9 Tips for safe surf holidays in Portugal

Taking some time off to enjoy some surf holidays in Portugal is probably your best decision ever, and this is certainly the Summer to do it, because weather will be great, sun will shine, and surf is as popular as ever. This is particularly true in some of the most iconic surf spots in Portugal, around Ericeira, Peniche and Lourinhã with Praia da Areia Branca taking most of the glory.

This is a superb beach break with both left handers and right handers and sandy bottoms where there are surfing conditions occur practically every day. What makes it stand out for surf vacations in Portugal though, is that it"s not the most crowded surf spot and is easy to tame, making it perfect for beginners and meaning it"s one the most family-friendly spots in Portugal.surf in Portugal

Still, it's better to be safe than sorry and although you will probably learn all of this at a local surf school, it's never too much to remember some surf safety tips to make your vacations perfect. 

Surf Safety Tips:

  • Never let go of your board. Should you find yourself in a tight spot, never let go of your board and don't get loose from the leash because, no matter what your problem is, your surf board is the best flotation platform in the world. You can climb up on it to keep safe while signalling for help and while waiting for it to come.

  • Fall off your board, not onto it. Again, this is something you'll probably learn at any surf school but keep in mind that if you happen to fall, it's better to land in the water than on the hard surface of your board, so don't be afraid to take a dip. While you're at it, try never to fall with your board between you and the wave, or you risk having it thrown against you.

  • Confidence. While we're at it, be confident, but be aware. Don't slack it out and don't cower, because you have to approach the swell with determination to make the best of it. Hesitation will more often than not cause you to make mistakes. But don't get overconfident either, because underestimating the sea will also lead to accidents and wipeouts. Surfing is like driving and you should always be aware of other surfers around you, possible obstacles, and of what your limits are. 

  • Know the surfing conditions of the day. Swells can change with little warning if you aren't paying attention and don't know what's coming, so know whats coming beforehand and don't get caught off-guard. Surf schools often post the day's conditions early in the morning. If not, you can make great use of your smartphone for some weather apps that may come in hand.

  • Physical shape. Yes, surfing can be demanding, so if you plan on surfing this Summer, start getting into shape right now. The better your shape is, the better you'll surf with less problems and risks of injury. It will make the whole experience more breathtaking, but in a good sense. 

  • Limber up. If Jesse Eisenberg can limber up before grabbing some twinkies in Zombieland, so can you before entering the water to avoid cramps and muscle injuries. So do some stretching and prepare your body for the effort of staying on top of the wave. Did you know many sports related injuries could be avoided if athletes warmed up properly before?

  • Etiquette. If you're waiting to ride a wave, you're probably not the only one. Make sure you know where you stand so you don"t cut ahead of someone, stealing their wave and increasing the risk of accidents, on top of making them angry at your attitude.

  • Sunscreen. Believe it: under the sun and dipped in sea water, you'll be painfully sorry if you don't have some sunscreen on. Sunburns can be serious, particularly if you're in the water where you can blank out.

  • Alcohol and food. These are basic advices really: don't face the swell topped up. Leave mixing alcohol and water to the chemistry lab and wait at least an hour after eating before going into the water.

Well, these are our safety tips of the day. With that in mind, now start packing for some well-spent surf vacations in Portugal.


"Thanks for the warm welcome and great hospitality during my stay. Both the surfing and the chilling out was a wonderfull experience. This place has got me stoked! All the best,..."
Simon & Ina
"We had a great time @ Underdog Thank you guys for being so open-minded and welcoming us in this "big family" We will come back home again! Tons of love..."
"I don´t want to leave! Great house! Awesome people! Thank you so much for making me feel so welcome & at home. I hope to come back very soon..."
Inge Martin & Maria
"Thank you for a great stay (again) at the Underdog SH. We love this place and all the beautiful people. We will definitely be backnext year. :) Team Scandinavia..."
Ana B.
"After a lot of research on the internet I finally found Underdog... and I´m so happy I did!!! I am definitely comming back sooner than later. Thank you all for your hospitality!!! Muchos besos,..."
Carina & Ruben
"Dear Elida, Isa, Malthe & Daniel, We had a fantastic time in the Underdog house. There is a really good atmosphere in and around the house!! Cheers on many more anniversary parties. And a special tip for Elida, Isa and Hanna: never travel without GPS/TomTom in Portugal again :). Warm regards ..."
xoxo Anja
"Hey Daniel, I´m so glad, I found this place! I really felt like home this 2 weeks. You have done such great work with this house. Even on the day we couldn´t surf, it was awesome just to hang around with the people in here. I really want to come back very soon. Lots of Love & Hugs to you &a..."
Rebecca, Henne & Sabine
"This surf house has a lot to offer!!nice rooms, Daniel as an very cool owner,the pool (priceless after our surf lessons!!), an big BBQ, Kickers and lot more..we felt at home and had an wunderful week there....."
Beth X
"See you Guys!! I had the most fun I´ve had in a long time!! Great meting you all and hopefully I will run into you in the future. Lots of Love..."
"Wow. What a warm welcome. It was an awesome time! Kind of a family thing. Thank you guys!! Cheers,..."
"Best surfhouse ever! Great hospitality and even better people.The Ndrdog will always be my choice in Portugal. Daniel and his house are just awesome and you will always find someone to have a great time with a beer after surfing Hope to see you soon bro! Big hug from the jetguys ;)..."
"Had a great time Friday night. Felt so hung over today! Hope your cousin feels better soon. Enjoy the rest of your holiday...."
"A wonderful holiday, good surfing and great parties! Thank you, see you next year :)..."
Nina & Julian
"Underdog Surf house it already felt like being at home with all the friendly people our new little family nice & long talks, pizza&pasta night and unforgetable nights at Barraca. Thank you for all of it. We´ll definitely come back for the third time! Loads of love..."
"Home is where you heart belongs to... I´m so glad I have this home here in Praia Areia Branca and know there´s a next time we will see us again. Thank you so much for everything. I had an awesome time! Daniel, Isa, Elida & Malthe you´re doing a great job! See you next time, take care, part..."
"JAL & ISA ARE THE BEST!!! Such a good time here. Thanks!! Big kisses from Quebec!..."
Ane and Heidi
"Holy cow! We love it here!:) The beaches are unbelievably beautiful, and we have even tasted the sand while surfing. Not bad actually. Thank you Daniel for a warm welcome to Areia Branca. And thanks a mill to Elida for imiting us to this amazing place. We have so much enjoyed partying, playing an..."


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Underdog Surf House

Av. António José do Vale, 7
Praia da Areia Branca,
2530-213 Lourinhã,

TEL: +351 261 419 533
MOB: +351 912 214 416