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.
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.