The Canary Islands are more Africa than Europe – home to warm water, volcanic reefs and swells that, during the winter, can be comparable to surfing's crown jewel at Hawaii.
Perhaps the most famous of the Canary Islands, are the main seven; Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro and Fuerteventura. Though they might not be the top of your surfing hit list, these isles can hold up in pumping, sizeable swell; it's a plethora of setups spread across a 7,500km2 archipelago.
But, perhaps surprisingly, the bathymetry is actually much more similar to Hawaii than Europe, or even Africa; shallow, heavy hitters will reel over reefs – sure, there's beachies too. But you haven't travelled all that way for something you can likely find at home. Try to avoid that north-easterly trade wind and you'll be fine.
Talking of beachies, and if that's what you're really into, then the arid Fuerteventura is probably where you'll head. That's not to say the lunar landscape of the second biggest isle in the Canaries is dull; far from. It's denser than its little brothers and sisters – during those winter months, the north coast is the place to be.
Yet, for some reason, it's rare we'll get insight into the lives of the rippers who call these isles home. So, right here, we have a little tour of one of the gems of the Canaries featuring Mirko Manduca as produced by filmer Pontus Palsson. And if every you wanted a guide to see how good Fuerte can get, then dive on in, the edit's above.
Plus, bonus we have a chat with Mirko about surfing across the Canary Islands.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up
MM: I was born in Argentina, when I was five-years-old, my family decided to move to the Canary Islands. Now I'm still studying, and working on, this paradise.
Where did you learn to surf?
I started to surf a few month after my arrival to the island. I started on the east side, with my family and friends. From the beginning I knew this would be my sport.
What’s your aim with surfing? Freesurf, make the QS?
It's just surfing, having the most fun in the water and try to do my best every day. You know, I'll try the QS but I much prefer freesurfing and catching the best waves.
And you’ve just dropped this latest edit, why did you decide to make a film part?
It was definitely Pontus Palsson's idea. He's the best filmmaker I've ever known, offered me a film part and obviously, I was like, "yew boy, let's start".
Tell us a bit about surfing in the Canary Islands – where’s good to go?
Every side of the islands are good. You just have to look for the right wave though.
And when is good to go?
The best period to come for surf is with the warm weather, or those winter swells, depends what you want.
How would you describe the waves in the Canaries?
You can find different kind of waves like, powerful ones if you want, or soft and beachbreaks.
What’s the surf scene like over there?
There are many people who come over for surf trip holidays but fortunately, we have that local surfing community, who control situations in the water, so there are no mistakes.
For people thinking about going on a surf trip to the Canaries what would you say to them?
Just be respectful and be peaceful in the water, so that there won't be any problems.