Buying my Brazilian Surfboard


Pretty soon after arriving in Brazil, I realized I was going to have to buy myself a surfboard.  It worked out for a while to rent one, but the problem is that it’s  winter here, so a lot of the surf shops are closed for the season.  Only College Surf School at Joaqina beach, owned and operated by local surf legend Fabricio Machado, stays open during these chilly days, but even then its somewhat unpredictable.  If the weather is extra lousy, or Fabricio has other business in town, the shop stays closed and I am grounded on land, with no chariot on which to ride the lovely waves.

So… commence Operation Purchase Surfboard.

Self portrait of me on the bus on the first leg of my journey to buy my very own Brazilian surf board!

It just so happened that on my very first day in Brazil, while blindly navigating the bus system (blindly because I had no idea where I was going and my Portuguese comprehension at that point was pretty much nada), I landed in the beautiful seaside fishing town of Acores, so named for the Portuguese islands from which many of its residents immigrated.  To my dismay, all the local surf schools were closed for the season, but I tracked down a small shop which sold surfboards made by a local shaper.  The kindly owner, Marina, after suffering through my abysmal Portuguese, informed me that her shop did not rent boards, but she would be willing to rent me her own personal board so I could go surfing that afternoon.   What hospitality!   The waves in Acores were unusually good that day and after an absolutely perfect first day surfing in Brazil I hung out with Maria, and her cute baby and across the street neighbor.

The bus terminal, where I spend a lot of time transferring buses on my long journeys to the island’s many beaches

Maria had some used boards at her shop, including a locally made 6′ 9 board, in great shape, perfect for me as I transition towards shorter more nimble boards.  After doing some comparison shopping, and deciding I wanted to support Maria’s business, I gave her a call and told her I was coming back down to Acores to buy the board.  Here’s the long  journey that follows (it involves 3 buses!), mostly recorded through photos.

View from the bus as we drive by Morro das Pedras, another cool surfing spot that I’d like to check out some time.

The Lonelines surf shop where I bought my board. The beach is a block away.

Me and my new surfboard. So excited!

Solo shot of my new board, with Acores beach in the background.

And these are the waves I am about to surf! I christened my new board with a very very long left — I think perhaps the longest wave I’ve ever ridden. Many firsts here in Brazil!

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