Surf travel has to be one of life’s great adventures. Where to go, figuring out the breaks, bringing vs. locating the right equipment. It’s a science. Ke Nalu Paddles team rider, Jason Latham walks us through his recent sup surf trip to the Canary Islands and gives us a perspective on his travel surf etiquette, a few spots to explore and his favored Ke Nalu equipment, the Mana 82.
Surf Etiquette and Travel: Lanzarote, Canary Islands
As many people know, sup surfing good waves where there are dominant short boarders can be tough. The experience I had in Lanzarote Island in the Canaries is pretty much the same vibe you get everywhere. Standup paddle surfing is often frowned upon and some paddlers blow it for everyone by using poor etiquette, or sup surfing in crowded areas with lack of skill. All in all, I’ve found, respect is the main thing.
“It’s like the ultimate blade for the surf.”
I often got ‘the look’ at places like the big right hand point break in La Santa where standup surfers are not often seen. The look generally dissipates once they see me surf. Many of the locals, no matter where you are, will be skeptical until you prove that you can surf safely, demonstrate good etiquette, and show full respect.
Some of the tactics I generally employ for showing respect include sitting down on my board and waiting for the local guys to take first pick of the set waves.
“I’m a firm believer that if you take your opportunity as it comes, smile freely, and display over the top respect, you will usually get it back.”
Learning the ropes: La Graciosa, Canary Islands
I had the opportunity to take an excursion to the outer island of La Graciosa while I was in the Canaries and surf some pretty remote waves. The pic of us in the safari truck and the shot of me standing up with my hands up in the air looking into that big right hand slab is La Graciosa Island off the coast of Lanzarote.
“If I messed up, I would most likely end up on the rocks. He was right.”
That wave, I was warned by the local tour guide, Luis, was a very dangerous style “slab” wave and if I messed up, I would most likely end up on the rocks. He was right. I didn’t end up on the rocks, but I did see how easily it could have happened.
“I have never had another paddle that has such a small surface area and packs that amount of power without any flutter.”
Finding the zone: La Graciosa, Canary Islands
I warmed up to it by catching it on the shoulder, scoping the bottom and watching the wave as I gradually worked my way deeper towards the main peak which was pitching top to bottom. I ended up getting some incredible drainers, but I was also on a borrowed board that was way too big.
“A smaller board would have fit the super steep face much better. But I made do.”
It was such an adventure and surreal experience riding through desert and then rocking up to these amazing waves with blue water and spitting barrels. Overall, I would recommend Lanzarote or the Canary Islands to anyone! There are plenty of “user friendly” waves and spots for all skill levels.
Mana 82 by KeNalu
My Ke Nalu “Mana 82” grabbed everyone’s attention in Lanzarote. That usually happens no matter where I go. This is due to it’s small surface area blade and sleek look. I always allow people to try it out. Usually, what most people appreciate and are finding is that the smaller blade, it is so much easier on the shoulders, elbows, and body as a whole!
“The acceleration and higher cadence resulting from the smaller blade is unmatched”
The winglets on the KeNalu Mana 82 are a great design feature. I have never had another paddle that has such a small surface area and packs that amount of power without any flutter. It’s like the ultimate blade for the surf.
In addition, the acceleration and higher cadence resulting from the smaller blade is unmatched! Sneaker sets are no problem to chase down and getting those extra stokes in with ease makes the difference in making more waves, and ultimately, having more fun!
— Jason Latham