Much like anywhere that sucks well to shore, you can sniff out a left in a dominant regular footed-locale, if you scratch away at the surface enough that is. Othmane Choufani knows this – and it's why he has become intimately acquainted with this wave in his home country of Morocco. In fact, this legend has been charging here for the better part of the past decade.
That doesn't mean it's easy though, this mutant is as quick to chew you up as it is to let you in, as evidenced in Othmane's latest episode of Kayna Mouja, which should give you some insight into going left in the land of never ending rights. We checked in with Othmane to walk us through the episode and the nuance of this beast, below.
MSW: Tell us a bit about this wave? You've launched into this mutant before, right?
This wave is the first XL wave I ever surfed back in 2011. I was so stoked when I realised we have such a good barrelling left a couple hours from home.
I have paddled there alone a few times when it was solid. Broken boards, leashes, even saw my friend got popped off the ski once while I was in the impact zone back in 2017 – that's when I got nominated for an XXL award.
Few funny stories, but here we are in 2021 and it's the biggest and craziest I have seen this wave break for sure.
I remember that. It is so rare to see Morocco looking like this, usually it’s right hand points – if you look hard enough there are some set ups for goofy foots though. How often does it break like this?
There is always a left somewhere if you look good in Morocco [laughs] just like Bali with the rights.
It breaks around 10 times a winter but crazy barrelling? Only a few times and this size was the biggest barrels and spit I have ever seen.
Tell us a bit about Kayna Mouja, what’s the title mean – and what do you hope for the series?
Kayna Mouja means literally there is waves, but, it’s more like - it’s pumping! You'll call your mates and they'll ask 'Kayna mouja?' And they'll answer 'kayna mouja' if it is. So it’s two words we all use a lot [laughs].
Where I live there’s a security guy at night and early morning when I go for a swell he always scream at me 'KAYNA MOUJA' and I can hear it through the window, so a lot of people use theses words, they’re easy to remember for my non-Arabic speaking friends. And so local at the same times.
I started this series to share my country and my adventures at home. We have so many waves and I was working on my injury for a half of the winter, so it was good to start to slowly put some stuff together.
The YouTube world is new to me and I pretty much do everything myself except for filming. But it also shows also my way of travelling to big and perfect waves, reporting the swells I attempt – there's a Maverick's vid coming on Saturday.
It was hard for me to put these things out there because I didn’t know if it was worth it, if my surfing was good enough.
I also can’t stand my voice but that's normal apparently. But I'm really happy that people here are loving it and that it’s only getting better - better footage, better editing, better quality of sharing it, so I'm just trying to improve and take the people with me on my journeys.
And this was shot a few months ago right, what’s the state of Morocco now with COVID?
At the start of the winter we could surf everywhere but then they closed our beaches in Agadir and Taghazout around December so it was hard and sad to see lot of my buddies losing their jobs... having a hard time financially as everybody cancelled their surf trips once they closed the beach. It was also pretty hard to stay sane, in general, watching pumping surf and not be able to go out.
Right now flights are closed from Europe, but I guess it’s for the best and hopefully we'll be back open soon and the surf tourism of my region will come back.
I know the points weren’t crowded and it was so sick to get so many waves without no one but that’s selfish to think this way, because most of this region relies on surf tourism and we all miss crowded Taghazout at the end of the day [laughs].