The Canary Islands.
This is a photo essay of a collection of images taken by my eldest son Woodie and some of his friends in the Canary Islands during the last 18 months. Prior to those last 18 months in the Canaries Woodie had spent the last 10 years on the professional skiing circuit in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia. You can see some of the images of his exploits during that time by clicking here. One of the prices of that experience was that he tended to miss out on a lot of summers. To make up for missed time in the surf he moved to the Canary Islands once he gave up the pro ski life.
The Canary Islands are just off Morocco. Politically they are part of Spain. They get all the big winter swells that come down from the North Atlantic ocean. These volcanic islands are at the same latitude as Cairo in Egypt. As such it is relatively warm in winter and hot in summer. It is also exceptionally dry. If you like trees then don't go to the Canary Islands. There are no trees, except for a few imported palm trees in the major towns and cities. There are numerous islands to choose from. In an effort to keep the locals happy I have not named any islands or surf breaks. You will have to do some googling to get some more info in that regard. Rest asured there are many quality breaks and crowds are a non event. The islands have a good network of large ferries to get you from island to island. Once on one island a car is very useful. Some of the smaller uninhabited islands are also served by smaller ferries and have prohibitions on overnight stays. If you want to catch the early morning waves you will need to sneak your supplies and camping gear onto the ferry and ensure that you let the ferry staff know you are definitely not staying overnight when they ask. On these trips you will definitely have to be self sufficient in food, and importantly, in water.
Woodie has promised to write up a report of the Islands and the surf there but realistically I am not holding my breathe waiting for it to arive. I think he classes it as a bit too much like school work. He never did any written work at school so why start now. Enjoy.
Canary Islands. North Altancic Ocean.
Imagine giant North Atlantic winter swells coming in from the north west along these reefs.
Nice swell lines coming in along the coast to greet you when you arrive.
Long, long, long waves with no one out.
Nice beach break. This is a crowded day.
One of the better waves on one of the smaller uninhabited islands.
Yet another unridden wave.
What's that, you want to surf a big left?
A nice little isolated holiday shack. Oh yeah, the waves are pretty impressive as well.
The view from Woodies place. The 2 guys paddling out in the middle will give you an idea of wave size.
I had a lot of dramas deciding which images to leave out. I wonder why?
The breaks are mainly on the west side of the islands so fantastic sunsets are an added bonus.
Another beach, another uncrowded surf spot.
The beaches can get pretty big in the Canary Islands. ................ Nature has a way of adding that something special to the surf.
The beaches can get really really big.
Woodie enjoying what is on offer.
Another classic late afternoon wave.
Another view of one of the classic breaks on a small uninhabited island.
There is always a price to pay for good surf in pristine areas. The less people there are, the more sea urchins there are.
Pick a spot and get a cover up.
I don't know how they put up with the crowd.
Waves and boards on the roof racks. Just like back home.
Not too shabby for a make shift beach house.
How many surf breaks have a big volcano as a picturesque backdrop?
What sort of recreational activities do you reckon the inhabitants of this building are into?
No matter where you surf, there are always some places that are a bitch to get out from.
Fortunately it is usually worth it.
Same spot as above but looking to the left.
They like to make do in the Canary Islands.
More lava, more waves.
I think Woodie wants to also be a working musician like his Dad.
In the interior.
Yet again, no one out.
More people watching than surfing.
How many times can I write, no one out...?
Just once more. no one out.
Yeah, there is someone out ...
The view looking down from the volcano to one of the classic point breaks, Lobos. Only on a small day.
Looking from Corralego across to Lobos, the endless pointbreak.
The big NW Atlantic swells in winter come in from the left and run along the island. Image by Jon Kavanaugh
Close up of the Lobos wave. Image by Jon Kavanaugh
Acid Drop. Image by Jon Kavanaugh