Exploring new Surfspots on Algarves West Coast
From December latest onwards, the west coast of the Algarve respectively the whole west coast of Portugal is almost constantly firing. Winter swells rolling in and the bad days are not the ones were the surf is too small its more like that it is way too big to surf and people go to the surf breaks on the south or the south west.
But there are days like on the last weekend when conditions are almost perfect, means off-shore wind or even no wind at all, prefect swell direction and size of waves. I grabbed my camera on saturday and went exploring.
Only a stone throw away from the two spots I talked about last time is Praia do Telheiro. Technically this is the first beach on Portugals west coast. Although it is more like facing south west it is fully exposed to the swell and gets much bigger waves than on Beliche from my last post.
That´s the reason why Beliche was absolutely crowded again that day and this beach had an almost empty line up. In summary that means...on days like that only the though guys and girls paddle out. That day I counted 5 or 6 surfers in the water.
When I arrived the left breaking wave was already working perfect but it looked a bit hard to get into the wave that´s why I have only a few shots with surfers on the wave.
One of the smallers waves breaking nearer to the beach
At first I was a bit angry that I did not bring my board as it looked absolutely amazing and I wanted to go in. Then some of the bigger set waves came in and I immediatelly changed my mind. This is something you don´t want to experience as a surfer. Set waves tend to be bigger, come in 3 or more waves and usually break further out the back. Means if you´re sitting further to the beach or just paddle out you might run into trouble depending on the size of the wave.
The shots below are a perfect example. You can already see how the second wave is much bigger and almost anyone in the water got catched unguard. This was the first wave of a set of 3 and one of the guys got caught at the inside and really struggeled to get out.
Once you lose your board on a set like this it will be hard to get on it again and paddle out. For many this is the time to get out. Like the guy on the photos. Luckily he made it.
Usually surfers do not like to reveal the name of the beach and the spot but since this is a well known beach and too scary for most to go in I see no problem to tell you. Furthermore its a rough road to there and a bit of a climb to get down to the beach. Pictures were taken from a cliff above the beach were I also had to walk to.
While I was there one guy came back up from the beach, breathing like he ran a marathon.
Thats were the track down to the beach starts
A few dogs were down there as well playing with each other and waiting for their owners. Its always funny to see them so happy when the owner finally comes out of the water.
As far as I can say it looked relatively easy to get out into the line up as there seems to be a perfect channel on the right. That might be the reason why the right hander wasn´t breaking as good as the left in the beginning.
As long as I was there the waves were just getting better and bigger and people finally started to catch waves. It was so much fun to watch from up here but the urge to go in was getting bigger as well.
And finally even the right started to work. Right handers are favored by most surfers so whenever you see a right hand point break its most likely crowded.
Hope you liked it as much as I. I love to surf but I also love to watch others and take photos and cheer for them if they catch a nice waves.
If you like watching surfers, you can also find my post on pinmapple with the exact location of the spot. But don´t be stupid and go out on a day like this without knowing the spot or be able to surf that kind of waves.
you will find that post on pinmapple as well
[//]:# (!pinmapple 37.04573 lat -8.97867 long Exploring new Surfspots on Algarves West Coast d3scr)
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Amazing photos and conditions. Yes, if I look carefully at the waves they don't look easy to get into - there is not much space between where it is already steep and feathering and the shoulder that is too flat... Meaning you have to be exactly in the right place. Big waves tend to be shifty as well!
Cheers. Yes, pretty fat waves but they were getting better and more hollow towards the end. In Australia they would have arrived with jet skies already. :)
But so much fun to watch that day. Whats your guess on the size? I would say these huge set waves are around 8 foot?
Haha - the size depends if you're asking a Hawaiian or a Floridian! I think the whole wave size measurement system is ridiculous, and we should just measure waves by their honest height (in which case the sets are quite a lot more than 8 foot!).
It almost seems like we are told to measure waves by how tall the swell is before it stands up to break, which is ridiculous because most proper spots double in size. As someone who stands a touch over 6ft1 myself, I've basically learnt that if it's about head high it's "3 foot" and so on... (if I want to sound cool of course)... sigh!
According to a hardcore surfer (which I am not) - I think they'd say the waves being ridden are 4-5 foot, and the biggest sets look about 6-7 foot...
Personally, this looks like it would be at about my limit if I'm honest. If there was a lot of current, water moving around or the waves were difficult to catch (like you mention here) or very exposed to the open ocean rather than a perfect pointbreak, then I'd probably be using my 7'0 board rather than a normal one! I plan to surf this kind of size a little more often as I get fitter again, and I don't intend to go much beyond this size, even though there are definitely spots in Cape Town where the opportunity is there for the nutcases and 10-20 foot waves on their 10 foot "gun" boards. It actually surprises me how many nutcases they are... but it's dangerous and they have to train specially and dedicate their lives to it.
well thats true...I also never understood the size debate. I was just curious since I´m bad at guessing. But it was decent waves and anyway the most important thing is to have fun.
Although it looked tempting from the outside I´m happy I did not paddle out. Would be definitely my limit as well. I prefer smaller surf as well. For me shoulder to head high is perfect.
I know you guys have some serious spots over there. When I was in Hout Bay, the host of our Airbnb sent me a shot from a spot outside. Can´t remember the name. Thats definitely over head :) haha
For sure - your post definitely looks big enough to be scary with the clean up sets!
The big wave spot near Hout Bay is Dungeons, but this picture you've just shared is so big (surfer is on a tow board) it might even be the deeper Tafelberg Reef section at the back of Dungeons.
We also have a Sunset Reef near Kommetjie and Bayview in Hermanus that only break when enormous, and some others that look nearly doable at their absolute smallest... Nearly... not really...
I did used to surf one wave at its smallest - catching 4-6 foot insiders and trying not to get cleaned up (too often - it always happened once or twice) by maybe 6-8 foot sets - that's where I want to get back into but it's exposed open ocean power at that size and so a two wave clean up can drag you in about 100m!... That spot can break perfectly at much bigger too, and then it gets absolutely insane. I should try get footage one day.
Very cool photos... I never tried surfing, I stopped at bodysurfing (the little board for kids)... it was pretty hard for me. Since I'm at the beach this week, I tried it again yesterday, I still suck 😀 but it's cool when you finally catch a wave. I'm going back today to have some fun and lose the "holiday calories".
Enjoy your tuesday.
Thanks! I always wanted to learn it since I was already snowboarding and skateboarding as a kid. It is hard to learn and only gets harder the older you get. Bodyboarding is fun as well.
Where are you at the moment? Sounds like holiday?
Wooouupwoooup, nice. I haven't had time since month to go surfing. Damn, now I am even selling my board.. Aaarg. But always niiice to see great spots when sitting inside and working 😅🤣💃🤗👍🏼 looks like you had a great day my friend. Hope you can rock many waves the next days. Crossing the fingers 🤞🏽🌊✨🎶✨ and take care, don't damage yourself please 🙏🏼💕✨🌞 hugs to you and your beloved one. Beijinhos to you both.
Yes we had a lot of fun. Was surfing today and it was awesome. I try to go as often as I can before I got one month off in Thailand.
Planning our Lisbon Trip...hope it works out. Will let you know
Niice. I senr you a message. Because of Thailand 🤗🎶✨🎶✨🎶 yeah, hope it works out. Crossing the fingers.
Wow, this is cool😎
It is. Have you tried surfing?
No, but I would like to try someday. 😊
you from the philippines? some good spots over there
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