Surfing the Med, Spain

Cala Major Beach Mallorca
Cala Major Beach, Mallorca

Shortly after arriving in Mallorca, and despite feeling (and looking) a little rough after our four day passage from Sardinia, we duly fronted up at the marina office with our passports and paperwork. We hadn’t been tested for Corona within the 72 hours prior to our arrival (as stipulated by Spanish regulations), but thankfully were still permitted to enter the country. Our luck was holding.

The next day, after a much needed sleep, I was keen to get out and have a look around. Leaving the marina I wandered off towards the centre of Palma (Mallorca’s capital city), and hadn’t gone far before a bloke wearing a wetsuit with a surfboard under his arm appeared from a side lane. Surfing the Med? I was a bit surprised, as the Mediterranean isn’t known for surfing. Being a relatively small water body, there isn’t sufficient ‘fetch’ (ie area across which consistent winds blow) for large swells to form. Curious, I turned down the lane and descended a series of steps until I popped out on Cala Major Beach.

Surfing the Med Mallorca
Packed lineup

Sure enough there were surfers in the water! It had been really windy the previous week, and the Med was serving up some local waves. Being Saturday morning, everyone was out grabbing the rare opportunity to have a surf. Watching from the beach, it reminded me of Australian east coast conditions in the summertime: not much size, plenty of wind and super crowded.

Surfing the Med Mallorca
Although many of those out surfing the Med had not mastered the basics, they were quite competent at dropping in

Most of the crew were beginners, and credit to them because it looked like a pretty tough place to learn to surf. There were plenty of rocks about, cross-currents in the water, a steep shorebreak, and most of the waves were closing out. These conditions would make learning difficult enough, without adding the fact that surfable days are few so you can’t get any consistent practice.

Amongst the learners there were also some more advanced surfers showing some skill, like this bloke…

Surfing the Med Mallorca

…and this bloke…

Surfing the Med Mallorca

…but not so much this bloke…


…or this bloke…


A couple of larger waves came through every so often, and although most were closing out across the beach, some afforded a short rideable section.

Surfing the Med Mallorca

What the surfers lacked in skill they more than made up for in enthusiasm, especially considering the conditions and crowds they had to contend with. Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater once said ‘The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun’. The Cala Major Beach locals were definitely making the most of their chance to surf the Med on a sunny Saturday, and no doubt many went home after getting their best wave ever.

Surfing the Med Mallorca

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2 responses to “Surfing the Med, Spain”

  1. Kat Avatar

    So are you gonna hire a board & paddle out whilst your there ?

    1. Jim Clayton Avatar
      Jim Clayton

      As the wind is against us for another week it looks like I’d have time for a surf…but sadly there is no hire business here presumably because the waves only turn up rarely… So I’ll have to wait until I visit Spain’s Atlantic coast…

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