Europe’s epic paddling destination
A paddling camp and adventure like no other
A paddling camp and adventure like no other
Posted in: Paddling Events / Article by: Naim Ferguson /
I like to think that every one of us has an ancestor who held a paddle on a daily basis. From the Polynesian voyagers, First Nation Americans, the River tribes of Africa and the Amazon, the Ainu of Hokaido, Dragon Paddlers of China, the Celts, Vikings, Basque, and Romans. Back in the day, if the wind wasn’t blowing, we were paddling. It makes sense, as so many of us connect with this sport.
Meet Remy Lavie, like many of us his connection with the water started at a young age. At 10 years old he started paddling Kayak, but it wasn’t until 15 years later that a friend introduced him to the Wa’a, when he began to realize new possibilities in paddle sports.
From OC1, V1, Stand Up Paddling, Prone Paddleboarding and surfing, Remy is all about gliding on the water. So much so that he up and moved to the center of it all. After paddling with his friend Sylvain and local club, Belharra Waterman in St Jean De Luz , Remy took it to the next level. Lucky for him, he speaks the language and he adapted quickly in Raiatea where he began paddling with Hinaraure’a Va’a.
“I have to say I am in love with paddling and its sensations. As it is known world wide, this is a dream place for paddlers. There are world-class paddlers where ever you go and we have paddling events every weekend. Just recently we concluded the distance IVF World Championship in Tahiti and the momentum is not about to decrease.”
“Considering the number of country’s which participated to the last IVF Worlds, I think the sport will keep growing internationally. I want to do my part to see that happen.”
Some years ago Sylvain Mercandalli from Ozone Europe sat down and studied maps and wind charts. Sylvain is a regular on Maui and knows the Maliko and Makena runs thoroughly, he decided to look for similar opportunities where the wind and coast lined up. About 800 miles from the Straight of Gibralter he found it. The perfect spot. Located in the Canary Islands, 200 miles off the coast of Mauritania, is beautiful Tenerife. On the south end of the island is the coastal town of El Medano, facing the prevailing winds with easy access points and stunning vistas. The island is a tropical destination with excellent surf and wind to satisfy any ocean sports enthusiast. In addition, everything a paddler likes to do when not paddling, friendly people, great restaurants, and fun activities.
Sylvain and his team planned their first trip in 2009 to explore the area, map out the runs and bring the first outrigger canoes to the island. Since then, they have held 5 Downwind Camps, of which Remy is now responsible.
“The volcanic island of Tenerife has really different landscapes. Some are windy, dry, while others are green and lush, similar to what you find in Hawaii. There are two principal runs. The first one is about 14 km, kind of Makapu’u run on Oahu with big water movements, multidirectional swells, powerful backwash.
It’s a very technical run, where anticipation is the key. The second one is about 12 km and can be compared to a small Kihei run on Maui. Bumps are smaller but the wind can still be quite strong. It’s a straight line run, very easy, safe, fun and enjoyable for beginners.”
“The Tenerife downwind camp has some of the best downwind runs I have ever seen. In Hawaii we see good Downwind runs, but the speed and consistency that I saw in Tenerife was superb. I am very fascinated with what I saw there, it is world class. Something we as paddlers dream of.”
“One of the best 5 days of my year was at the Tenerife DW Camp. I attended this camp having never paddled downwind before. After 5 days my confidence and skill set grew quickly. It increased so much that 3 months later I paddled downwind daily on one of the World’s best downwind runs (The Maliko Run) on Maui’s north shore. Many times on my own. I also entered the Olukai DW race and surprisingly podiumed. This is all due to the teaching and patience of Remy Lavie”
What’s the name of the airport on Ténérife, it’s far from our accommodations?
The name of the airport is Ténérife Sur (Reina Sofia), the airport is 10 minutes from your accommodations.
I want to come with my wife or family members, can I?
The camp is exclusive for paddlers.
How are the accommodations, organization, rooms, location?
The beachfront residence is spacious and modern with a swimming pool.
Can I cook my own food? Can I go to restaurants?
Yes, you can use the kitchen and there are some supermarkets near the villa. You can also enjoy some great restaurants.
I want to rent a car to discover the island, do you know the rates?
You can rent a car, medium rates are 20 euros/day. It’s better to do a reservation with a rental car agency at the airport.
At what time is the check in and check out for our accommodation?
Check in on Sunday at 11 AM and check out on Saturday before 11 AM.
I land Sunday in the morning and I want to do my first run in the afternoon, can I?
The Camp began officially on Monday morning, the Sunday afternoon run is an extra run, we will charge you 50 euros/extra Sunday run.
What are the activities hours during a day?
Breakfast at 8am, start for the first DW run at 9am, second start at 3pm.
I want to do running or hiking on the island, any options?
Yes, a good singletrack for your morning running is near your accommodation. You have also plenty of itineraries for hiking on the island.
What about the ocean conditions on Ténérife?
Ténérife island means Downwind Runs. The average wind speed is 20 knots. We propose 2 runs of 14 km each, the first one is oceanic with big water movements, the second one is smaller but still windy.
What’s the water temperature?
Water temperature is 18-degree Celsius.
I’m a beginner (OC1 or SUP), can I come to Ténérife?
We recommend an experience of open ocean paddling and you need to be able to paddle during 1h30 minimum.
More info about water safety?
We will give you a document about water safety during your inscription process.
What type of crafts do you have at the Camp?
We have canoes from the Ozone factory (Kai Wa’a Scorpius and Ares, Puakea Kahekai, Tempest and Gemini OC2 and Storm). Sup boards are DW models from the Fanatic brand.
Need to take my own paddle?
It’s better to have your own paddle since it’s a very personal item. We have a small paddles quiver if you need. Some airplane companies are charging for the paddle transport.