Canary Islands – Rock Throwers And Reef Breaks.

Canary Islands

Rock Throwers And Reef Breaks.

Where: The Canary Islands lie roughly 200 miles off the southern coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean.

What: The Canary Islands are a group of seven large and six smaller islands. An autonomous region of Spain, the Canaries are a windswept land of volcanic origin. The best islands for surf are Fuerteventura or Lanzarote.

When: From October to March, expect waves in the four- to ten-foot range that are spawned from low-pressure systems that bash Northern Europe.

Why: Heaving lava-strewn reef breaks, plenty of surf spots (known and unknown), nice weather, and good food.

How: A two- to three-hour flight from London, Germany, or Spain will cost less than 300 dollars. Your best option for getting across the pond is usually from New York City or Chicago-don’t pay more than $600 for that one.

Places To Stay: Unless you’re rich, avoid the mega resorts and glam of the east side of the islands-there’s no surf there anyway. Check out local pensiones and smaller hotels for good deals on accommodations. Camping is not permitted in the Canary Islands-leave the tent at home.

Places To Eat: The European-influenced seafood is excellent, bountiful, and cheap. Imported grub is costly and should be avoided.

Babes: The babe situation is pretty meager. The only action is in the bars and cafà‡s of the larger towns where you’ll find the occasional single traveler. Buy her a drink and tell her you’re American-it works half the time.

Crowd Factor: While not super crowded, the locals are gnarly and like to throw rocks at visitors. According to international player/photographer Jason Reposar, they’re the worst of anywhere he’s been. Keep a low profile and be careful-or if you’re a badass, kick the shit out of ’em. There’s no excuse for being a jerk.

Stuff To Bring: Due to cold currents and windchill, a fullsuit is needed just about year-round. Booties are a good idea for walking over volcanic reefs, too. Surfboard wise, a mini gun is good to bring for the bigger days, but your standard shortboard will be the call for most spots and days.

If The Surf Is Flat: If you’re there in late February and early March, check out Carnaval. It’s the same huge party that goes off worldwide and is funner than hell itself. Glass-bottom boat cruises are an option as is a camel ride through the lunar landscape of the Canaries. The reality, however, is that the Canaries are not a nightlife destination by any means.

Helpful Web Sites: For a comprehensive and well-respected Web site, always check out lonelyplanet.com. Another good site to browse is surfcanarias.com, a locally run Web site that caters to surfers.-Justin Cotà‡