Introducing… Sherden Surf House, Sardinia

Tell us a bit more about your SUP school…
Our sup school is a natural extension to our well-established surf school activities. Three years ago, with my wife Silvia, we decided to give a cut to our previous city life made of meetings, to instead travel around the world and dedicate ourselves to our old passions. We loved the sea and the magnificent island that hosts us. As I said a moment ago, the SUP has always conquered more space in our activities, quickly becoming the main activity of our school. These days, we will open the new Sherden Sup Center in Porto Torres, magnificent seaside resort, ideal for the practice of SUP in flat water, which will allow us to take lessons even on days when the sea is more active (through natural protection of the coast).

Why did you choose to become a SUPKids School?
I discovered this wonderful project flipping through a magazine and found it perfectly in line with the lessons we are trying to present to our children and young students. It seems strange, but actually, there’s a huge percentage of people who are close to the sea without any real awareness of what water safety and environmental protection means. I am convinced that this project will help us to involve more young people and to enable local communities.

What’s it like running a SUP school? That’s got to be a dream job right?
Manage a school can actually be seen as a dream job. Who would not want to begin or end the day slipping in the water at sunrise or sunset? It is certainly very challenging to wake up very early in the morning, to have great programming, and need continuous updates, but I find the stand up paddle an authentic and wonderful sport, which I want to live and to propose it with its many modes such as SUP WAVE, DONWIND, RACE or a simple tour. It’s a sport for everyone and that, with a little ‘commitment’, can give great satisfaction (since I started to sup, I almost abandoned the surf 😉).

What is the weather like over there at the moment?
(Editors note – we did this interview in May!)
The weather in Sardinia is truly amazing. Our season in the water is very long, I could say yearly. From April to November, the water is really warm and we have a very mild climate. It’s a shame that tourism only considers Sardinia a summer destination.

How different is Sardinia from mainland Italy?
Sardinia is rich in culture and traditions, great food and stunning scenery. The main difference is in the speed of life. Everything is slower and the days dilate, it’s a true paradise. Of course living in an island is not always easy, but definitely “worth it”.

Do you have many problems regarding ocean plastics where you paddle?
As in all seas in Sardinia, the problem of plastic is a real tragedy for the marine ecosystem. Silvia and I are volunteers for ‘Sea Shepherd Sardinia‘ and volunteers at the ‘CRAMA‘ (center for the recovery of marine animals). To answer this question, I will simply say that most of the guests at CRAMA hospital are turtles suffering because of ingested plastic!

Where has been your favourite place to SUP?
Sardinia in its entirety. We do not need to move many kilometres to taste the Paice paddling, which is often accompanied by dolphins.

Tell us what a typical day for you guys looks like…
Rise early, Silvia goes to the accommodation that we use to organise the SUP CAMP, and then she meets me at the school point. Update the lessons of the day, checking the possible tour, days dedicated to SUPKids camp. Our centre is open from 9:00 to 19:00 with all of the activities taking place throughout the day.

We know that you’re surrounded by many forests and hills, do you ever go on hikes/walks?
Yes, we walk, we run and we do brief explorations in the surroundings of the accommodation, which is located in the small village of Tergu in Anglona. Nearby, we have beautiful Nuraghes to visit and very often with our friends we admire the sunset from the top of Mt. Elinas where there is an ancient fortress Nuragica.

If we were to visit Sardinia, what is a traditional food that you would recommend trying?
Strange but true, many of the Sardinian dishes are meat, not fish. However, the seafood here is always fresh. My favourite dishes that I would suggest would be ‘Gallura soup’, ‘Culargiones mint and saffron’, and as a dessert, the tasty ‘Sedas’.

We think it’s great that you organise trips to discover the Sardinian traditions, such as a day spent on the traditional green train or a visit to Alghero, tell us more about this…
Sardinia is a country to explore. During the summer, there are many festivals where you’re able to taste the traditional dishes and admire ancient religious processions. The fall to enjoy dele “Cortes Apertas” that alternate every weekend in the hinterland. Spring is dedicated to the traditional Easter and the festivals to sample the fruits of agriculture Sardinian, such as the famous Sardinian artichokes. The best periods range from April to the end of October.