Surfing the 1970’s Canary Islands

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Surfing the 1970’s Canary Islands

Photo from https://olosurfhistory.com/

Today I found a lovely article from SOLO HISTORIA SURF  in which they explain how, at the beginning of the 1960s, when the coasts of California and Australia started to get packed, suddenly surfers from around the globe started looking for waves in Europe and Africa.

This is how Morocco became a famous spot in the 1970s, and with it, Spain and Canary Islands, as many people had to pass through the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands in order to get to Africa and guess what? they found waves here too !

This is when a surfer called Peter Troy, who had arrived to the Canaries in 1963 and published a book about his trips around the world, started writing about these 7 curious islands of the Atlantic ocean, that were very close to Africa but belonged to Spain, and that water wasn’t that cold as in North America, and so they started calling it the “Hawaii of the Atlantic”. Since then, many northamericans travelled directly from America to the Canary Islands, in those times when there were direct flight connections (not any more, why?).

Then, locals started liking the sport of the tourists and started asking for their surfboards in order to try the new sport: Surf. And then, plenty of surfers from main Spain started coming here too in winter to avoid getting frozen up north. This is how people like Íñigo Letamendía, Raúl Dourdil, Jesús Fiochi, Carlos Beraza, Zalo Campa, Javier Gabernet and many others ended up here. Raúl Dourdil never left the Canary Islands and created a Surf Shop called Aloha Surf Shop which is in Puerto de la Cruz, next to the Town Hall, and has been there for more than 40 years now !

Since the 1970s, 48 years have passed and since then we’ve had several champions of Spain both in surf and bodyboard. Canary Islands is widely respected as a surfing place and the truth is that the 7 islands have more than 100 top surfing spots. This is why Atlantik Surf offers the best Surfing lessons in Tenerife, come and visit us !

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