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

Team Rider Cory Edging Back in Action

We just got word from our team rider Cory Edging. You remember him being featured in Surfer Magazine (May 2010 issue, page 20 of the Hot 100 section) well since then he has recovered from some injuries and is now back in action. He wrote us with a few words about his recovery and also provided us with a video edit he threw together on his personal computer. Looks to us like injury hasn’t set this guy back one bit! Check out his commentary below along with the video. Best wishes on your continued recovery and staying healthy so you can continue doing what you love.

Hey every at SC!! Just checkin in. Finally started surfing again a few weeks ago (shoulder popped out in November AFTER surgery). Feels great to get back in the water. Shoulder is def not 100% but I don’t know if it ever will be. I bought this brace that football players wear to keep their arms from popping out. It has this vest harness then another strap that goes around your arm so it kinda put your arm on a leash and prevents the motion that causes it to pop out. So far so good.

Surf has been super fun up here. Had like a 3 week period of offshores and waves the whole time. Went up to Santa Cruz last weekend and scored some super fun surf at Moss Landing considering the weather. We were just on it at the right times.

Anyways, here is a little video I made today. I just found out that my computer came with a video editing program. I only had a total of 7 clips so its nothing special and it’s my first edit ever, but I am satisfied. This was the first session back after surgery. Out of the water for 17 weeks. I really prob shouldnt have got in the water then, but my buddy Max (that shot the Surfer Mag photo) just got a new housing for his 7d camera, so….haha. It shoots 60 frames per second so you can go super slow mo. I was boggin left and right, but it never felt so good to get wet again.