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Surfski en Gran Canaria en invierno

Surfski vacations in Gran Canaria

7 reasons to come surfskiing in winter

Not to make you jealous, but I am writing this when it’s Wednesday, January 17 at 5:30pm and the thermometer shows 25 degrees. When we see pictures on Instagram of clubs and paddlers from the peninsula or other parts of Europe training in winter, we always think the same thing: how lucky we are to enjoy surfskiing all year long without suffering the cold!

And, while the rest of the continent wears a hat, gloves, and a coat to go out, in Gran Canaria we wear a sweaterpulover in the Canary Islands in the mornings and at night because it cools down a bit.

This is one of the reasons why many athletes and teams of different sports choose Gran Canaria as a destination to train in winter. If you practice surfski and want to use your free days to improve your technique and enjoy spring during winter, you can do it too and here are some reasons to encourage you:

Pat de Vaikobi de visita en España en Livingsea

1. The weather

Forget your drysuit, booties and mittens for the shovel: you do not need them here.

And we are not the ones saying it, the thermometer rarely drops below 16 degrees in winter in the capital, if you climb to the summit you might need an extra jacket. So says the Instituto Nacional de Meteorología, who establishes an average of 18 degrees in the months of January and February.

For training in the “colder” months, I usually wear Vaikobi’s VCOLD long sleeved tights and Funky Pant cycling shorts. When we go downwind, I do like to wear a longer cycling short to protect my legs from splashes.

2. The sea and the wind

Another aspect that makes Gran Canaria a paradise for surfski is the sea temperature. In the months of January and February it is usually around 20 degrees so you won’t freeze when you dip your toes in the sea.

The Canarie Islands are blessed by the trade winds. They are responsible, along with the influence of the Azores anticyclone, for maintaining a pleasant temperature throughout the year. These are regular and stable winds but they accelerate at some points when they come in contact with the coast. In our Island there are areas such as Pozo Izquierdo, globally known for windsurfing, which records extreme winds.

Summer months are the windiest. July and August can become too strong for paddlers that are not very experienced, so if you are thinking of visiting us, we recommend you coming from October to May. During these months, we usually have constant winds ranging from 8 to 22 knots, depending on the area.

3. The downwinds

In Gran Canaria, we have downwind surfski routes for all levels. At Livingsea we have designed 13 routes, and we classify them according to the skill level of the paddlers who visit us.

Downwind de surfski en Gran Canaria

Easy surfski routes

These are routes for canoeists who train daily in surfski but do not usually have the opportunity to paddle with waves and wind. And also, for those who only train with these conditions once a week.

In these downwinds we always go close to the shore, less than a mile. Throughout the entire route, there are areas with easy evacuation as we pass by many beaches with easy access from the sea. The waves along this route are short, with less influence from the swell. The wind is usually steady with gusts.

Intermediate surfski routes

We reserve these downwinds for paddlers who train daily in wave and wind areas. Along the route, there are points where paddling is more than a mile from the coast, with the rebound zones and cliff areas up to 2km that cannot be evacuated.

The conditions on these routes are more influenced by swell, with waves that can exceed one and a half meters.

Difficult surfski routes

They are routes with a high degree of risk, so they are exclusive to trained paddlers who are experienced in downwind.

It takes place in areas where evacuation is not possible, we cross areas with rebound for 2 kilometers, there are reefs with shallow waters with 2-meter-high waves and strong wind conditions. The height and strength of the waves can be impressive even for the most experienced paddlers.

Also, both at the starting point and at the finish, there may be breaking waves on the shore.

4. The nature

One of the advantages of coming to Gran Canaria in winter is that you will be able to see the island at its best. Thanks to the trade winds, the island has several microclimates, which change the landscape in just one bend in the road.

Our favorite spots are:

Los Tilos de Moya

One of the last areas of Laurisilva forest on the island. Paths through forests that look like something out of a fairy tale, with luxuriant vegetation if you come in winter.

Natural Park of Tamadaba

More than 7000 hectares, from the coast to the summit, of Canary pine forests, cliffs and almost inaccessible wild coasts. Tamadaba is one of the last spots of Gran Canaria that has not been altered by humans.

Rural Park of Nublo

The largest natural area of the island. Here you will find the most characteristic symbol: the Roque Nublo, a volcanic rock over eighty meters high, one of the tallest in the world. A good way to stretch your legs after your downwind is to take a short walk to the base of the Roque and admire the wonderful views from there.

Dunes of Maspalomas

Over 400 hectares of desert and oasis, including a lagoon. A good plan is to cross the dunes and take a swim in the paradisiacal beach. However, we ask you to fully respect the area and only walk through designated areas marked out for it, respect the plants and animals and do not use stones or other elements to make structures that alter the landscape (the typical stones monoliths).

If in addition to surfski, you enjoy cycling (like us) we recommend that you do not miss the chance and rent one from our neighbors at Free Motion. If you want a simple road route, you can do San Felipe-Guía-San Felipe (30 km) or Maspalomas-Ayaguares (30 km) returning through Monteleón. If you want to explore the natural beauty of the island by bike, you can take one of their MTB Tours.

5. OUr towns

Beyond the ravines, impressive cliffs, volcanoes and a bit overcrowded tourist area, in Gran Canaria there are coastal towns and cities worth visiting.

We suggest some charming villages to add to your route when you come to surfski in Gran Canaria:


Included among the ‘Most beautiful villages in Spain’. This village nestled among mountains is on your way up to Roque Nublo. From its viewpoints you can spot both the Nublo and other famous rocks of the island. If you come in February, you will experience the maximum expression of its traditions: the Almond Blossom Festivities.


The highest town in Gran Canaria and that gives place to the lush pine forest of Tamadaba. Also known for its Cave Houses, Artenara is the least populated urban center on the island. Do not leave there without going for a drink at La Cilla Restaurant, the entrance will leave you amazed.


A seaside town in the north of the island that keeps traditional fishing alive. Do not let its stony beach stop you from taking a swim, its clean and fresh waters will make you feel great before going to eat fresh seafood. If you prefer, you can dive into its natural pools.

Santa Lucía de Tirajana

Before arriving at this village, you will find a mystical place: La Fortaleza de Ansite, one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Canary Islands. La Fortaleza was the last resistance of the aborigines to the Castilian invasion in the 15th century, taking refuge in natural caves and others artificially carved in a steep cliff.

6. The gastronomy

After spending the day training and on the route, there is nothing better than enjoying the delicious Canarian cuisine. Generally, it is easy to find good places to eat, but here are some options that the Livingsea team enjoys:

Restaurant Gazuza

Close to our place, a good option if you finish your training and want to eat something tasty without going too far. A family restaurant where Isa and Jonay will make you feel at home.

Allende Muelle Deportivo

Also, very close to Las Alcaravaneras beach, the Allende is a safe bet. Mediterranean food with local ingredients.

Mao Mao Beach Las Burras

A beach bar with very affordable prices considering that it is located right on the beach. The food is delicious, and the mojitos… even more!

Restaurant Tabaiba

If you want to treat yourself, this Michelin Starred restaurant is the most ideal place. Zero-kilometer cuisine, avant-garde and transgressive cuisine.


We could not fail to recommend our favorite dessert place. Led by Ana María Ojeda, former paddler of the Club Amigos del Piragüismo and coach of our adult groups in the Aula de Piragüismo. Ana reflects her art in everything she does. Organic products for healthy snacks, with textures and flavors you would have never imagined.

7. Because we are closer than it seems

Our little paradise is about five hours from Northern Europe. Gran Canaria Airport is connected to most European countries through direct flights: Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Poland… You can see the complete list of destinations and airlines here.

For accommodation, we recommend you staying in hotels in the capital. They are cheaper than accommodations in the south of the island and you will be closer to our facilities. Some options are Silken Saaj Las Palmas (right in front of our beach), Veintiuno Hotel (small boutique hotel in the oldest part of the city) or 1478 Suites (also in the historic district).

Gran Canaria Surfski Training Week

I suppose after coming this far, you must be looking forward to surfski training in Gran Canaria. That is why Sara and I have created a 4-day Personalized Training Program to improve your performance on the canoe, your paddling technique and your safety while catching waves. We provide you with all the necessary equipment and logistics to ensure you enjoy the experience to the fullest. Here you can see the detailed schedule of sessions, and everything included in the Surfski Training Program.

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