Today, my guest is Michael Hamilton, who is the co-founder of Live Swell. He’s a surfer and is based in the Outer Banks USA. Michael has created a self-maintaining super host holiday rental business.
Listen to the Episode Here
Do you want to have your own surf business or have already started one but struggling with how to make things work during the new normal? Working remotely has pressed into the mainstream in a remarkably brief period. This trend has earned itself positive feedbacks and many companies and individuals feel optimistic about the new future of work. However, like any other set up, working remotely presents its own challenges and issues. To turn your surf business into a success, you need to look into strategies, tools, and options that will cater to your lifestyle and needs.
Peter Fabor started out in surfing as a sport which eventually turned into a lifestyle. He makes sure that his travels and entrepreneurial ventures include surfing. He founded Surf Office, a one-stop-shop for anyone organizing company retreats. Along with this, his side hustles also include Surfpreneurs Club, a platform for passionate surfers with a burning entrepreneurial spirit. Nomad Landing which provides information for traveling remote workers like himself with free information before they move into another city, and Epic Monday which caters to coworking through prebuilt cozy turnkey cabins.
In this episode, we hear Peter’s amazing journey from his first surfing experience, to moving into the Canary Islands, to weaving his business and surfing together. Peter also talks about working remotely and the challenges it poses on brainstorming, teambuilding, and strategic planning. Peter’s services can be of great help as you adapt to the changes in your personal and business life. Listen in to today’s conversation and learn about ways you can leverage your surf business and cope with the challenges in a fun and exciting way!
02:07 From Sports to Lifestyle
07:17 The Digital Nomad’s Life
10:12 Surf Office
14:25 How to Organize Successful Team-Building Retreats
19:04 The Future of Work
24:05 The Surfpreneurs Club
31:33 Co-working Cabin
36:20 A Very Memorable Surf Moment
Today I’m really stoked to introduce you to my guest the Oceanrider Peter Fabor. Peter has built a life around surfing ever since he discovered the sport. In fact, this is one of the reasons he became a digital nomad and set up shop in the Canary Islands, where he started one of the first co-working spaces on the archipelago. I’ll let you discover what Peter got up to over there and how he’s now built a business that revolves around surfing.
Today Peter runs a successful incentive travel agency called, Surf Office and is creating tools and trips for teams that are either spaced out geographically or too busy to get to know each other and build an effective work relationship. In fact, Peter’s business is even more relevant today, where the number of remote workers is on an exponential rise. In this episode, Peter shares a few tips for genuine team-building and talks about his other side hustle, Surfpreneurs Club. It’s an online community for surf-related businesses that he’s developing. And we also get to talk about Peter’s second passion, which is building Tiny Homes.
I hope you enjoy this episode.
Take care, have fun, and enjoy the waves.
Connect with Peter:
Episode 54: Meet Elizabeth Sans- Founder of Dryft Watersports, Yoga Instructor, and Energetic Surfer
This week, we get to hear Elizabeth’s incredible Nicaragua and Morocco adventures, her business model, and her cool surf and yoga retreats, which you definitely should include in your bucket list.
n this episode, she shares her story of joining Sea Shepherd, campaigning in Antarctica, embarking on a life-changing voyage from Plymouth to the Azores islands, collecting microplastics and analyzing data, and how her passion for surfing and nature and the oceans has led her to refocus her studies on sustainability from a scientific point of view.
SHARE THE LOVE: SUPPORT THE OCEANRIDERS PODCAST
The Oceanriders Podcast is a passion project and, if you like it, you can support it in a number of ways:
Number 1: Share your love for this podcast on iTunes by giving it a few stars, or a review. Better still, subscribe. Anything in this direction increases my ranking and lets more people hear about my fascinating guests and how they are busting the surfing stereotype
Number 2: Comment, and join the conversation on social media. You will find links to my social media accounts on theoceanriderspodcast.com
Alternatively, you can connect with me on:
Number 3: Join me for an episode or sponsor my podcast! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a quick bio and I’ll take care of the rest.
Number 4: I have created an online merch shop, called the Oceanriders sShop. It has a collection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, greetings cards, and wall art for all types of budgets, so be sure to check them out on theoceanridersshop.com.
Imi Barneaud: Hi Everybody and welcome to the oceanriders podcast, conversations with entrepreneurs, creatives, thinkers, and dreamers who also happen to be surfers.
My name is Imi and I am your host.
Today, I’m really stoked to introduce you to my guest, the ocean rider Peter Fabor. Peter has built a life around surfing ever since he discovered the sport. In fact, this is one of the reasons he became a digital nomad and set up shop in the Canary Islands, where he started one of the first Coworking Spaces on the archipelago. I’ll let you discover what Peter got up to over there and how he’s now built a business that revolves around surfing. Today, Peter runs a successful incentive travel agency called Surf Office and is creating tools and trips for teams that are either spaced out geographically or too busy to get to know each other and build an effective work relationship. In fact, Peter’s business is even more relevant today where the number of remote workers is on an exponential rise. In this episode, Peter shares a few tips for genuine team building and talks about his other side hustle, Surfpreneurs Club, it’s an online community for surf related businesses that he’s developing. Oh, yeah, and we also get to talk about Peter’s second passion, which is building tiny homes.
So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Peter Fabor.
Hello, Peter, and welcome to The Oceanriders Podcast, how are you today?
Peter Fabor: Hey, I’m good. Thank you for inviting me.
Imi Barneaud: It’s a pleasure. I guess before we start, do you think you could introduce yourself to the listeners and explain how you see yourself as an ocean rider?
Peter Fabor: How I see myself as an ocean rider? Well, my connection with surfing was like probably everybody had just tried to surf in the waves, having the first surf lesson and then continuing. And then this special, it started as a sport but later it evolved into more like a lifestyle, and traveling, and meeting friends. And so the last stage for me with that was that it evolved into a business. And I started a couple of years ago. I started a business called Surf Office that combines surfing with team building activities. So basically what we do is organize company retreats for startups, tech companies, digital agencies from Europe and the US that want to go somewhere for a few days for a company retreat offsite. And that’s not always, but usually it’s combined with surfing. So they have some sort of lessons as team building activities.
Imi Barneaud: Lovely, I guess before we dive into Surf Office, where are you from originally?
Peter Fabor: I’m originally from Slovakia.
Imi Barneaud: Wow.
Peter Fabor: There is no surfing, there are no waves.
Imi Barneaud: What kind of family did you grow up in? Was it an adventurous family or did he spend a lot of time in nature to be attracted to surfing?
Peter Fabor: Yeah, I was a city person. I grew up in the capital, this small country Slovakia in Bratislava. It’s the name of the capital. And I was kind of a natural person. I used to go a lot to the mountains. I’ve been always passionate about hiking, I still am. And it was around like when I was 21, I discovered surfing. And it was actually the perfect combination for me to combine ocean and the mountains. And if I have enough of these two, I’m like, my life is in perfect balance.
Imi Barneaud: Fantastic. And what was your first job?
Peter Fabor: Oh, that’s a good question. I don’t remember actually, because I started with so many like the small gigs or little jobs that you don’t even remember what was the first real job. But I must say like my first full time job was working in e-Commerce, I was responsible for managing the websites and online stores.
Imi Barneaud: Wow. That’s really cool. And could you tell us why you moved to the Canary Islands in 2014?
Peter Fabor: Yeah, as I said, I started more in the online e-Commerce, and then I moved more into design, and I was designing the user interfaces of the software’s and mobile apps. And at the time I lived in [inaudible] and I just realized that, well, all this work, what I’m doing, I can do it remotely, I don’t need to be in Prague where it’s minus 10 or 20 degrees sometimes during the winter. And anyway, working in front of my computer, and the people I work with, they’re also like behind the screen, developers and other designers. So I just proposed to my boss if I can try working remotely for a couple of months, and my plan was to move to Canary Islands. But I had another idea, that was not the only reason I had this idea for this project. Several Facebook at the time called Coworking Space. So I started this in Canary Islands as a side project while I was still working full time as a designer.
Imi Barneaud: That’s really cool. Because like Coworking was just starting out. So that time, you must have been a pioneer in that field.
Peter Fabor: I must say that Coworking was quite developed around Europe and the US. It was still not mainstream, but what was definitely very new was co-living, that was a new trend. To be honest, when I started it, I didn’t think about it this way, whether it’s a Coworking or co-living. I just started to call it after a few months when our first guests told us like, Hey, this is a co-living, this is a Coworking, you should call it this way. I was like, okay. Because the first idea was just to create a place for similar people as I was who wanted to live next to the beach, surf, and they were able to work remotely. So they just needed the accommodation and they needed some work space where they can work. And that was the first idea. And obviously, it was very niche like surfers, co-living, Coworking in Canada, it’s very, very niche, but also very strong. That was also maybe the reason why the experience was fantastic. The first guests that visited us were like very core fans and supporters of the concept. Then of course, later it evolved more into a broader market.
Imi Barneaud: Excellent. And what was it like being a digital nomad six years ago?
Peter Fabor: So being a digital nomad, that was another term. I didn’t know, somebody told me like, Hey, we are digital nomads. I was like, what are you talking about with digital nomads? And then I started to Google it, and it really started at the time that first people started to call themselves digital nomads. Yeah, so this term is very good. I never called myself a digital nomad, but yeah, that’s the description now, the people who can work remotely while traveling. And yeah, I think we were lucky at the time that this trend was just growing. I didn’t think much about it when we started. I just so like, yeah. I didn’t see the reason why I have to be in the office somewhere in Prague if I can work remotely and be in the Canary Islands. And I told them that they will be probably more people like me, but I didn’t think about this being such a huge trend. And I thought like, Oh, maybe in 10 or 15 years, this will be more common. But eventually, it was very fast. In two or three years, it became kind of like a mainstream or very popular trend.
Imi Barneaud: That’s amazing. And could you describe what your coworking and co-living Space looked like in the Canary Islands?
Peter Fabor: It was very MBP, so I call this first version as a prototype. It was basically an apartment with a couple of rooms and people stay in these rooms. And the common area of the apartment, we redesigned as a workspace, we added a few desks and made a good internet connection and that’s it. It was more about the community and the people who came, and they were all coming from different countries, different places, but they have a lot of things in common and created a very cool vibe. So I don’t think at that time that the infrastructure was very important. But as more people started to come, the infrastructure evolved. We started to rent more apartments, but it was not possible to rent apartments in the same building. We just rented apartments in other buildings, and then we thought like, okay, where is going to be the workspace? Because all these people need to work and they don’t fit into the common area, the living room of one of the apartments so we just rented a separate workspace in the area. So it was very distributed from the beginning because usually, when you say cool living space, you probably imagine some house or some buildings where all people live together. And here, people lived in kind of like hops in small apartments. And the apartment there was like three, four or five people. And then they all met in the Coworking Space.
Imi Barneaud: That’s excellent. And that actually leads me to Surf Office, which is your main business right now. Could you describe in detail what Surf Office offers and what your mission is?
Peter Fabor: Yeah. As I described with the Coworking , co-living space, that was the model we had for the first three years. And already during the time we had a lot of companies contacting us saying things like: “Hey, we like your concept, but we are not digital nomads. We are just a team of 10 developers, and we want to come to Canary Islands and have a team offsite. Can you do that for us?” And I was like: “Yeah, of course.” And we started first, we had this type of groups, this type of companies once every three or four months. It was not the core business, but then at some point we started to get more of them, but we didn’t communicate on our website that we are hosting company retreats. They were just like coming. And I was like, okay, there must be an interesting opportunity here. And I started to think like, yes, if we switch just to this model, what we are doing now, we are helping companies to organize retreats and offsite, we can scale this business much faster because we started thinking that maybe we don’t need to have our own properties. We don’t need to rent our properties long term, and we can partner with already existing coworking spaces or hotels. And that’s what we are basically doing. So when you are a company and you have, let’s say 40 employees, and they are distributed in different offices or they all work remotely, you need to meet them once a while, once a year or twice a year at some place. And everybody can chat together, and you can work on the strategy and brainstorm your product or services, have some drinks and team building activities. And yeah, it’s very time consuming for the companies to do that so we are basically helping them to organize everything. And in the way that we standardize a lot, the whole experience, because this is the market where many, even agencies or travel companies that organize events and they customize every single detail of that event. And we created more like a standardized experience that, yeah, we realized that most of our clients, they just want to have a certain standard of the accommodation, they want to have a good coworking space, they need certain things at that coworking space, and they want to organize transfers. They want these types of activities and we just kind of package it all together without going too much into details and wasting a lot of time. So this way, as we standardize the whole experience, we were able to automate a large part of the process of planning these events. And as we automated it, we spent less people. We don’t need so many people working on it so we can provide the experience for better price than regular agencies. So that’s basically the business model and what we do.
Imi Barneaud: That’s excellent. And that means that you can actually export it to any sort of cool surf destination in the world?
Peter Fabor: Yeah. We started to scale it to surf destinations, and the business is still called Serve Office, but we have locations in places where it’s no surf. For instance in Majorca, or in the US, in Zion National Park. So there is no surfing, but the experience is kind of similar. We realized that surfing is not the crucial part of that whole experience so we were able to scale it to two locations where it’s no surfing, but surf locations are still the most popular ones, that’s for sure.
Imi Barneaud: So what’s the best ingredient to make a successful team building retreat?
Peter Fabor: I think it’s the fact that we are mastering the experience in each location. We started first with Lisbon where we focus only on company retreats in Lisbon, and that was our only location where we offered company retreats. And when you organize like 30 retreats in that location, 5,100, you absolutely master the whole experience. You know what are the best activities for the groups, what are the best providers, and you find some patterns how to replicate this experience in other locations. And we tell our clients when they organize a retreat with us that we are not like an ad hoc event agency that tells them that: “Oh, we want to organize a retreat here and there.” And they say like: “Yeah, yeah. Of course, we can do it for you.” Because any agency can organize a retreat anywhere around the world, it’s not rocket science, but you are not sure how the experience is going to be. And these are, like our clients or companies, they just want to make sure that everything works 100%. You don’t want to have 30 people during your retreat waiting for something for 30 minutes, because there’s not 30 minutes of the time. It’s 30 minutes of 30 people and that’s a lot of time. So I think that that’s one of the things that we really mastered the whole experience and cut a lot of unnecessary things. Because usually, event agencies, they go really into detail and try to customize every single part of the experience from the food and merchandise. And yeah, we don’t go in such detail so we can guarantee the same quality for each client. And the second thing is we focus only on these types of clients, we only focus on companies, especially tech companies, 95% of our clients are tech companies. So I think this is another big difference compared to traditional event agencies that when you contact them that you want to organize a wedding, they will organize your wedding. If you tell them that you want to organize a conference for 1000 people, they are going to organize your conference for 1000 people, but we will tell you: “No, we don’t organize this type of thing.” So if you are doing one thing again and again, then you master it. And I guess that’s our magic formula.
Imi Barneaud: That’s excellent because there are lots of really cool locations that you offer. Have you been to all of them? Or have you got a team abroad that actually manages the other locations?
Peter Fabor: I’ve been in most of them. And at some point it was, we wanted to expand to more locations. And we agreed that we will go to the locations where someone from our core team has already been or lived, but we usually focus on that part, live there. You know that the person knows that location. And because it also started with Surf Office, we started to expand to the locations where I lived before, it was in Canary Islands, Lisbon, but I also lived some time in California, it was Santa Cruz. Then the next location was in Barcelona where I spent some time. In Prague where I lived before. And then I was a bit limited like these are all the locations where I live, we need to discover more. But we really focused on, especially in the cities, we organize these retreats for instance in the neighborhoods that are more like trendy and coming neighborhoods. We don’t want to be in the city center, tourist areas. And this is difficult to do if you don’t own the city, you never lived there. And it’s some way you can identify for instance these neighborhoods by some previous experience and some patterns, because in some way the cities are all kind of similar. But having an experience of living there at least for a couple of months is always helpful.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. I was wondering, with COVID-19 and the fact that a lot more people are actually going to be remote workers, how do you actually see the future of team building and creating happiness in the workspace? Do you have an opinion on that?
Peter Fabor: Well, my opinion is very influenced by our business so I want to believe that this is the future that people are going to work remotely because that means that they will need to organize more company retreats and they probably need more services like Surf Office. And I definitely see COVID-19, I definitely see a shift of companies from office to remote. And obviously when COVID started, companies applied the remote work policies and everybody worked from home. And after a couple of months working from home, many companies realized like, Hey, actually, this is something that we can maybe continue doing. We will save money on the office space and we can invest that money into our employees. And we had a couple of companies contacting us, like, Hey, how much is going to cost us to organize three company retreats per year? Because we are paying this amount of money for the workspace in Berlin and we want to close the office. We just want to know if this cost, what we have for the office, will cover three company retreats for our team. And I was like, wow. Okay, it’s coming, the future. Because the market, what we have been targeting until now, the remote companies, it has been quite niche. And seeing the big companies now like Twitter, or Facebook, or Shopify are announcing that they are going to be remote, that’s a huge thing. I believe that they will need to organize this retreat, that’s the answer for the second part of your question. It’s really difficult to create this team bonding between colleagues while you are working remotely. That’s one thing that it’s hard, it’s difficult to replace these moments when you are in the office, having a coffee and chit chat, or you go for beers after work, you cannot replace it with remote work. And the second issue that I found, many companies tell me it’s difficult to brainstorm. It’s difficult to create some, let’s brainstorm your product, let’s brainstorm your idea. You don’t have that white board and that magic when you have 10 smart people in the room and you brainstorm the ideas. You come with something new after three or four hours. And yes, there are tools and they’re already very good, and they will be better and better to facilitate this online collaboration. But I believe that meeting in person is going to be valuable. And companies are going to organize this company retreats every three or six months focusing on these two things, brainstorming strategy and team building.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And you’ve got a podcast called More Beach Meetings. So with regards to your podcast or the podcast that you organize at Surf Office, what’s the best advice that you’ve heard from entrepreneurs interviewed in the podcast about team building and creating a happy workspace?
Peter Fabor: Well, there are many. I’m thinking what might be, it’s very difficult to say what was the best advice. I really enjoyed that last episode, which was with the day from the company called Brains and Painstorming. It’s about brainstorming, but the company is called Gamestorming. And so they are gamifying brainstorming, and they wrote the book with the same name called Gamestorming. And he was sharing his experience on how you can create amazing brainstorming for your team, and how to build a framework for having productive brainstormings. And I really enjoyed that episode because he provided very specific advice, and he was focused on, what are the common issues when you are brainstorming in the team? And when I listened to those podcasts, I realized like, Oh, all these mistakes I’m usually making. And it’s not like, I always thought like, Oh, I’m good at brainstorming when I’m brainstorming these people how to facilitate and so. But after that podcast, I realized that, Oh, there are many things to improve.
Imi Barneaud: Okay. So we’ll put some links in the show notes to the podcast so that people can listen to the Gamestorming episode and possibly others, I guess. Moving on in this conversation, I wondered if we could talk a few minutes about the Surfpreneurs Club. Could you tell us what it is?
Peter Fabor: Yeah, sure. The Surfpreneurs Club was the first kind of a camp or retreat with 20 Surfpreneurs we organized in Lisbon four years ago in 2016. A friend of mine, James, who lived in Lisbon at the time, I lived in Lisbon at the time, we were just meeting a couple of times a week and always talking about surfing and business. And I was complaining like: “Hey, I don’t know where the other people who are in this like surf related business. And I would like to meet more.” And he said: “Yeah, I know a couple of these people. Let’s organize something like a meeting for a couple of days.” We called it camp, and we organized surfers, we call it Surfpreneurs camp. And it was just a random idea and interesting people signed up. There were 20 of us. And we had a combination of the talks, and masterminds, and drinks, and surfing together. And it was just like mind blowing. And after that, we created the Facebook group where we edit all these people because everybody was interested like, Hey, how can we continue these conversations. And we created a Facebook group and people started to invite some other surfpreneurs, they know we started to invite new people. And then after a while we created a website where people can read more about the community and then they can join. And now after four years, to be honest, it was not very active. We organized a few events, like offline events, meetups per year. And recently, we started to produce a podcast and do interviews and it became much more active. And yeah, the goal of this community is to help anyone who has a surf related business. It can even be a nonprofit organization related to surfing to start or to grow, but we focus mainly on people who already have something and they just need to move forward. They need to grow. And I realized that there is not much content in this area. If you want to start the surf camp, or you want to scale your surf camp business, or you want to start some physical product for surfers, there is a lot of content online targeting the consumers about surfing, where are the best ways, or how to choose the best surfboard. But they’re not really this business related questions and answers for people who would like to start the surf business or they already started and are struggling.
Imi Barneaud: Right. Right. That’s really cool. And how can we actually join the Surfpreneurs Club?
Peter Fabor: How can people join?
Imi Barneaud: Yeah.
Peter Fabor: Just go to the website, surfpreneurs.club, and you fill out the application form that is on the website. It’s that simple, it’s free. We don’t charge anything. There is just one restriction that we accept only people who already started business, and they have some business, and they have existing websites. So that’s the only limitation.
Imi Barneaud: Excellent. That’s really good. So surfpreneurs listening to us right now, they can actually log onto your website and join the club. That’s really cool.
Peter Fabor: Yeah.
Imi Barneaud: Are there any events or things planned in the near future?
Peter Fabor: As I said, over the last years, we have always organized a couple of offline events, meetups in Europe and in Australia. And now because of COVID-19, it was not possible to organize any meetups so we started to experiment with Zoom meetups, Zoom calls. And yeah, it has been fun so far. We organize, I think five of them, they are always focused on some specific topics. Usually it’s for targeting the hospitality surfpreneurs, or product eCommerce surfpreneurs. And I think we are going to continue with them until the situation with COVID-19 is not going to be somehow resolved. And after that, we would like to organize, again, some offline meetups where people can meet together, but also have some beers.
Imi Barneaud: Excellent. Just before we sort of wrap things up, I wonder if we could talk about your cabin business because that’s fascinating.
Peter Fabor: It’s not business yet, it’s still like the idea development stage. There was at the time when I moved to Ericeira, the small Portuguese surf village for a couple of months, and I worked there remotely, and I rented an apartment on the edge of the village. I was so amazed by the experience living in the, because before I always lived in cities and this was my first time I actually lived somewhere in the countryside and I realized that, Oh, you can get very good internet these days almost anywhere. And I started to think about how to replicate this experience. I have always been obsessed with cabins and building some cabins, cottages, and I came to this let’s build a coworking cabin. So it’s not designed only for sleeping, but you actually like a productive workspace for two people. So I built mine last year on my own. I had help from the architect and a construction guy helped me to build it. I would just like the idea guy. But the main concept is that it’s a very small cabin, it was designed the way that it’s possible to transport it on highways, anywhere in Europe without special permits just by having a trailer, you can just move it by using a truck anywhere in Europe and put it anywhere. So it’s transportable. And the second requirement was that there is a space to work in such a small cabin, how to build a space for work? There is a mechanism that it’s kind of like reassembling the bed where you’re sleeping and it creates a space for work during the day. And then again, during the night, you make it again as a bedroom. So that was the idea. And it already has a real cabin that I built. And I’ve been playing with some ideas, how to replicate it? I was a bit naive because before starting how easy it was to build it? And how to build it on scale? But I have learned the hard way that it’s not so easy so I’m trying to figure out all the challenges around it.
Imi Barneaud: That’s amazing. And so what the difference between your cabin and a tiny home or a van sort of thing?
Peter Fabor: I have always been influenced by this, it’s very popular in the US, this tiny house movement. And these are usually the houses on the wheels, so they’re quite easy to transport anywhere. And you basically don’t need to have a permit to install them somewhere because they are with vehicles, they are not real houses. But this was very well in the US where the restrictions of having such a tiny house, it’s not difficult to get the permit for your tiny house as a vehicle and you can move with that. In Europe, it’s very, very difficult to get the permit for a tiny house. And that’s why it makes much more sense to build it as a house, not as a vehicle. And the last category mentioned is the RV or some van that it’s basically an automobile, it’s a car, it has a motor and you can move it. I wanted to build from the beginning a house from wood.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. And it’s beautiful actually. I’ll put the photos on the show notes on the website.
Peter Fabor: Thank you.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. It really is superb, and I love the way that the slots are diagonal at the front, that gives a really sort of modern touch to it. It’s beautiful. So where is it now, is it still in Ericeira?
Peter Fabor: No, in Ericeira, I just had this idea. The house was built in my home country in Slovakia and it’s there, I installed it in the garden of my mom. So when I’m visiting her, when I’m back in Slovakia, because I live in the Netherlands. So when I’m visiting her, I’m staying in that house. So it’s my house when I’m visiting my family.
Imi Barneaud: And what was the most complicated space to design?
Peter Fabor: The most complicated space was the area with the workspace and the beds, that was probably the most difficult part because there is also a little kitchen, and yeah, to put everything in such a small space is quite challenging. And you have to really think where you build the door because we put doors somewhere and it means that in that area, you cannot put anything else. And I now understand why so many people who built a tiny house, they tried to build another one, another one, because with the second or third version, you can build a much better product because you just learn so many things. When you do it for the first time, you can learn a lot on the internet from different people. And if you work with architects, you can get a lot of insights, but you still have to finish it. You still have like hundreds of ideas about what you could do differently and better.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Things like the bathroom, you’ve got a shower, and a toilet, and a wash basin in a tiny space must be, what? A meter by two meters or something like that? It’s a really small space, how big is your bathroom?
Peter Fabor: It’s very small. I wouldn’t call it how big it is, how small it is. Yeah, it’s just big enough to fit one person. We made that kind of put all the parts of the bathroom to one corner, which means that I would definitely make the bathroom now differently. That was the part I didn’t consider as so important when we were building it, and now I see that it’s very crucial. And one thing I didn’t realize about the bathroom is the heating system. It would be very nice to have a floor heating in the bathroom because during the winter, you cannot put any devices in the bathroom because it’s just small and it’s humid. You cannot put an external heating system. So the only way to heat it is basically to install the floor heating, of course it’s impossible once you have it done. I got this idea when I was using the bathroom. So it was finished, but it was not so pleasant during the winter when there was minus temperature outside. The main living area of the cabin was heated, but when I entered the bathroom, it was like, Oh, I had very short showers.
Imi Barneaud: That’s nice. Anyway, I guess we were about to park the bus. Before we end this discussion, which has been really, really insightful and I’m sure that our listeners will love the insights that you’ve given about team building, and about the surfpreneurs, and about building a cabin, I just wanted to have your insight on surfing, who inspired you to surf in the first place?
Peter Fabor: Yeah, it was. My first surfing was when I lived in Barcelona. That time, I was doing an internship and a friend of mine came to visit me or just ask me: “Hey, Peter, can I come for like two weeks?” It was during the summer, he wanted to travel. And I said: “Yeah, sure. I have the spare bed in my bedroom.” I rented in Barcelona. And yeah, after he came, he started to [inaudible] to go by bus from Barcelona to San Sebastian and then cross the border and go to [inaudible]. And he told me that he tried to surf there. He surfed there for the first time last summer, it was an amazing experience and we should do it together and we should go there as well. And I would definitely love surfing. And I was like, I was a bit skeptical when I looked on the map that it’s from Barcelona to be [inaudible]. This is quite far. And yeah, it was definitely a memorable trip. So we did it exactly how I describe the bus from San Sebastian to be [inaudible] by train. And it was more complicated for days out of town, and then by bus, and we were very poor. It’s a surf hub, but there people are also going there to play poker and casino. And he’s with another budget location for a 20 years old student without a budget so we stayed in some campsite, rented the surfboard. And we were just walking with these surfboards every day for 45 hours, one direction in 45 minutes, one direction in 45 minutes. Another direction to the beach called the Basque, definitely one of my favorite surf experiences. That first one, we spent there one week, because it’s just a magic place. The waves were very good. It’s supposed to be one of the best beaches in Europe for learning to surf. We had great weather. And yeah, since then I’ve been surfing in that area at least like eight or nine times. I really, really like it. I was just hooked. I was hooked and I understood very quickly, for me, surfing was, yeah, it started as a sport, but it very quickly became a way to travel. I just adjusted all my travel plans to surfing, like why would you go somewhere where you cannot surf. And surfing together and traveling together with friends. And then I realized that surfing, for me, is some way to meditate. Some people do yoga or they meditate. I realized that for me, meditation is being in the water and waiting for waves.
Imi Barneaud: Yes. The blue mind. Oh, that’s fantastic. I guess I’ve got four questions that I’d like to ask my guests at the end of the episode, it’s basically sentences that you finish. Would you be up for that?
Peter Fabor: Sure.
Imi Barneaud: So the first sentence is, I LOVE.
Peter Fabor: Surfing.
Imi Barneaud: I MISS.
Peter Fabor: Mountains.
Imi Barneaud: I WISH.
Peter Fabor: To start surfing earlier.
Imi Barneaud: And I WANT.
Peter Fabor: I want to visit Peru.
Imi Barneaud: Wow, nice. Actually, as a matter of fact was we were having this conversation, I was thinking of Unleash Surf, which I interviewed, one of my first interviews a couple of years ago. And every year they hold a coworking experience in [inaudible] in Peru, and they have created a coworking space and a co-living space where they rent apartments all around,and they organize all sorts of things within the coworking space, and how you visit the place, and learn to cook, all sorts of things like that. And I’m sure that you’d find some synergies there for your business. So I’ll drop you the details at the end of the episode. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them already. Have you heard of them?
Peter Fabor: No, I haven’t heard of them. When you mentioned the name of the company, I told you that it sounded like an unleash company.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. So it’s Unleash Surf. That’s really interesting, so what are your plans for the next few months?
Peter Fabor: I think nobody can say now what their plans for the next few months because of the COVID-19. I’m based in general plans, I’m based in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, and I would like to surf as much as possible on the local spots here. And if it’s possible to travel to surrounding countries, maybe rent a van or mini caravan and spend some days in nature or the mountains in Germany or the coast in France.
Imi Barneaud: Beautiful. Beautiful. Well, thank you, Peter, for being my guest today, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show. For the listeners, could you remind us of your social media or how to get a hold of you?
Peter Fabor: Yeah, I’m quite active on Twitter, my ID handle on Twitter is Faborio. And then I have the website, personal blog website with the newsletter with my name, peterfabor.com. And yeah, you can find me also on LinkedIn and Instagram if you Google my name.
Imi Barneaud: We’ll put this all in the show notes as well. Okay, Peter, take care. Thank you very much.
Peter Fabor: Thank you, bye.
Imi Barneaud: Has this episode dropped on Monday morning, I guess there’s nothing like a bit of team building tips to get you going. You can reach out to Peter at Surf Office, on Surfpreneurs Club, on Instagram, LinkedIn, and on Facebook. And I will be posting links to both sites and social media in the show notes that you can find on your podcast app or on theoceanriderspodcast.com. You can also find some really cool photos of Peter on my website, theoceanriderspodcast.com, and I’ll be posting a few pictures as well on Instagram to put a face to the story you’ve just heard. The Oceanriders Podcast is a one woman show and a passion project. So if you like what you’re hearing, please help me out.
First, you can subscribe, rate and review my podcast on Apple podcasts. Beyond making me super happy, this also lets other listeners know what to expect and gets my rankings up in the charts. Second, you can send me some feedback or let me know if you liked or hated an episode. You can also contact me if you’d like to set up an interview with you or one of your friends. So let me know by contacting me on either Facebook, Instagram, or sending me an email to email@example.com. And last but not least, if you’d like to take your support one step further, you can help me pay my bills by checking out my online merch store. The link to it is theoceanridersshop.com, all in one word, and you’ll find a delightful selection of custom made organic t-shirts and goodies that won’t break the bank, but will really help me pay for my subscription fees and awesome editor Leng Inque. Anyway, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or on Facebook and join the community on our Facebook group called The Oceanriders Community and don’t hesitate to share anything like job offers, any news, anything that you’re excited about that has something to do with surfing.
Anyway that said, thank you ever so much for listening. And thank you, Peter, for being my guest today. Until next episode, take care, have fun and enjoy the waves.