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Surfing in Spain

Surfing in Spain

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If surfing is your life philosophy, or if you want to experience a sensation of freedom and oneness with the sea, Spain is the place for you. Here you'll discover a large number of beaches where you can find the perfect wave and enjoy this addictive sport. All you need is to feel comfortable in the water and be willing to travel in your quest for the best waves.

WHY SPAIN

Because of its spectacular beaches, famous among surfers the world over, which are perfect for surfing and with a wide range of sea floors and breakers.Because it has a great variety of waves, some famous throughout the world.Because of its warm climate, range of wind types and currents.Because of its numerous surf schools and companies offering surf courses and surfing-themed accommodation.Because it's a venue for surfing-themed festivals, often combined with other types of complementary activities like music, cinema or yoga.Because Spain's the destination chosen by some of the world's top surfers.

Surfer on El Palmar beach (Cadiz)

TYPES OF SURFING

In addition to surfing, you can try your hand at other variants in Spain. Do you want to know which ones?Bodyboarding: you don’t stand up but rather but lie down on this short board, often made of polyethylene, and slide over the waves. The size of the board may vary depending on your weight and height, and they're lighter and easier to carry than classic surfboards. You also use flippers.Kneeboarding: this type of surfing is done kneeling on a shorter-than-usual board, and using flippers to propel yourself along.Skimboarding: this involves throwing your board –similar to a surfboard but shorter and wider– to the shore and plunging into the waves to catch it. You can also do it in calm water.Stand-Up Paddleboarding: you need good balance for this, because you have to stand up on the surfboard while paddling. The great advantage is that it's easy to learn.Longboarding: in this case you stand on a longer and wider board and glide over the waves.

Surfer on the beach at San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria)

BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR

You can go surfing all year round in Spain. If you're a beginner we recommend you come in summer when the waves are gentler; but if you're an expert, you'll be fascinated by the swells awaiting you in winter.

AREAS

Cantabria is a pioneer for surfing in Spain. The most highly recommended beaches for surfing in this area are:Los Locos (Suances): located in the middle of the Cantabrian coast, surrounded by cliffs.Canallave and Valdearenas(Liencres-Pielagos): both in the Dunas de Liencres Natural Park, an exceptionally beautiful location.Somo and Loredo (Ribamontán al Mar). Somo is one of the best-known beaches among surfing enthusiasts, and the first surfing nature reserve in Spain.Ris (Noja): this large sandbank, 4 kilometres long, is one of the most popular beaches in Noja.What's more, in the Canary Islands you'll find over 200 kilometres of coastline open to the sea that are great for surfing:El Confital (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria): considered to have the best waves in the Canary Islands.El Quemao (Lanzarote): with volcanic rock seabeds, this is ideal for more advanced surfers.El Socorro (Tenerife): well known as a frequent venue for competitions and training.

Surfer on a road in Lanzarote (Canary Islands)

You can also surf in other Spanish regions, such as Mundaka beach (Biscay) and Zarautz (Guipúzcoa) in the Basque Country; Hierbabuena, and El Palmar, in Cadiz; the beaches of the Ferrolterra-Rías Altas area of Galicia (known as the Costa das Ondas, or Coast of Waves); or Rodiles, in Asturias.

Surfing

HANDY TIPS

  • Check the weather conditions, the waves, and the wind direction before setting out to sea, and pay particular attention to the currents. The best wind is the one that comes off the land towards the sea, against the waves. There are numerous websites to keep you informed on the conditions of the sea, the wind, and the weather, including the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET).
  • Make sure you have the right equipment. It's essential to have a wetsuit to avoid getting hit and to keep you warm (you'll find various types of suits, some of them specially designed for the season of the year in which you're going to use them).
  • You'll also need a surfboard. If you don't have one, you can rent one at your holiday destination, where experts and instructors can advise you about which one is best for you. If you have your own board and you want to travel with it by plane, it must be perfectly packaged. Remember that many airline companies charge a supplement for surfboards, so we recommend checking beforehand.
  • If you're planning to ride big waves or surf on a beach with a rocky sea bed, it's advisable to wear a helmet.
  • If you're planning to enter in a championship or surfing competition in Spain, you need to be federated and have all the obligatory insurance in order.
  • You can go surfing on your own, but –as with any sport involving risks– we recommend you do so in a group. You'll find companies that can organise everything for you, and you'll also have a great time meeting other people and sharing your experiences.
  • In the event of an accident, you can contact the emergency service by calling 112.
  • For more information on surfing, visit the tourist offices in each area or contact the respective surfing federations. You can also visit the website of the Spanish Royal Surfing Federation.
  • We recommend you read our practical health and safety tips.

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