Beginners Learning Guide

In my first job as a surf coach i was lucky enough to have Filipe Valadão as my head coach and mentor. He was one of the best surfers in town and he was doing is master in physical education.  I was a surfer for a long time but I had no notions of pedagogy, communication, motivation and so many other things that we need in our profession.

One day he came up to me and gave me a few notes and told me to study it. What was it? Is learning guide for beginners. In these notes was the themes and techniques by topics that had to be taught during surf lessons.

So he was sure that I followed an order of ideas, did not leave themes or techniques behind and taught all customers the same way.

After that i start doing my own guide. I started to use it Filipe Valadao guide as a base but then it was modified according to what I was learning and experiencing. When I started working on my first surf camp I took and implemented my guide with the help of Francisco Pereira who gave me some help in fine-tuning the guide.

Here it is:


Level 0 – Introduction to Surf

0.1 Ocean Introduction

0.2 Surf Equipement

0.3 Safety Rules

0.4 Lying on the Board

0.5 Paddling

0.6 Gliding

0.7 Take Off

0.8 Standing on the Board

0.9 Board Exits


Level 1 – Surfing Initiation

1.1 Passing Through Foam Waves

1.2 Board Turning

1.3 Catching Foamy Waves

1.4 Pumping

1.5 Turning on Foamy Waves

1.6 Changing Direction on Foamy Waves





The Peneda-Gerês National Park, in the far northwest of Portugal between Upper Minho and Trás-os-Montes, is the only Portuguese protected area classified as a such.

It is a world apart in which human activity and nature are harmoniously integrated, preserving ancient values and traditions clearly evident in the village communities of Pitões das Júnias and Tourém.

The lush vegetation in all shades of green includes a forest of holly, the only one in Portugal, and endemic species such as the Gerês lily, which brightens up the fields with its shades of violet-blue. Rivers and streams flow through the Peneda, Soajo, Amarela and Gerês mountain ranges, which comprise the park, rushing down in waterfalls and then spreading out into reservoirs. The landscapes are breathtaking.

You might sometimes manage to spot a roebuck (the Park’s symbol) or its predator, the Iberian wolf. More common are the ponies, small wild horses that run free in the mountains. You may also come across the Barrosã breed of cattle or the dark-haired Castro Laboreiro dogs, guarding the herds that move to the rhythm of the seasons, between the mild and the wintry. These are the villages and mountain areas related to the ancient transhumance, to where the people today move only the cattle: valleys and low altitudes in winter, the highest places in summer, according to the availability of pasture.

Nazaré 2017

When to go and for how long to see the biggest waves?

The Big Waves season in Nazare – Portugal, is between October and March (winter season in Portugal, but April works too in some years).

– For those who need to book the trip in advance, a stay of at least 2 weeks in the region is recommended to ensure that you catch at least one day of giant waves; a three week stay increases the chances of catching big waves days.
In the months described, there’s usually between 1 and 6 large big swells. For more statistics see previous years news history . Even so, there is no guarantee that you will get a good day, but the probability is good.

– Another option for those who have more availability is to travel as soon as there is a good forecast. The forecasts only anticipate at most one week, and the longer the forecast range is the less certain it is. You can check the forecasts here
For big wave the forecast should indicate a wave size higher than 3 meters, a wave period greater than 13 seconds and a bit offshore and north wind.

Usually, the Nazare North Canyon – big waves generator greatly amplifies the predicted size of the waves, generating waves up to 100 feet (30 meters) high!