When’s the last time you wore make-up?
Actually not that long ago, for Carnival in February this year. Me and a bunch of pals dressed up as zombies. The make up job must have been pretty good coz nobody came near us all night hahaha!
Are you a fan of Bowie?
Not a huge fan, no. I like some music from that glam rock era, I like a bit of everything. You gotta have the right tunes for the right occasion, I guess I can’t think of too many occasions when I’d put on Aladdin Sane though…
Tell us a bit about Alex Zirke.
I was born in Germany and my parents moved to Tenerife when I was one year old for work. I’ve lived here ever since, and my life revolves around the sea. My ambition is to be a fish or at least, live a similar lifestyle.
How is everyday life in the Canary Islands? What’s an average day over there?
I like to keep an eye on all the forecasts, but the best thing is to wake up, look out the window and see how the sea is. What the swell’s doing, what the wind’s doing. There is always something to surf here, somewhere will have a wave of some kind on almost every condition possible. I love my slabby reefs but I also dig those little crappy onshore days. I always have fun.
How about the local shred folk? Angry musclebound locals or mellow hepcats?
I guess there’s a bit of everything, some spots have a bit of localism, but there are plenty of spots to chose from. Personally I just like surfing with a couple of amigos, two or three of us, sharing a quiet session away from the scene.
Does surfing pay the bills?
I work a bit in my mother’s company, but mainly just surf full time, and train. In summer I work in a surf school as well.
We’ve seen photos of you at various gnarly slabs for a while now. How many new or unknown waves are there out there?
We have found some new spots recently, but word gets out pretty quick. There’s always someone out just due to the number of surfers on the island.
What else do you do when it’s flat or howling onshore?
I love any kind of watersport, swimming mainly. When it’s flat I’ll swim, and when it’s blowing onshore, I surf.
Do you feel very German? Are you punctual, efficient? Or on more of a mellow island vibe?
I’ve been here ever since I can remember, so I feel more Canarian than German. With things to do with work I’m pretty on time and serious, but on the other hand, I do prefer to schedule afternoons…
How is the summer scene on the island? Do you go to bed early and meditate? Or drink beer with the hooligans?
Haha we kind of have it all here, from tiny lost villages with nobody on the streets, to places with non-stop party scenes – clubs, bars, and all that. Just like everyone I go out from time to time, but when the swell forecast is good I’m the first one in bed because I need my sleep.
From what you’ve witnessed, who do you think can drink more lager, Germans or Brits?
I’d say the Germans can handle their drink better while the Brits get more hammered.