Our Embassador Nico Hellman tells us about his surf trip to Lanzarote

22/12/2014

This time LANZAROTE

As a frequent customer at TravelnSurf.com it is my pleasure to share my latest surf experience in Lanzarote, Caleta Famara.

Many surf trip ideas are being created in a long night with lots of beers and surf movies, or in the water on a small day. This one was created because it was time to repeat the good experience I had with a surf buddy from Germany in Portugal and Morocco.
The biggest question was where to go and for how long I could allow leaving my own business rest. We had many ideas on the table, from Central America, via Madeira, back to Morocco or Portugal main land to Sri Lanka.
I must admit, we do not exactly remember why at the end we picked Lanzarote, maybe I was pushing for a me unknown island, as I had surfed Fuertventura and Gran Canaria before.
Anyhow, cheap flights were booked from Hamburg and Barcelona for beginning of December, I figured more than 10 days I would not be able to escape.
Location inspiration and booking we made via www.TravelnSurf.com and I must admit I also contacted Rafa to be sure our pick was a good one. My buddy took off two days earlier and organised a very cheap rental car (remember to pay with a Gold Credit Card that includes the insurance and don’t let the rental car company sell you an extra insurance which turns out to be more expensive the daily rental). Even before jumping on the plane I got an email from my buddy:

“You will not believe what has happened today, first session of surfing. I went out where the surf schools where and after a while I wanted to take some bigger waves further out. But before I noticed I found myself in a rip tide that took me out to the ocean. A SUP guy tried to pull me in after a 45 min paddle …that was without success, so the guy said he would go and get help, well that made myself feel much better, someone knew I was out here and they would be looking for me. Long story short, some 30min later I was washed on the beach 1000m from where I entered. Walking back to town, I saw the SUP guy with the life guards looking for me. They didn’t have a jet ski or boat?!? It is time to surf together.”


Next morning I took the bike with board back and backpack to Plaza Cataluña and the Aerobus to El Prat Airport. Vueling Airlines also didn’t have a problem to carry my 17kg board back with two boards, fins, leashes, wetsuit and cloth.

My buddy picked me up at the airport in Arrecife, 30 min drive to Famara, we talked a lot about the incident and with a smile on the face agree the signal to get the coast guard for rescue in case it would happen again.

First surf day, same beach, Famara, ship wreck in the distance, still massive parts of the storm swell destroying a clean line up, lots of current but still we scored the first waves together. Second surf day at the “Muelle” also in Famara town, cleaner, bigger better. A longer left and a shorter right, that worked fine with mid to high, high and high to mid, then we thought is gets a little sketchy with rocks and shallow water.

Coming days we explored surrounding breaks, San Juan, La Santa, Morro Negro and Ghost town in the area of Famara and also did a road trip to the area of Punta de Las Mujeres /Jameos de Agua. Which turned out to be as the forecast had indicated, that is, completely flat.

The only quality wave we found was Morro Negro, next to the town of La Santa. We also found that as an early bird we could score an almost empty line up. One day a Dane guy, who had surf the Morro Negro break for 15 years, told us that the La Santa reef was “Locals only” we trusted this guy and never bothers to join the local crowd.
As Morro Negro turned out to offer the only quality conditions more and more people showed up every day and shortly the line up was packed - not so much fun.

Luckily Lanzarote is a small island, you can drive next to anywhere in 30 min. So we also did the touristy stuff, Mirador del Rio (€4,50 pp), Volcano national park (€9,00 pp) but we saved the money for the Jameos de Agua as that was way too touristy for our taste. Apparently also here, the early bird gets to see the caves without too many tourist buses present.
We also drove to the south of the island to have a look at Fuerteventura.

People of the surf shops are nice, same as the people in the view restaurants and supermarkets. The surf camp was nice, standard small house with four rooms and two shared bathrooms. There was not too much social life in town, but that is normal when there is no season I guess.

In the water I did not see too many people with a smile on the face, I rather found that sneaking waves or paddling further inside then one was sitting was the name of the game in the line up. Anyhow, the beach break, Muelle and Morro Negro had several peaks, so patience normally paid off and we could score good waves in each session.

Would I recommend Lanzarote for an advanced surfer? I guess if you want only Canary Islands and you have been to Fuerte and Tenerife, it is a yes.
For beginners, there are plenty of surf camps to pick, only one camp had extremely large group size. From some beginners I was told the Red Star’s Australian surf instructor did a superb job and was one of the only ones to enter the water with his students. I want to stress that this is the observation of some guys that shared the house with us.

Hope you enjoyed the read and if you are planning a surf trip, remember travelnsurf.com.
By the way, if you have a spot in the car and are going to the north from Barcelona, feel free to contact me ;-)

Cheers
Nico

Recent Posts

See all