This winter I was looking at taking a week’s windsurf training in preparation for the BSA season for myself and non windsurfing wife.
On doing some research on the best area or spot to sail in around the Canaries noticed that Tenerife is a buzzing place to be at the moment with a lot of the Euro slalom teams heading out there in the middle of winter.
Looking at this venue in closer detail, I found out talking to the guys at fluid lines the area not only offers great slalom conditions it’s a great wave venue and holds world cup events just upwind in the next bay Cabezo, for the wave sailing area. There is lots of windsurfing hire centers along the beach in El Madano to choose from, that can be booked before you leave the uk. I found the TWS center to be very good, they are also running a winter slalom camp and for a small price you can upgrade your kit hire to the ‘Full on’ slalom kit, they are also running slalom races that anyone can join in on with added rescue cover. The Euro exchange rate is very good at the moment making the resort very good value . Most budget airlines fly into Tenerife south, with a four hour flight from Gatwick making it a easy place to get too, with no time differences! Off of the water there looks to be a lot going on also with lots of eateries in the small resort and a few beach bars and cafes, lots of walking to be had if the wind doesn’t play ball , there are also bikes to rent and mountains to scale!
Before I started to pack i popped up for a cup of tea with Dave at Fluid lines, pick up some factor40 Pro-sport Sun protection and some new summer 3mm shoes, you can guarantee that your last season’s shoes may have seen better days plus any other bits may need.
As I am not the best of flyers I have to also prep myself with lots of reading stuff to keep me occupied for the flight ie:- windsurf mag and normally get the days paper and a beer after all I am on holiday.
Landing in Tenerife, on leaving the arrival lounge into what I can only explain as a full summer’s day, sun shining 25oC and blowing about 30Knotts (perfect) you can probably see the look on my face. From coming out of the cold short days of the uk, into this I couldn’t wait to get on the water but as we landed at 6pm I had to wait until the morning.
Day 1, I flew the apartment door open, we were staying right in the middle of the bay with a great view of the entire bay, many of the new buildings in this resort have been made so as the step up they also step back so all have a great views with fab balconies to chill on. I was at the TWS center well before it opened, checking out the local sailing area and was stunned with the amount of people on the water on their own kit, windsurfers and kite-surfers alike, the guys at fluid lines were right the bay offers it all , slalom one end a wave venue the other, I could see lots of people wave sailing just upwind to the outside of the harbor wall .
TWS opened its doors and I was in , filled in all my details and got the slalom kit upgrade also payed for the kit insurance, as you never know, this is a busy wind resort. The guys in the center give you a low down on the sailing area , where to go and where not to, always when traveling to new areas at home or abroard always ask where to safely sail, then you can find the sweet spot in minutes . This center has so much kit to use you will not run short of choices on what to take out .
I was on the water within 10mins and loving the conditions , warm clear seas, full sun on a 5.0m and 100ltr board, I even noticed a few flying fish in front of me for a while. After about 3 hours of sailing planned to meet my wife for a spot of lunch in a beach Café called ‘Flashpoint’. This is a very good value Café with a large tuna baguette and drink for 4 Euro, its right in the middle of the bay on the promenade with a cracking view of the sailing, its full of windsurfers talking the talk, this place is buzzing with a great atmosphere all round. After a chilled out lunch it was back on the water for a couple of hours sailing, what a great day on the water it was.
That evening we ventured into the local town square to find a place to eat, we found El Medano is very Authentic Canarian with some great food on offer, that include , local caught fresh fish, Tapas , steak houses and a few bars it’s all very good value. So far my own findings were this resort hasn’t been spoilt and a great place for a lone windsurfer to travel to or also a family alike it’s a very safe friendly place, that’s only 10 minutes from the airport, there are cash machines in resort and a good choice of supermarkets for the self catering traveler .
Day 2 to day 10
For the rest of my holiday (training) I tried most combinations of kit and sailed on most points of the bay from the sea wall for waves far out the back in massive sea swells, to inside the bay slalom training with the top euro guys that were training around the down wind slalom course, one of the massive highlights for me was joining in on one particular race… I on a RRD Firemove 120ltr and 7mtr sail overtaking these slalom boys round the gybes, while they were on their slalom boards, I just flew round the inside and sneaked past in the turn. Mainly on this visit to El-Madano I was working on gybes, starts and running downwind broard, but still taking time to go back to basics and also a bit of wave sailing. Eating out every evening , in the many lovely places and having walks along the promenade. The entire time we were on holiday, we had solid wind all week, the biggest sail I used was a 7.2 and 120ltr board and the smallest was a 4.2 and 90ltr quad.
I would recommend this resort to all windsurfers it has it all to offer, it’s probably better though if you can waterstart and are in both straps .
For me getting away over winter really splits our winter windsurfing up, and recharges your batteries, by the time we return is only a short hop for longer days and spring , and looking at the calendar only a month until the uk windsurfing season officially starts.
Simon Chippington GBR984