Canary Islands

Where self-flaggelation meets sharp lava

Jonathan Gonzalez. Photo: Jesus Carceller

Ever had the feeling that your luck, or what was left of it, has finally run out?

I had that feeling as I lay in a tent on a Lanzarote beach bleeding, exhausted and humiliated… while furiously stroking my penis.

It was safe to say it had a been a month of swinging fortunes. I’d had many a first light solo sessions at the Slab featuring six foot powerful perfection.

I’d enjoyed the cleanups and the wally rights on some big, wobbly days at Morro Negro. And I’d been surrounded at El Quemao by long haired boogie boarders who had repeatedly kicked me in the face in a furious flurry of flippers, before sending me in.

(Want to book a surf trip to the Canaries? Do it here)

Surf Consistency: 8 Wave Variety: 7
Climate: 8 Budget: 7 Radness: 6

I’d camped for a month, surviving on a diet of bocadillos and Mahou beer. I’d snapped a few boards, made a few friends and more than couple of local enemies, and wanked myself as hard as any 22-year-old full blooded male staying on his own in a tent with no female company, three porn mags and a beer fuelled imagination could do.

The quality of the waves though had seen the credits outweigh the debits, but I knew it was probably time to cut my losses and move on. I still had a few boards, most of my belongings and a half dozen rolls of film featuring very good waves that I could bullshit to my mates if, and when, I made it home.

So anyway there I was with a few days left in me. I decided to pitch my tent down on the sand just in front of the rocks at La Santa and spend the last few days just surfing the left out the front. I pegged down the cheap dome tent and returned to the car. With the wind howling (as per fucking usual) I figured I might need a bit more weight and some extra rope. As I shut the boot and turned around, I was just in time to see my tent unpeg itself and start rolling towards the ocean. I immediately sprinted after it and for a hundred metres or so came within fingertip touching distance, before the rolling dome would race ahead tantalisingly out of reach. In a matter of seconds it would hit the volcanic boulders that line the point and I knew then that the race would be over and my tent would soon be resting on the bottom of the ocean.

I decided that I my only chance was to dive for it. My heroic lunge did in fact capture the escapee tent, but I also had the scars to prove it. I had the effects of what effectively was running as fast as you can before jumping headfirst onto 10,000 year old lava. My shins were ripped, my knee was fucked, both elbows and forehead bleeding.

My physical pain was also the least of my concerns. I could hear the laughing and shrieking of the dozen guys in the line-up who had just witnessed their own personal live funniest home video moment. I hauled my partially sodden tent back to its place, re-pegged it and climbed inside to lick my wounds, both internal, and external.

All there was to do was make a sandwich, sip a warm Mahou… and furiously punish myself in a way that I alone could.


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