Traditional sports in the Canary Islands are a reflection of the rich culture of the archipelago together with the internationally renowned gastronomy.
Lucha canaria (Canarian wrestling)
Lucha canaria is possibly the sport that currently has more enthusiasts of all traditional Canarian sports.
It is a fighting sport whose purpose is to make the opponent touch the sand with any part of the body, except the feet obviously.
Unlike other fighting sports, lucha canaria does not seek to hurt the opponent, but to throw him/her off balance. For this purpose, only a series of techniques are used with arm and foot movements, where body-to-body contact is continuous, grabbing the opponent by the sleeve of the pants.
The fight takes place on a circular field in which participants must remain.
Salto del pastor (Shepherd’s leap)
It is a Canarian sport born of the need in ancient times to move through the irregular and steep terrain of most of the Canary Islands as quickly as possible between mountains and ravines.
To this end, a wooden spear of three to four metres in length with a metal tip is used.
Bola canaria (Canarian ball)
It is another native sport that even today has a large number of enthusiasts, since it even has federations in the islands. It comes from the arrival of the colonizers to the Canary Islands.
Bola canaria is a sport very similar to petanque, whose main difference is the weight of the balls, which are a bit heavier and are made of resin, and the length of the field, which is also slightly higher.
Juego del palo (Canarian stick)
Canarian stick is a sport which in nature is similar to fencing and was born in the time of the aborigines.
Two opponents armed with a wooden stick meet with the objective, as in fencing, of making contact with the body of the opponent who cannot defend himself/herself properly, but without hurting him/her.
Levantamiento de piedra (Stone lifting)
This native sport is more widespread in the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Its purpose is to show the strength of participants by lifting heavy stones and moving and throwing or lifting them as high as possible.
Arrastre de ganado (Cattle dragging)
Cattle dragging is a sport involving cows and oxen along with their implements, which must carry a certain weight in a 35-meter journey in the shortest possible time.
An island of deep-rooted culture
These are the six most characteristic native sports of the Canary Islands that still remain and in some cases continue to grow in our current society.
If you come to the Canary Islands, we invite you to live them personally and keep them as a souvenir of your visit to the islands.