north shore

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the north shore:

The name is a myth. The area is cult. The analogy to the hawaiian north shore is not a hoax. The about 20km of coastline between El Cotillo and Corralejo is one of the most intense wave riding areas of Europe, if not to say the wourld. It all started in the late seventies and early eighties when the first surfers and windsurfers ventured to Fuerteventura. From them the word of the fantastic wavesailing and surfing conditions on the north coast of the island spread and Fuerteventura was soon dubbed as “Europe´s Hawai´i”.

Mostly english, french, german and scandinavian wave addicts came winter after winter to camp out along the north shore and to get a solid dose of waves in combination with plenty of sun and a rock solid party infrastructure. More and more of these part time islanders some time decided that it´s a waste of time getting back to their homelands and just stayed, finding ways to make a living on the island. As native surfers / windsurfers were very few at the beginning, the norsemen and women were the first to explore the now numerous spots along the north shore. Nowadays the pretty relaxed - for Canarian standarts - local surf / windsurf / kite community is formed by a mixture of hot young native Canarians, a big group of, lets say middle aged, immigrants and a growing group of the second generation immigrants, most of them allready born on the island.

80-ies style dreadlocks and long blond hair is still seen fairly often with the locals. Same with the typical winter refugee camps - tents and vans - along the coast, but the area is changing. They started to pave the dirttracks, began huge construction for holliday villages and even want to break down all of the fancy buildings in Majanicho to make room for a yachting port. The Canarian desease of destroying pristine ares by building way too big tourist resorts has reached the north shore too. Hopefully the breaks will remain unharmed but the new infrastructure will definitely lead to bigger crowds and water quality might get bad.

Up to now winter life of the wave searching folks still concentrates on the infamous tracks and pistes between EL Cotillo and Corralejo. This stretch of coast faces north / northwest and recieves a very solid dose of swell from October through March. Winds from different directions make up for perfect surfing and, less frequently, wourld class wavesailing and kiteboarding. Summer sees little waves and light tradewinds.

surfing: an abundance of reefs offers a variety of breaks for surfers with a skill level from advanced beginners to experts. The most frequented among them are: Cotillo (sometimes good for beginners), Spew Pits (heavy!), La Derecha de Los Alemanes (suitable for advanced beginners and intermediates), La Izquierda, La Derecha, Majanicho, Mejillones, Suicidios (aptly to it´s name for experts only) and Bristol. Be aware that most of the waves break over shallow lava reef and swells can get big and powerfull so that You need some experienca and skill to surf this area. Best wind directions are south to east.

windsurfing: wavesailing territory only. Winds from the north to northeast combined with solid waves make up for some perfect wavesailing in winter. Places to go are Cotillo, Majanicho.

kiteboarding: in winter nothing for beginnners due to solid waves and tricky entrances to the sea. Best bet is Majanicho with it´s large inside bay.

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