How is surfing in Porto in August and September? See how 2017 was before you plan your next Summer vacations. The surfing, the waves, beaches, crowd, weather, city life and all that really matters.
August is pretty much the most representative Summer month. At this stage, you might be taking it in a bad way, which is saying: yeh, ok, more crowd both in and out of the water, long lines for shopping, cars all over the place… For sure you can expect more people by the beach, compared with other months of the year. And even though most of the Portuguese local surfers avoid surfing their home spot during August, there were more tourists as well, meaning that the end result was a more crowded spot. Also true that with the increasing number of visitors, the chances of having to wait more than usual for a coffee by the beach is higher. But then, you should know that there are more coffee places on offer, probably with way less people. If you want to have the full package, that’s pretty much the price you have to pay. It’s Summer at its peak. But is it bad? Let’s have a look to the other face of the coin: more people means more money getting into the local community, right? Right. Therefore, both the Esmoriz and Espinho City Halls took some initiatives to offer something special to their visitors. This year, both cities had a great Summer Agenda in August, full of live music, workshops, local markets, street art, exhibitions, sports events, etc… Besides all of this, some really nice local bars and restaurants that usually are opened only on the weekends were then open every day, providing some really good options for those who care.
One funny thing about all of this was the fact that you could feel the Summer vibes everywhere, even out from the beach: tanned skins, flip flops, shorts and nice music everywhere.
Now the cherry on the top: does August meant days with no waves and with no surfing? Hell NO! We had small days. True. But they were fun and quite good indeed. Also true was that we also had a few days with double overhead waves.
Digging it a bit more, the first 15 days of August surfing happened most of the times around Esmoriz area. Small and clean conditions were served to our friends/guests, and they really knew how to deal with it! Crowd? Yes, we think our surfers had to share the clean and beautiful lineups with… 2 or 3 surfers more! We then had a couple of barbeques after surfing at our house in Esmoriz, which definitely made our days happier!
Then conditions got bigger for the last 15 days of August and surfing sessions happened more in Espinho. Some tricky wind was there for a couple of days, along with some fog in the morning and late afternoon. But, most important, surfing was still fun and consistent. The crowd was bigger than we all wanted (of course according to our own standards, probably nothing when compared to other well-known spots in Portugal and around the world), and that was when all our local knowledge came in to play, as we scheduled our sessions having the best conditions in our mind, but also the crowd on our view.
We mentioned before that this is one of our favourite months and even released a post about it. This year’s reality confirmed all our main expectations! Maybe except for the fog… Yep, we had some days with both morning and late afternoon fog and even a couple of them that the fog was around the whole day. Spooky! Guess the differences between the temperature of the water and the air close to it explains, but we’ll skip that for now. Not like we had the whole month like that, but for sure way more than we had since… the last couple of years!
Some windy days came up early September, still with some good weather though. Surfing happened between Espinho and Esmoriz area, with more sessions happening in Espinho especially when conditions were less clean.
There’s an old saying that goes something like “After the storm comes the quietness”. Couldn’t agree more. Yes, we had fair surfing up until mid-September, with some fog and wind in the mix. Then, suddenly, it was not the quietness that came but some really pumping non stop surfing conditions. And, the best thing about it, it was not only for one or two days, but it simply kept going and going! Half meter to two meters waves, friendly to challenging, fun to stiff, we had it all! The sandbars were so good and with such a good design all the way from Espinho to Esmoriz, that you could easily say that you were surfing Kelly Slater’s wave. Yes, it was that good! Besides this, the water was warmer than usual, reaching to 19 degrees on the warmer days, which was really nice to our standards.
We and our friends/guests spent hours in a row in the water and, by the time we hang out to dinner, for a drink or just to chill in a bit, the topic was mainly surf related. Post surfing meetings were not that long as we run out of power fast and, most important, we knew that on the next day there will be more.
One of the things that we love more about this time of the year is the light and the sunsets. And September 2017 was pretty generous with that as we had so many cool ones, especially because we were able to enjoy them while surfing or while having a beer in Porto.
About what it’s to come. -October, expectations are high, but let’s leave it for the next occasion. Say… in a few days! Can’t wait for it!
Knowing how August and September 2017 were at Porto’s best surf spots, you can now start to plan your next vacations wisely! If any doubt it’s still there in your mind, maybe this can help!
Keep on paddling!
Watermark Surf House