Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Open ocean, deep water, fairly tidal venue that can swing from flat calm with zero swell or wind to gale force Trade Winds (cross offshore) with thumping swell. Depending on swell angle and wave size will dictate just how big the surf is and whether it wraps in to the inside section of the bay.
Costa Teguise is made up of Las Cahcaras and Los Charcos beaches with various sea defence breakwaters in place to stem coastal erosion. Reefy bottoms, in places, mixed with sand patches make it a real mix in terms of how the water state canbe on any given set of weather conditions. Tidal movement isn’t significant but currents can be strong if there’s a lot of water movement and windy gusts can be severe.
That all said the Las Cacharas end of the beach is mostly safe and accessible for any stand up paddler with open water experience. The sand beach is also great for families – especially those with young children.
As above conditions can vary day to day depending on low pressure systems out in the Atlantic and how the Trade Winds are operating. Mostly you experience wind driven swell up to 2m breaking on the upwind/offshore reef where the windsurfers congregate. Breeze strengths often hover around the 20 knot mark so fairly brisk. But close in offers shelter (especially on the downwind side of the long stone breakwater).
Winter sees calmer conditions for breeze with summer often being relentless for wind. Bigger swell occurs in the off season with less chance of big pulses wrapping round the island during silly months. If the surf’s solid enough the inshore reef that sits on the north side of the breakwater serves up a fast, sucky wave. Whilst the bottom is rocky it’s a doable reef for most experienced paddlers although care should still be taken.
Paddlers should steer clear of moored boats and the southern promenade as tangles could occur. There’s also quite a lot of backwash as water rebounds off the wall. Fishing boats do chug in and out as well so keeping clear is a good move.
If it’s particularly calm there’s no issue heading off out and left towards the offshore reef and continuing to Los Charcos. You may also get lucky and find a rideable wave here. Although be wary of kit breakages as it’s still quite a swim should things go awry.
One potential is to drive round to the north of Los Charcos and put in here. If it’s blowy the downwinder back into the bay, or further round to the next – riding pumping swell as you go – can be awesome fun. Just know your get outs and don’t take on anything too extreme.
Underwater reef in places can be an issue. Lanzarote as a whole is mostly lava rocks that can be very sharp. Costa Teguise does have extensive sand though so those paddlers uncomfortable with reef will have plenty of opportunity for paddling above the golden stuff.
Offshore winds – sometimes extremely strong (even if it doesn’t appear so from shore) are set to blow unwary SUPers out to sea. Next stop: Africa! Pulsing, powerful surf can also be a thing at certain times of year. There’s still plenty of flat water but it’s worth noting where waves are breaking if there’s surf in the mix.
Other water users, such as windsurfers, foilers and boat traffic needs to headed. Costa Teguise is a haven for windsports on the island with many heading here because of the numerous hire/tuition centres onshore.
Costa Teguise is super accessible with parking behind the beach. It’s then just a short walk to the beach along well kept, cared for pathways. This is a holiday resort after all so tourists are extremely catered for.
Costa Teguise isn’t as busy as some spots but it’s up there. Thronging numbers of windsurfers when it’s blowy, plus general beach goers make it so. Cooler, winter weather tends to put many off so you may score it quieter during off season months. 8 during summer dropping to around 5 in winter.
Lots of restaurants, bars and cafes dot the shoreline in Costa Teguise. You then find even more back into the streets. Plus, shops and accommodation to suit all tastes. It’s not quite as sprawling as some spots but it’s certainly a generally busy place none the less. That said, if you head out of Costa Teguise within five minutes you’ll have hit upon the mars like landscape that Lanzarote’s famous for.
Lanzarote’s Costa Teguise (encompassing Las Cacharas and Los Charcos) is a watersports paradise. Firmly on the map as a windsurf spot world cup tour events have been held here along with numerous other domestic comps. It’s now a centre of excellence for wing foiling with abundant stand up paddlers making the most of calmer days. If you aspire to the waterman or woman ethic then Costa Teguise is a good place to be.
Las Cacharas is the family friendly spot with a golden sandy beach, perfect for sandcastle building and general beaching. On the water you find an expanse of flat water on the southern side of the breakwater. You may find a bit of shore dump when there’s swell running but it’s easy to navigate for any paddler with experience.
On the upwind, norther side is a mellow surf reef. If the swell’s wrapping in it can get quite busy with surfers and SUPers. Rides are on the shorter side and in comparison to Lanzarote’s many world class surf spots elsewhere on the island it pales into insignificance. Yet it can scratch an itch for the keen SUP surfer and won’t break you or your gear!
Further out you’ll find the offshore reef where wind heads focus for all manner of jumping and wave riding fun. Winter can see solid ground swell waves breaking here without breeze but it’s a gamble should things go wrong as you’re quite a way out. Experienced paddlers only.
Further up towards Los Charcos a tidal lagoon can give shelter and solace from choppy water and wind. As the tide recedes, however, the lagoon’s mouth can become super shallow with a reefy bottom. A wave can sometimes break here at mid tide which is actually quite powerful. If you need to make the journey back downwind then give yourself enough time. Otherwise you’ll be walking back with kit.
The numerous watersports centres in Costa Teguise all offer stand up paddle boarding hire and tuition – among other disciplines. If you fancy exploring the rest of Lanza’s SUP potential then you’ll need to have brought your own gear. Famara Beach on the northern side serves up some whomping surf on its day, although is a beach break. That mightn’t mean anything when the swell’s thumping through double overhead though!
Plenty of other points, A-frame set ups and waves exist. All you need to do is drive along any of the coastal rides to see these breaking and what you could be getting into. Just be aware Lanzarote isn’t called the ‘Hawaii of Europe’ for nothing. Swell pulsing in from deep open ocean water, with no blocking obstacles, has serious power. Even smaller days at some venues will swat you. Then there’s the shallow breaking nature of these waves that often unload on shallow, jagged lava reef. Suffice to say you need a high level of experience to do battle with many of these breaks.
Lanzarote can be a haven for those paddlers wanting to escape cold winter UK months. With a warm climate all year round it’s a tried and tested venue that most watersports peeps will find favour with – whether you SUP, windsurf, foil, surf or a combo of all the mentioned.
For more domestic inspired travel related goodness check out our UK bitesize SUP guide here –