We’ve been chatting to the guy behind the site GoSurfAfrica.com, Mads Pedersen, about all things surf, Africa and his website. If you’ve not been on the site it’s a huge resource for surfers on all the surfable countries in Africa. The website was launched this summer (while his girlfriend was writing her thesis) and combines all that interests Mads the most – travel; journalism (previously he was Editor at a Danish travel mag); surfing and Africa (he’s studying for a Master’s degree in African Studies and Development).
Mads has travelled all over the world both privately and as a travel editor. He’s surfed in Mexico, the Phillippines, Indo and Australia, as well as surfing Morocco, Senegal and Ghana. But it was his trip to Ghana three years ago that got him hooked on both surfing and Africa, changing his life. From that trip he quit his job, started his studies, took up surfing and is now working on GoSurfAfrica.com. He set up the site to help make Africa more accessible to surfers and to provide a platform to promote surfing in Africa, this iswhat he had to say on surfing Africa…
‘Africa is the most adventurous place on earth. To be a surfer in Africa you can’t help but get the feeling that you’re exploring. It is the least travelled continent and in terms of surfing it is definitely the least explored. Everyone surfs Asia and South America, Africa is the only white spot on the map.
There’s a lot of prejudice about Africa, people are afraid to travel there. There’s a misconception that it’s hostile, that people will steal from you. It’s not like that. Africa has changed tremendously in the last ten years. So long as you don’t flash your bling you’ll be ok. In my experience Africans are the most friendly and welcoming, a smile takes you a long way especially in Africa.
Having surfers travel through Africa will give a basis for tourism and help development. If there is a good break surfers will go there, if there’s no hotel they’ll camp on a beach, but they’ll buy food and sleep in a bed if there’s one available. Maybe the locals will get used to white people coming through and maybe a service industry will come up from it. This could open doors for other kinds of travellers, which could turn into small scale tourism that would benefit the communities along the African coast. There’s a lot of surf potential and development potential along the African coastline, for the many people who live in its towns and villages. GoSurfAfrica.com was set up to help make the surfers’ adventure in Africa a bit easier.’
Living in Copenhagen Mads has an eight hour drive to get to the surf and the waves aren’t that consistent but he’s heading to Senegal on his next surf trip to a friends surf camp on the island N’Gor in February and is planning trips to South Africa and Mozambique for the summer. We’re hoping to welcome him back to surf Morocco next year.