Morocco that is shaping boards were generous hosts that turned their shaping room over to Carson where he quickly realized that there would be some challenges to his normal process.
"I had all my tools to shape the board but none for the other steps that go into completing a finished board. For example when we laid up some fiberglass to make some glass ons we didn't have a clean piece of glass but instead a piece of plexiglass. So when it came time to remove the panel from the glass, we had to use a metal spike to pry it off. And instead of cutting the fin templates out with a jig saw all we had was a metal disc grinder."
Over the course of the ten days it took to completely finish his board (normally a two-day process back home), Carson spent the rest of his time surfing and discovering the town and local culture.
"Unfortunately for us the waves weren't ever really going off. The beach break right in front of our house was usually our go to spot. Most of the time it was a little bit over head, glassy and peeling for 50 meters left and right."
While he may not have scored the best waves, journeying to a far-off place with a solid group of friends and the new found appreciation for those who facing the challenge of bringing the craft of shaping to foreign lands and making surfing accessible for the community, made for a trip that will not be soon forgotten.
"I am really appreciative of everyone who blessed me with their time and expertise on this trip. Kai Shapes, especially Scott and the guys at the shop. Zach Trein for the fins and my whole connection to Morocco and of course Josh Cohen for the photos and being an above par travel companion."