Chasing the wind, on a budget – Tenerife summer 2013
Monica Korsager and I started planning a windsurfing trip to Tenerife for the summer, but being students, money is a problem. We both wanted to spend our holiday windsurfing together, but could we afford it? Either we had to shorten down the trip and work for longer at home in Denmark, or live really, really cheap – we chose the last option! Tenerife was our first choice as we both love the consistent summer windsurfing conditions, we knew other people who would be there and the PWA wave competition would be taking place in early August.
As we decided to go for the cheapest possible option, we bought a plane ticket and a tent. Unfortunately buying the ticket last minute made it quite a bit more expensive to get there. When living in Århus buying a Ryanair ticket from Billund Airport is always the cheapest option, unless you can find a cancelled flight on the Internet.
View of El Medano bay, Harbour wall and Cabezo
I arrived In Tenerife on 5th July, and luckily Monica found a place we could crash for the first week. There was no wind that first week so it was really nice to have a place to stay, especially as no wind in the summer normally means ‘Calima’ (hot and sandy air from the Sahara desert!). We had decided to try and live healthy at the same time as cheap, which we managed really well for the first week with all the convenience of living in an apartment with a kitchen! With the lack of wind we spent loads of time relaxing, working on our suntans and talking about what moves we were going to try and learn this summer. To be ready for the windsurfing we stayed fit by swimming every morning in the clean, clear and warm water of El Medano bay.
Swimming in Medano bay
When Christopher Friis, came back from the PWA comp in Pozo we handed back the apartment and started our camping days. I had brought a festival tent from home and we borrowed some mattresses and sleeping bags from a local friend. Another friend had a piece of land which he hadn’t built on yet, so we were allowed to camp there. The place even had a nice view of the sailing spots, a half pipe, an old rusty van and a wall all around it PERFECT!! The wall made it a safe place to be and we did not have to worry too much about our stuff getting stolen. The van worked well as a wardrobe (every girls dream to have a big walk-in wardrobe!). We used the van as a windbreak and to tie our tent down, so it would not fly away in the wind. The skate pipe was perfect to dry our bikinis and towels on There were none of the amenities we are used to, no kitchen, Internet or bathroom! Showers? Hmm it’s not too necessary when you’re in the water every day. When we weren’t in the water we had a shower on the beach. Unfortunately it was in front of the Chiringuito (beach bar), but hopefully we made a nice view!
Our camp site and the view towards Cabezo
We managed to keep our food cheap, but healthy was a bit hard without a fridge or cooker. Breakfast and lunch was bread with cheese and avocado, which luckily happened to be my favourite food! I enjoyed it everyday when I was there, but haven’t had it since!! Dinner was either the same or we would treat ourselves to a cheap meal in one of the many restaurants/cafés in El Medano.
We were having a great time in El Medano, especially as the wind had come back!! Our windsurfing gear was stored just behind Cabezo beach, only a few minutes walk from our camp. We would spend all day at the beach, sailing a couple of sessions a day and get motivated watching all the pros training.
A fun day on my 4,3 S1, photo by Bartek Jankowski
I felt confident in my level of windsurfing and thanks to the cheap living I was able to afford the entrance fee to my first PWA event – Womens waves in Tenerife! A record 20 girls entered the comp. Getting the opportunity to sail with and compete against other girls was an experience I wouldn’t have missed!
Action picture from the PWA competition, photo by J. Piña
Windsurfing in Tenerife is amazing to me as I get to sail comfortably on my favourite size sails, Severne S1 4,3 and 3,6, and with mainly head high waves. These are the conditions I love and I’m able to improve my skills the most. The standard on the water at Cabezo is really high, with sailors such as Dany Bruch, Adam Lewis and Alex Mussolini, choosing to train and live there. There are always friendly people on the water to sail with and push your limits against.
El Medano is a small town on the southeast side of the Island, only 10 minutes taxi ride from the south airport. If you bring your own equipment you can get board storage in South Bay or Cabezo at cheap rates. From the Bay or Cabezo it’s easy to sail to all the spots in El Medano, which work at different tides.
This is not a travel article, but an article trying to show that even if you have limited money, if you’re prepared to live without some of the comforts of home, it is possible to pursue your dream of windsurfing in warm and windy locations. Travelling on a tight budget always gives a lot more surprises and funny experiences, which makes it an even more unforgettable trip!
See you on the water!!
Sara Sommer, D-107, supported by Severne Sails