This Volcano Is Destroying One Of The Canary Islands Premier Surf Spots - Stab Mag

Playing (Mostly) Exclusively On Stab Premium: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown

Cumbre Vieja on the night of the eruption. Photo by Eduardo Robaina

This Volcano Is Destroying One Of The Canary Islands Premier Surf Spots

RIP Playa Los Guirres.

elsewhere // Nov 14, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For more than eight weeks, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma has been erupting, oozing molten lava and scorching everything in its path. The volcano began erupting on September 19 and now, a month later, it’s still at it. 

La Palma is a small island situated in the Canary Island archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa. It is the fifth-largest island in the chain, and host to multiple lightly-trafficked reef breaks that boast warm water and fun waves that have lured European surfers for years. 

It’s best-known spot is Los Guirres. A quality right, rock-bottomed point that is the center of the La Palma local surf scene. 

It is now covered in molten lava, as well as its two neighboring surf spots.

The Los Guirres Open ran in 2016.

The eruption has caused the evacuation of around 7,000 people, and the lava flow has covered over 990 hectares. Displaced residents will not be returning for some time. Scientists are estimating it will be at least three more months till the area is safe again. 

According to Surfline’s interview with Manu Miguelez, a local Spanish photographer:

“At the moment, surfing is totally secondary to surviving amongst the local community. Luckily, the surf community is pretty small and there are not a lot of businesses compared to other islands. Regardless, the community exists, and the eruption has taken its best wave. The future is also uncertain as the lava keeps flowing”, says Manu. 

The island is entirely coated in ash. Photo by AP.

“On the bright side, the local community is helping them and camaraderie between islanders is well known. People are staying close to each other, taking it day by day and focusing on helping the most needed. Squads are cleaning tons of ash, evacuating houses and animals.”

To support the people and the cleanup efforts on La Palma, check out the official support landing page from Cabildo de Palma.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Jack Robinson Isn’t (Really) Injured, Police Say ‘No Surfing’, A Chinese Star Emerges

Our first Tahitian dispatch, from the 2024 Olympic Games.

Jul 25, 2024

The Hog Makes His Olympic Predictions

After a night spent vigorously cross-examining athlete data, Hedgy produced these BOAG picks.

Jul 25, 2024

2024 Stab Surfer Of The Year MYC (Mid-Year Check-in)

Who's made the biggest footwell in surf culture, thus far, in the Year of the…

Jul 25, 2024

Are Bronze Medalists Really Happier Than Silver?

Owen 'Bronze God' Wright demystifies the 2024 surfing Olympics.

Jul 24, 2024

‘Desensitised’ Chronicles Kipp Caddy’s Journey To The ‘Wave Of A Lifetime’ In Mind Melting 8K 

“I think crew get a bit too beaten up on the whole tow vs paddle…

Jul 24, 2024

Long Read: How Surfing The World’s Most Dangerous Slabs Saved Kerby Brown’s Life

"There is big wave surfing, and then there is what Kerby does." - Kai Lenny

Jul 24, 2024

Who Nathan Florence Is Betting On For Olympic Gold

Become a better better with our 2023 SSOTY.

Jul 23, 2024

Kai McKenzie Attacked By Shark In Port Macquarie

The young freesurfer sustained a life-threatening injury to his right leg.

Jul 23, 2024

Op-ed: PSA From The Photog World — Know Your Fucking Limits

Nate Lawrence, Chris Bryan, Dom Mosqueira, Morgan Maassen and more chime in on the recent…

Jul 22, 2024

Unlocked: Oxbow’s Children Of Teahupo’o

10,000 miles from Paris, here's a portrait of surfing's 'Olympic Village.'

Jul 22, 2024

Dimitri Poulos Is Reinvigorated After Losing His Taurine-Caffeine Sponsor

Now the 21-year-old ‘comp guy’ from Ventura threatens a Dane-esque pivot to freesurfing.

Jul 22, 2024

Empty Set: When Is It Ok To Bail Your Board?

The Florences and Mark Healey dissect the razor-thin line between cowardice and common sense

Jul 21, 2024

A (Non) Objective Look At The Best Backside Barrel Riders In History

Who has the best pigdog in the pen?

Jul 21, 2024

The Stab Interview With Jordy Smith

"If I won a gold medal, yeah, I'd probably kick out. I'd have one up…

Jul 19, 2024

How Does A Board Brand Licensing Model Work?

The Lost Stub 3.0 Joyride.

Jul 18, 2024

Challenger Series Losers Win Consolation Prizes At Namibian Desert Casino

"Some crew were saying it was a 3/10, but for me, it was 10/10. The…

Jul 18, 2024

How Teahupo’o Slungshot A Surf-Mat Toting Photographer Into An Induced Coma

Byron Mcloughlin tells the tale of his secondary drowning.

Jul 18, 2024

On Making A Living As A Gen-Z Surf Photographer And Surviving Hyper-Rare Cancer

This 21-year-old protégé of Ryan Miller and Morgan Maassen is back and #opentowork.

Jul 17, 2024