What about surfing? Surfing started in Madeira in the 70s, but only became popular in the 90s. It was really a surprise for us to discover that we had great conditions to surf. Since 1996, top Portuguese surfers from the mainland compete in the Madeira regional edition of the ‘Billabong’ Challenge. In 2001, the World Big Wave Championships was held in Madeira.
Nowadays there are surf schools in the island and you can try to do it on safe spots like Porto da Cruz or São Vicente which are excellent for beginners.
Paul do Mar: this surf spot according to surf experts has the best barrelling waves (also known as tubular or tunnel waves) on the island. Both stand-up surfing and body boarding are practiced 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 meter high waves and fantastic tubular tunnels. The World Big Wave Championships 2001 was held at Paul do Mar.
Windsurfing in Madeira
Windsurfing in Madeira is thrilling! These water sports are very popular on the island, which offers excellent conditions for anglers of all ages and levels of experience.
The island has many fantastic places for windsurfing. In the south you can find beaches with better access. Funchal, Porto da Cruz, Achadas da Cruz, Caniçal, Paul do Mar and Porto Santo are some of the best locations for windsurfing throughout the year. You can also try kite surfing in the bay of Funchal, in Praia Formosa and Porto Santo.
Madeira is very proud of João Rodrigues who is windsurfing world champion and one of the best sportsmen of the RS: X. Represented Portugal at the Olympic Games for more than 16 years, participated in 121 international competitions and won 51 medals – 22 gold, 16 silver and 13 bronze. Won the first world championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1995.