Bucket List #68 – Learning to Surf | El Medano, Tenerife

Growing up far from the ocean in landlocked Minnesota, I can recall feeling deep sentiments of jealousy whenever I saw surfers in movies or t.v. shows. The way that they make riding massive waves on a colorful board look so incredibly easy, as if the board is a mere extension of their body and the wave a predictable force.


This summer I tried surfing for the first time ever at El Medano beach in Tenerife. El Medano is a well-known surfing beach famous for having great waves and wind for water sports.

It was not easy, and I won’t lie, I haven’t been able to stand on the board for more than a few seconds before toppling over into the waves, but getting my feet wet (pun intended) in the sport of surfing has been an incredible experience and inspiration to me to live near the ocean in future years to continue to improve.


There are plenty of surf and watersport vendors in El Medano. The organization I work for, the Atlantic Whale Foundation, has a partnership with Red Rock Surf Academy for reasonable prices on board rentals and private lessons.

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Surfing is an incredible sport because of the way it connects the surfer with the ocean and is an exercise in physical and mental strength.

Waiting for the right wave teaches patience.

Paddling in and out tones the upper body, maintaining balance works the core.

Keeping a good attitude and trying again and again despite falling wave after wave teaches mental endurance.

Surfing is a great way to exercise and spend an afternoon in the ocean. I would highly recommend a visit to El Medano to anyone looking to take a lesson or rent a board, as the waves are consistently good and the little town is very charming. Be aware that the wind and waves can be quite strong here, and come prepared to swim hard.

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