Surfing in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in March: What to Expect

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, located in the beautiful Canary Islands, is a renowned destination for surfers from around the world. With its stunning coastline, consistent waves, and vibrant surf culture, it’s no wonder that many enthusiasts flock to this region. However, when it comes to surfing in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria during March, there are some considerations to keep in mind, particularly regarding the sea temperature and the need for wetsuits. In this blog post, we’ll explore the sea conditions during this time of year and gather insights from local surfers to provide you with a comprehensive overview.

Sea Temperature in March

The sea temperature in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria during March can vary, influenced by factors such as air temperature, wind patterns, and ocean currents. While the weather might be warm and pleasant on land, the water can still be relatively cool, requiring the use of wetsuits for extended periods in the sea. To gain a better understanding, let’s dive into the perspectives shared by local community members and surfers.

Insights from the locals

Nelleke (not a surfer herself), points out that she hasn’t witnessed surfers without wetsuits in this region. This suggests that wearing a wetsuit is a common practice throughout the year, even in March.

I don’t remember seeing people surf here without a wetsuit, ever. I don’t surf though, so I’m sure others can be more specific about water temperature etc.
Nelleke | 01-03-2023

David, a local surfer, confirms the need for a wetsuit during March. He recommends a 3/2mm wetsuit, which provides the necessary insulation for spending extended periods in the water. However, he also mentions that during the summer, on warmer days, it might be possible to surf without a wetsuit.

Right now, you definitely want to use a wetsuit when staying in the water for a longer time. Most people use a 3/2mm wetsuit for surfing. In the Summer you might be able to surf without a wetsuit on warm days.
David | 01-03-2023

Samuli emphasizes that the water temperature ranges from around 19-23 degrees Celsius during March, which is relatively cool. He suggests wearing at least a Bermuda suit, indicating that additional protection is essential for optimal comfort in the water.

The water temperature is around 19-23 years around. It is now at the coldest, so at least a bermuda suit is really recommendable.
Samuli | 01-03-2023

John, an experienced surfer familiar with the local conditions, highlights the suitability of Las Canteras beach for swimming at any time, depending on an individual’s tolerance. However, for longer surf sessions, such as learning to surf, he advises wearing at least a shortie wetsuit.

It’s totally fine for a swim anytime, depends on your tolerance. For longer spells in the water, such as surfing, you’ll want at least a shortie.
John | 01-03-2023

The Ekman Drift Phenomenon

John adds an interesting piece of information related to the northeasterly trade winds prevalent in the Canary Islands. These winds cause a phenomenon called Ekman drift, resulting in the water being pulled away from the Moroccan coast. As a consequence, the water is replenished from deeper levels, a process known as upwelling. The upwelled water is colder, requiring the use of wetsuits and often influencing surfers’ decisions to remain on the beach.

The northeasterly trade winds we get in the Canary Islands lead to a phenomenon called Ekman drift, which basically pulls water away from the Moroccan coast. With no water to replace it from elsewhere, the water is replaced from below – called upwelling. Deep water is cold, and when pulled to the surface like this, makes us need wetsuits and usually makes me stay on the beach.
John | 01-03-2023


When considering a surfing trip to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in March, it is important to be aware of the sea temperature and the need for wetsuits. While the air temperature might be warm, the water can still be relatively cool, necessitating the use of appropriate gear for optimal comfort and safety. Local surfers recommend wearing wetsuits, with a 3/2mm thickness being a popular choice. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or someone eager to learn, being prepared with the right equipment will enhance your surfing experience in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. So, pack your wetsuit and get ready to ride the waves in this surfers’ paradise!

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