Surfing this spot is, still today, quite a mission for most surfers.
Years ago, In a time when it was not usual to use leg rope, just because there weren’t any available, surfers had to wait for the right conditions, use improvised nylon leashes and find friendly spots to get in and out of the water without ‘loading’ their feet with the inevitable sea urchins.
Some of the very first surfers on the bay, Bruce Palmer and the late Peter “Chops” Lashels (Beach beat Surfboards) use to camp right on the water edge, struggling with the lack of places to get food supplies, and specially money on the Portuguese old currency, Escudos.
An episode worth remembering happened back in 1974 when Peter Lashels had to travel all the way to Lisbon to find a bank where he could exchange British pounds. Funny or not, in that April morning, Peter left behind the quiet lawn of Coxos to enter the up side down city of Lisbon in the very same day the tanks and troops took down the fascist regimen that ruled Portugal for the past 58 years. It was the 25th and that was the day of the Revolution.
Until the final years of that decade, the bay was a well-kept secret, followed by a period of slow exploration by a second generation of Portuguese surfers like our host and Surf teacher Miguel Ruivo one of the top performers on that wave to these day, breaking ground for newer generations.
They were the ones that, through continued determination, plenty of broken boards, consistent dawn patrols, hazardous rocks covered by sea urchins, wave after wave, session after session, year after year, opened the doors for everyone to test physical and Surf ability at this surf spot, today considered, by far, the best in Europe.