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Senegal has all the Makings of a Vibrant Surf Scene

Consistent breaks, warm water and a friendly, inviting culture, but without access to the raw materials needed to shape their own boards, many miss out on the fun. One local surfer found a unique way to create his own boards and has now launched a business with the goal of becoming the first Senegalese surfboard shaper. Shaping a surfboard from scratch requires a great deal of skill and precision. It also requires a host of raw materials, such as resin and fiberglass, which are hard to come by in Senegal. Pape Diouf grew up in Dakar’s seaside Yoff neighborhood, where he learned to surf on boards borrowed from friends — boards that were typically imported from Europe or left behind by tourists. But Diouf says he always dreamt of making his own. “It allows you to not be dependent on the West in order to have boards. So, once there’s a possibility to find a board locally, it will help the Senegalese surf industry develop much more easily,” Diouf said.