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Behind the Scenes: Cluster Ryan Callinan on the Canary Islands

Ryan Callinan what youth surfing cluster

Ryan Callinan spent the majority of his year compiling clips for Kai’s next film Cluster. And during one of the first trips for it, the boys went to The Canary Islands: a place known for slabs and boogie boarding — which we’ve come to realize can mean absolute ramps. Our trip ended up with offshore winds most of the time (which actually isn’t a good thing when you’re hunting air waves), but the boys made the most of it. We asked Ryan about the hunt.


We hunted onshore waves most of the trip. There was one or two times that locals turned up and watched and were tripping thinking, “What are these guys doing? It’s offshore around the corner!” But we knew what we were there for.


I remember driving through the tiny streets and getting lost because Nate Lawrence’s Californian Spanish lingo wasn’t as honed as he thought it was. I also remember sitting on the rocks and watching the craziest slab you have ever seen. We pretended we were out there, mind surfing unrideable death slabs. There was one night we sacrificed so hard (went out on the town to hopefully bring on good wave vibes) that we didn’t even leave the house the next day.


I think the memory that stands out the most though was our psych up sessions in the carpark, juggling the soccer ball with hardcore punk blaring from the cars and we were just so amped to surf and it wasn’t very good at all but we got so psyched it made it fun.


The landscape is very strange, really dry and a lot of mountains and cliffs around the ocean with houses built into the cliffs. It was like they would build everything so close together and cram it all in, then not put anything for ages then a shitload of thing crammed in a little area again. Then the other side of the island was just big fuck-off hotels and seemed really rich and touristy. It was a really strange contrast.


We went bowling one night, went to the casino another because Nate was stinging for a gamble, went to the rich hotel area one night, we just did fun shit and had a fun time checking out such an odd and interesting place.


The people were really friendly. I guess they don’t get many people going there to surf so they were psyched to just watch and meet us. The first surf we had half the guys went in and waited on the beach. We were tripping out thinking they were going to tell us off or break into our cars but then when we came in they just wanted some photos. They told us some spots to surf and stuff, it was a real turn around from what I expected. I liked it there, I’d love to go back. 


Apparently Chippa is the most famous person in the Canaries so lots of people wanted photos and stuff. That was epic. 


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