Portugal: The Land of Hospitality with South Coast Team Rider John Norris

South Coast Surf Shops’ team rider John Norris is at it again. Here’s his account of a short trip to Portugal, the place he has come to know as the land of Hospitality, and epic sandbar wedges.

 John Noris Catching Air Surfing in Protugal

Surfing in Portugal


When I think of Portugal, one word comes to mind– hospitality. I’ve never in my life experienced such welcoming and friendly people. My trip to Portugal was a short one, but I think its almost better that way, only giving me a little taste of a country I now need to go back to and explore its entirety.

Only a couple days before I had arrived, I had no plans. I’d heard rumors of long points and dredging beachbreaks, wedgy coves and shallow slabs. This place seemed like the holy grail. Unfortunately there was no swell on the horizon but I didn’t care, I live for getting lost in unfamiliar countries. I was going.

A friend originally from Portugal who now lives in La Jolla found out I was going to Lisbon, messaged a friend and told him I was coming and wanted to surf. This is where the hospitality began. Without ever meeting the guy in my life, Tomas Valente messaged me and told me he could meet up the afternoon I arrived for a surf, and had a board that I could borrow for the time I was there. I rented a car and started the drive over to his house about a half hour away– if you know the roads that is. Not speaking the language and furthermore not understanding the street signs, I was lost. What should’ve been a thirty minute drive turned into an hour and a half, but eventually I made it. With a quick handshake to Tomas and his friend Diogo, these guys treated me like family.

We made our way to a beach named Guincho, a wedgy beachbreak nestled inside of a wind-sheltered cove. We see a couple of wedges and Tomas decides this is probably our best bet for the day. Keep in mind that there’s no swell in the water, but somehow with the way Portugal sticks out into the ocean, there are chest high wedges coming in. We surfed for about an hour, the tide got too high and it was time to move on to another wave. A five minute drive and we got to another playful beachbreak named Cresmina. Surfed again for about an hour and a half and we were beat. We head back to Tomas’ house and call it a day. He immediately asks if I wanted to surf again tomorrow and I gladly said yes.

The next day, there was a little bit of a south swell in the water so we decided to go a bit further to a wave called Praia Grande. There was a running left sandbar that would peel for a little over 50 yards with nobody out and we were on it. A couple hours later and a handful of great rides later, we were beat. It was time to say our goodbyes and start my journey home already. I told you it was short– but so well worth it. Everyone needs to give Portugal a try.

-John Noris

 Photos: John Noris Portugal Surfing

Ryland Rubens South Coast Surf Shop Team Rider Update: 4.0 GPA and New Website

Ryland Rubens 4.0 GPA

We are always stoked on the news we get about how hard Ryland Rubens is charging in the water and with life in general. The above photo shows Ryland who recently graduated with a 4.0 GPA which is a very commendable task. Congrats man!

The great news about Ryland never ends he was recently featured on Rusty’s DRY DOCKED with his brand spanking new WEBSITE, yes you heard right, this 12 year old grom has his own website.

Head on over and check out the official Ryland Rubens website here:


Ryland Rubens Website

Check back soon for more updates on Ryland Rubens.

Cory Edging – Self Shaped Asymmetrical‏ Surfboard

Hey everyone at South Coast. Sorry it has been a while. Been busy finishing up school. I am finally done with school forever! Like most surfers I have always dreamed about shaping my own board and like most surfers, I never got around to doing it. That was until a few months ago. My last quarter of school I enrolled in a surfboard shaping class. Yes you heard correct, Cal Poly has a surfboard shaping class. I was hesitant at first, but I knew I would have fun.

I had gone to the Sacred Craft in Del Mar honoring Carl Ekstrom. After attending Sacred Craft, I knew I wanted to shape some sort of asymmetrical fish. The theory behind the asymmetrical surfboard justmakes sense to me. Our bodies are not perfectly symmetrical, our balance is not symmetrical, and the way we stand on a surfboard is not symmetrical. So why do our boards have to be symmetrical? We can apply more pressure on our toe side rail than on our heel side, because of the way our bodies are built. We can push harder and have better balance with the balls of our feet than with our heel. It makes perfect sense to shorten your heel side rail and add more curve to make transitions onto your heel side faster and more effortless.

I love the fish design and am inspired by people who are pushing the limits of the design. Daniel Thompson is one of those people. Tomos Hydrofoil range caught my eye years back. I really wanted to get my hands on one but never did. Around the time I was shaping the board, I was on Tomo’s website looking at the Hydrofoils. I noticed that if you combined the jet tail and raptor tail it made a nice clean asymmetrical tail. So I decided to go with it. I originally cut the template out with a full length nose. The board was like 5’10” on the toe side and 5’7″ on the heel. After seeing some Tyler Warren and Ryan Burch’s new shapes I decided to hack off the nose, but keep the same general outline. After all was said and done she came out to 5’61/2″ / 5’4″ x 191/2″ x 21/4″. I though it was gonna paddle like shit, but it paddles like it’s a 5’10”. It just doesn’t have the unnecessary length and weight.

The first session on the board I have never felt more like a grom. I had an ear to ear grin the entire session. I didn’t even care if the board worked considering how bizarre it looks. I was just stoked that I was riding a board my hands shaped. The board ended up working. It had a lot of drive because of the straight outline on the toe side rail and transitioning onto the heel side was so quick and effortless. I have not felt an easier transition from toe side rail to heel side rail. I have ridden the board about 6 times now and every session feels like I have it more dialed. This video is from the second session on her. Surf was pretty small, but I still had that ear to ear grin. Here is the video. Enjoy : )