Saturday, 7 September 2013

Summer surf in Tenerife - lesson is 'Early bird gets the worm' at Las Americas

During a couple of weeks in Tenerife I managed to get a handful of surfing sessions in with the largest day about shoulder high. Surfed mainly Piscinas off Las Americas as the swell had a fair bit of South in it. Piscinas is familiar to me as it breaks not unlike the Ledges at Kimmeridge with an easy takeoff and a winding left. It sometimes has two peaks combining to lengthen the ride. The right can suck up on the inside but tends to be fat on the outside. The only downside of the break is that it attracts surfers who ride longer boards and a half a dozen proficient long boarders on the peak can keep your wave count down.

Piscinas (or El Conquistador) on the best swell of the fortnight 

One day the swell came in more from the NW and Spanish Left started to work which is a few hundred meters N of of Piscinas. (Its worth noting La Derecha is classy right in between the two which is dominated by good locals). On that swell I did surf the slower right which peels off the other end of Spanish Left (not sure what the wave is called) which is the haunt of the local surf schools. I am amazed that the local shops take groups of inexperienced young beginners out here - not exactly the best conditions to learn in. They troupe them out on the shit pipe into the line up and coax them into powerful waves that offload onto the flattish rock (if your lucky, if not it might be lava lumps). I guess they see it as a local resource they need exploit at Las Americas but surely onshore El Medano would be better option where children and beginners can learn over sand. 

Funnily enough  the best swell of my visit must have sneaked through unseen as the session saw the smallest crowd.  On all days however by mid afternoon every break was pretty saturated with surfers fighting over ragged small peaks in the onshores. I could only conclude that the surf community here at this time of year thrives on social interaction with a certain amount of exhibitionism and few hangovers thrown in. This suits me as I will continue to get uncrowded better conditions at dawn.  Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of the surf in the height of summer when I thought it was going to be pretty flat.

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