Yes, there’s only one Andi Carsana and he’s been with us now for many a year now. Andi is one of our most longest serving senior instructors and is a much loved, Italian legend around these here parts. So, just how well do you know Andi? What’s his story?
The Beginnings of Andi Carsana
Andi was born and bred in Monza, Italy and is the son of scuba/free diver Dad who still regularly dives to 40 metres and below. Obviously we see where Andi’s love of the water comes from but it was also his Dad’s love of travel that has been passed down through the line.
Andi also had a love and affinity to the natural world so it was instinctive that he chose to study Agriculture at University. On graduating, he found himself in the dilemma of still not knowing what he wanted to do “when he grew up”.
Andi’s Father had always instilled in him the importance of a lifestyle led by travel, adventure and exploring different cultures. Money, and status were never an issue. And so it was, that with the full support of his Dad and family, Andi embarked on a trip that was to last a lifetime.
Andi landed in the “Big Smoke’ for the Millennium New Years Eve celebrations and quickly threw himself into the ‘Cool Britainnia’ culture. After a year and a half of learning English to a proficient degree, he decided he’d had enough of city life. A poster in The Strand of a tropical rainforest inspired a desire to travel to Australia and the rest is history.
He landed in Sydney with just a backpack and a head full of Bondi Beach dreams.
The Australian Chapter
After living in and exploring Sydney to the max, a chance conversation with a surfer instigated a move to Byron Bay in 2001. Andi loved the vibe of Byron and it was here that he had his very first surf lesson. Although always sporty, Andi had never really thought of surfing. He booked the lesson just to tick it off his list of things to do. He remembers standing up, liking it and then looking down at the water – something to this day that he tells his clients not to do.
He started looking up and things got a lot better.
Andi Carsana The Surfer Is Born
Next stop was New Zealand.
Andi loves working outside so he began working on the farms and a picking apples during the season. He’s not an office person and claims, “My soul would die if I were chained to a computer all day”.
Although the work was backbreaking, he enjoyed the outdoors lifestyle. He rented a house by the sea, surfed everyday and started meeting transient surfers. Andi admired their free living lifestyle and an idea occurred to him. If he could train to be a surf instructor, it would enable him to earn money whilst he travelled
The Ring Of Fire
Andi’s New Zealand surfer friends also regaled him with stories of the Indonesian waves. The seed was planted. Next stop, Indonesia.
Andi explored the region fully, becoming quite an authority on the breaks and fully immersing himself into the culture. The locals embraced him and true friendships were made that were to last a lifetime.
Not yet an instructor, Andi made a living by buying and selling jewellery, sandals and other local items. He then started bringing these back to England to sell, touring the festivals and markets with his stall.
It was through the N Devon markets that he met the late Vikki Worthington, Mother of our instructor Karma. Vikki became Andi’s inspiration. She was killing it in the marketplace with her Croyde Seaglass Jewellery but was always super cool, supportive and helpful. Andi’s business began to expand and he puts much of that down to Vikki’s great advice.
He is forever grateful to her.
Andi The Surf Instructor
It was whilst in Devon that Andi came across Surf South West. Remembering his dream of becoming a globe-trekking surf instructor, he popped into the school and met with a young John Ellis, who was a manager at that time.
John advised Andi to get his qualifications from Newquay which was the main school back then. This he did and duly returned to Surf South West to do his hours and work the season.
He’s been returning ever since.
Global Surf Instructor – Living the Life
Many years of surf travel followed. Andi’s dream of surfing and exploring came good. He lived and worked in countries like Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Costa Rica, and Spain plus many, many more. He’d work the summer season at Surf South West and then be off on his travels again as soon as winter clouds came overhead.
It was a lifestyle that many would envy.
Andi Carsana – The Middle Years
Through his travels, Andi began to realise that Surf South West was not only one of the largest and best surf schools in England but also the world. The more he travelled, the more he noticed that the standard of teaching was not to the same high degree as found in Surf South West .
Andi comments, “I realised that I was working for the best surf school in the whole country and that I could really learn from these guys.” He continues, ” I also love meeting so many great people here in Croyde, the amazing community spirit and the strong family vibration at the school. Why leave?”
So, although travelling is a still a huge part of his life, Andi is now very much part of the Surf South West full-time team where he also heads up the Surf South West surf camps in Indonesia during the UK winter season.
John Ellis, Co-Owner of Surf South West says, “Pre-covid, we began offering Surf South West Surf Camps in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Morocco. We very much hope to offer these again once travel restrictions are lifted and Andi is a huge part of this side of the business.”
So there we go, Surf South West and Andi Carsana are a marriage made in heaven.
Only one thing, let’s not mention the world cup shall we?