We were introduced to Dana and Xanadu Surf and Yoga after a good friend of ours Hannah, came home from one of their retreats non stop raviinnnggg about how incredible it was, so naturally we had to check it out!
Booking a retreat with Dana Hamann was a no brainer, as her guidance was exactly what we needed to get our longboarding to the next level.
Dana was born in San Diego where she learnt to surf as a little girl, and then moved to Hawaii to chase beautiful warm waves year round. This is where she taught herself to be the graceful and stylish logger she is today. She eventually went on to compete in the Womens World Longboard Tour in 2018. We were all beyond excited to learn from someone with such a beautiful connection with the ocean.
As we arrived at Xanadu Surf and Yoga on Lombok we were welcomed by a crew of smiling, friendly faces, and with an ammaazzzinnggg fresh food lunch already prepared on the table. This set the tone of the delicious, nutritional food we were cooked for our meals all week. We all hung out in the pool area in the afternoon shade as we got to know everyone in the group. There were 10 of us girls, Dana, Dani the Xanadu Manager, plus the lovely crew of chefs, and of course the local Lombok surf boys who were there to guide us in the surf alongside Dana each day.
We all chatted about our goals for the week and what we wanted to achieve, whether it was a physical goal, or a mental one. Danas naturally warming energy helped us all to chat openly about how we currently felt as surfers, and what we wanted to achieve after this week.
The first day Monday started off with a bang, with a 3 hour surf first up before breakfast. The boys loaded up the boards on the van, and drove us all to our first beach about 20 mins away. The second we all got out and stepped on the sand everyone was in awe at the beautiful turquoise water, and super pumped to get out there! The boys all got our surfboards onto a boat and we all piled in to head out to where it was breaking over the reef. A lot of us hadn’t surfed reef before so initially it was a little daunting, but after Dana had taught us how to dismount more carefully, and we saw how gentle the waves were all the anxiety was quickly replaced by pure stoke.
The waves were perfect, with everyone getting their longest rides, and learning how to manoeuvre and keep yourself in the pocket of the wave to ride it as long as possible. After coming back to a delicious breakfast, we spent the rest of the day doing some land drills, where we practiced cross stepping, working on the muscle memory needed for that movement. After that it was another delicious lunch and then onto video analysis. This was one of the best ways to actually see how we looked putting all Danas tips into practice. It became intuitive to us all to then constructively critique our own waves.Then off into our comfy big beds with the aircon on and the best sleep after an incredible first day.
Wednesday was super special, and we took a half hour boat ride out to another epic hidden location with an amazing left hander, after we were treated to the whitest sand beaches and had a relaxing picnic in the sun before heading out for our second surf of the day.
On Thursday more incredible waves all day at our first location, where we then drove up to the coolest view in Lombok, to witness a beautiful sunset high up on the cliffs. Definitely one of those moments where you feel so grateful to be alive.
Each day was full of incredible waves, and beautiful connections with the group we had. One of the standouts for us was Danas very intuitive way of coaching. The way she explained how to do certain moves, and how we should be feeling whilst we are doing them, was such a unique and feminine way to be taught and not something we'd ever come across before. She beautifully explained to us how to feel into the energy of the ocean, and all things always taught with such an intention of respect for the power and movements of the ocean. This made it so much easier putting the physical steps into action out there, because you already had such a good understanding of the energy behind the movement.
By the end of the week after surfing our little brains out, everyone had improved so so much. The most lovely thing was how confident everyone was feeling in not only their abilities but also inner confidence within themselves. It’s amazing the magic that a group of empowered women can create, we all left with such an inner glow and feeling so connected to each other and the beautiful world we get to adventure and live in.
We loved it so much we have already booked round 2. Our friend Hannah is even back for round 3! Xanadu has just opened up their second place, just 5 mins scooter ride up the hill. With the most incredible interior design, relaxing pool area, and the same delicious 5 star quality food all included. They offer retreats year round, with the incredible Lombok local surf boys as your guides! They have such a lovely calming presence when they’re with you in the waves, and can help as much or as little as you would like (who doesn’t love a cheeky push when you’re exhausted).
That retreat will go down as one of the greatest weeks of our lives and we can’t wait for you guys all to go check both Dana and Xanadu out!
Click here to work with Dana or join her retreats
Click here to check out Xanadu Surf And Yoga surf and yoga all inclusive packages
All images are shot by our lovely friend Milly Mead. You can find her work right here