8 July, 2014 8 July, 2014

Clubbed in the Canaries – By Brenton Heron

After getting on the wrong side of some gnarly locals, an Ozzie, a Canadian, and a Saffa head out for a night on the town in Tenerife. Check out Brenton Heron’s entry into our Write to Surf competition, which has some great prizes up for grabs (see below for details).


CLUBBED IN THE CANARIES – by: Brenton Heron.


Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands.
Partners in Crime: An Ozzie, A Canadian and a Saffa (me).

To get a little sun and take some time out from the wintery London conditions, it was decided that we should go to the Canary Islands during the Christmas construction break. So the Ozzie, Canadian and Saffa board a plane for Tenerife with surfboards. On arrival, we booked into our hotel at Playa de las Américas and charged off to the beach to get a surf in.

Some head-high lefts were coming through on occasion and the Ozzie paddled out at the top of the point, sitting on the inside of the locals. Having a little more sense (from experience in J-Bay) I paddled out from the bottom. Paddling up the point towards the take-off zone, a head-high wave came along and Ozzie was on the inside, paddling with all the fury and determination from not seeing waves for yonks. Unfortunately, in his tunnel vision he didn’t see the local paddling for the same wave.


In typical surfing rules Ozzie had the right of way, but with ‘Locals Only’ sprayed on the walls in dripping red, this wasn’t a typical scenario. They both missed the wave, paddling over each other. The local dude then let rip in a tirade of Spanish. The only real words I could make out were: “puta, madre, conjo, merda” and more clearly, “tourista fuck-off.”

As the tirade slowed down, I heard Ozzie’s big come back: “BUT I’M FROM AUSTRALIA”. I guess that diffuses a few issues in London, but here in the Canaries it was like the atom bomb had been dropped and the tirade mushroomed. Luckily no fists came out and I was able to convince Ozzie that retreat was the best outcome. On dry land he was carrying on about the injustices of the world and shaking his fist towards the ocean. That was until I pointed out the ‘locals only’ sign and the fact that we would have to go through a very narrow passageway to get back to our hotel. I convinced him that a beer o’ clock would be a much better call and he could use his charm to woo the local ladies and get some Ozzie justice on the surfer boys. His sneaky, cheeky smile returned!


Beer o’ clock started early around the hotel swimming pool with some trusty pints. A few of the hotel guests joined us. They seemed mostly Eastern European and little English was being spoken. But hey, beer breaks down most language barriers. We didn’t overcook the beer session to avoid losing steam, peaking too early and not completing the night time babe wooing mission. A large dinner after sunset, a shower, and a quick shooter left us primed and ready for “THE STRIP.”

Walking down towards the strip there were heaps of English-style pubs advertising Premiership football, cheap pints and roasts. Business couldn’t have been great, because outside each pub there was a hot babe (not local) trying to lure us in with the use of alcoholic specials. We succumbed and tried the five beers in a bucket for the price of three. Being three of us, the maths did not work out and we had to buy one extra.


Moving onto the next fine drinking establishment, we were presented with the same deal and whined with puppy-dog eyes to have it proportionately adjusted. They offered the same price, but with six beers in the bucket. Onward even deeper into the strip, puppy dog eyes and all, we started the negotiations with: “we just got six beers for the price of three at so and so.” To our surprise, not only did they see our proposal, but they raised it by three free shooters.

No way. What a place, where you get to bargain for beer. Brilliant! The skills gained bargaining in Bali for shirts and sunglasses were finally paying off and the game was on to see where we could negotiate the best drinking deal. Our maybe not-so-funny one liner was: “An Ozzie, Canadian and Saffa walk into a club and the Ozzie says…”

Along the journey there was also a bit of dancing, socialising with fellow tourists, and loads of bartering. Hey, not only were they getting our money but also our charming personalities. However, the mission was still finding out where the locals partied because we had not quite forgotten the morning’s surf, and obviously we were feeling very proud of our efforts so far. We eventually made it to the nightclub with only one casualty, the Canadian had gone M.I.A somewhere along the strip. The queue to get in was long, but that meant we were in the right place. While standing in the queue I heard it before I saw it (well didn’t really see it), the mushroom cloud erupting with a familiar “TOURISTA FUCK-OFF”.  I slunk off in stealth mode, leaving Ozzie to reap what he had sowed.


I cashed in on a beer on the way back towards the hotel, but it did not taste the same. While contemplating my self-preservation manoeuvre on a low level wall outside a shop, along came Ozzie. My spirits instantly lifted. He wasn’t battered, and was wearing his smug grin tuning: “Oi bru, what a sheet night! How about one for the road.”

He returned from the shop with two beers, probably the most expensive of the night, but without an opener. No worries though, he opened the first beer using the burglar bars of the shop and gave it to me. Opening the next beer did not go according to plan and the bottleneck snapped off. In disgust and driven on impulse from the disappointment, he threw it to the ground where it kind of (ok did) smash into little pieces with the golden liquid heading off towards the drain. It was at that moment I got thwacked by a baton from behind. While my brain was trying to process what the heck that was, Ozzie was standing up to the Policia saying it was his fault.  Actually his words were “He did not do it, hit me!”

What are mates for?


• Travelling with an Ozzie and Canadian.
• Local surfing scene, driving us to the golden liquid in the first place.
• Lack of tourists at Christmas, resulting in a good beer consumer market.
• Twist-off beers need to be “clearly” marked.

Click here to check out all the entries so far >>


Send your stories to calvin@zigzag.co.za. One submission will be selected every six weeks to appear in Zigzag magazine. The selected submission will also receive a hamper from Billabong. Zigzag retains the right to use any work submitted for the Zag Surf Journo competition on zigzag.co.za as outlined in the rules and terms of the competition. Zigzag reserves the right not to award a published winner in the magazine every six weeks, depending on the quality of entries. Zigzag is not obligated to run any and all entries submitted, either online or in print. Zigzag retains the right to edit all work submitted for brevity and / or clarity.

For the next three issues the Billabong prize hamper includes: 1 x Billabong Wetsuit; 1 x Billabong Boardies; 1 x Billabong Cap; 1 x Von Zipper Sunnies; 1 x Set of Kinetic Racing (KR) fins. After which the hamper will get a shake-up with new product of equal value for the following three issues.



  1. Lynn Jane
    8 July, 2014 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    You have just got to respect the locals and it’s all good. For almost a decade in Las Americas, Tenerife, I have lived, surfed, competed in surf and taught surfing without a single incident. Get some local knowledge first (Visit my surf shop) and show respect. Locals always have the priority at one or two spots, after all it is their home, if you don’t like that, no problem, surf another spot a hundred meters down the beach 😉

  2. Dougal
    8 July, 2014 at 6:36 pm · Reply

    The locals at Spanish lefts in Tenerife are hectic …they are nuts and like to make sure you know about it!

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