Madeira’s surfspots

Paul do Mar: this surfspot according to surf experts  has the best barreling waves (also known as tubular or tunnel waves) on the island. Both stand-up surfing and bodyboarding are practised at this spot. The ISA World Surf championships have been hosted on the islands which are better known to be held in areas such as Hawaii. Paul do Mar region of the island is respected throughout the surf community as it offers eight metre high waves and fantastic tubular tunnels. The World Big Wave Championships 2001 was held at Paul do Mar.

Ponta Pequena: another perfect right-hander. Punta Pequena is situated between Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar

Lugar de Baixo: really hollow and fast.

Sao Vicente: on the north coast is a calmer spot suitable for beginners and intermediate surfers. Here a surf school is based.

Jardim do Mar: the right-hander. Surfing at Jardim is only for the experienced as the waves break large. They start at around two metres and reeling right-handers can reach five metres sweeping along the rocky point.

Jardim do Mar was documented in Jacob Holcomb’s film “Lost Jewel of the Atlantic”.

The beaches off Funchal, Madeira’s capital, sometimes have fun left-handers.

Surfing Madeira Island

Surfing Madeira Island

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Surfing in Madeira Island

In 2001, the World Big Wave Championships were held in Madeira.

Surfing first started in the Portuguese island of Madeira in the 1970s off the villages of Paul do Mar, Jardim do Mar and Punta Pequena. Almost every surfspot is rocky and powerful. No waves seem to break under six feet in the winter months. Madeira did not really come to the attention of foreign surfers until articles in surfing magazines in the mid-1990s. Since 1996, top Portuguese surfers from the mainland compete in the Madeira regional edition of the ‘Billabong’ Challenge.

Bodyboard Madeira

Bodyboard – Madeira Island