Cape Verde is a top destination for surfers. There is almost a constant trade wind averaging 4 Beaufort wind force in the summer and 5 to 6 Beaufort in winter. This makes Cape Verde a paradise for surfing. For years it has been known as one of the best surfing locations in the world. Cape Verde has nearly 1,000 kilometers of coastline and the ‘swell’ is particularly powerful in winter and ideal for surfing. In addition, the sea temperature around the Cape Verde Islands is very pleasant. Whether you are a beginner or very advanced, everyone can go for a surf holiday on the tropical waters of Cape Verde. A paradise for lovers of watersports, from surfing, windsurfing to kite surfing.
Wave surfing in Cape Verde
Wind, wave and weather conditions
From October to June, the wind conditions for surfing in Cape Verde are very good. In October the wind increases namely to a wind speed of 4 to 5 Beaufort. January through March are the months when you can expect the strongest winds. On average then the wind increases from 5 to 7 Beaufort. According to statistics, 90% of the days in this period there is a good wind for surfing. At some surf spots in Cape Verde you can take waves of 1 to 3 meters high. You should come then in the surf season that runs from October to March.
Besides the good wind and wave conditions, it’s a bonus that the sea temperature is very pleasant. The sea temperature in Cape Verde is on average between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius. We recommend you to wear a shortie wetsuit (minimum 3mm). Besides a good blood circulation, it also provides additional protection from the tropical sun. The Cape Verdean weather is good in most periods of the year. The air temperature in summer is around 30 degrees and the sun radiation is often strong.
The latest wind and weather reports from Sal at Santa Maria beach can be found via WindGuru.cz. You can also use this data for other islands of the Cape Verde Islands to get a good indication of the conditions. The islands of the Cape Verde archipelago are all in the same geographical area, though there could be differerences. The wind, wave and weather report report give the forecast for the next three days based on time slots. Thus, changes can be predicted.
The following survey shows the wind strength in the number of knots. Wind strength in Beaufort is generally more used. To get a better idea how strong the wind is, we have in the table below, converted the number of knots passed to the Beaufort scale.
|Calm||0||Less than 1|
|Storm||9||41 and more|
Surfing for young and old
In Cape Verde there come surfers with a lot of experience but also a lot of surfers in the category beginners. Because of the many surf locations and facilities, everyone can choose their own level. It is lovely on the water and you can enjoy it. And there is more than just surfing.
- Bodyboarding: a shortened board with more stability on which you lie with your body. Bacuse of the simplicity and manoneurability bodyboarding is very accessible and fun even as there are only small waves.
- Suppen (stand up paddling) with suppen you stand on a large surfboard and you have a special paddle to propel you. Suppen is easy to learn and serves as a good workout for the body. A nice way of surfing when there is less wind.
- Windsurfing: windsurfing, you need a surfboard on which a sail is mounted. Beneath the board is a centerboard for more stabliteit. Unlike surfing you do not need any waves but enough wind.
- Kitesurfing: Cape Verde is the mecca for kite surfers. With kitesurfing you use a small board that it drawn by a kite. Kitesurfing involves technique and not strength. The kite surfers themselves can get up by the wind and make beautiful jumps. Ultimately, kite surfing is easier than just surfing.
Most famous surfing locations have good surfing facilities. There are several surfing schools, shops and you can socialize with other surfers.
Which island is most suitable for surfing?
The 10 Cape Verde islands have an abundance of good surfing spots. Both for beginners and advanced surfers. The best surfing conditions for the northern islands (Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Sao Nicolau, Sal and Boavista and uninhabited Santa Luzia) are in the winter. For the southern islands (Brava, Fogo, Santiago, Maio) weather conditions are better in summer when the swell there is stronger. The most famous island for surfing is Sal. It belongs to the best surfing places in the world and is known for its surfing spot Ponta Preta. The island of Boavista is also a popular surfing destination. Sao Vicente and Sao Nicolau also have great potential to become a top surfing destination in the future. The supporting surfing facilities like renting a surfboard here is still somewhat limited compared with Sal and Boavista.
Surf Spots Cape Verde
- Sal: from the town of Santa Maria you can reach all great surf spots within a quarter of an hour. An extensive survey of surf spots on Sal can be found on the page about surfing on Sal.
- Boavista: there are many beautiful surf spots on Boavista. In particular, this island is suitable for surfers who do not need a surf lesson. Beginners can surf well in the Bay of Sal, here you have an even and offshore wind. Cahves, Baia Varandinha and the east coast all have a stable wind and are more suitable for experienced surfers. The north coast and the beach of Santa Monica are not recommended for surfing, as there is a strong offshore wind.
- Sao Vicente: speed world records are recorded here in the bay of Sao Pedro exceeding 40 knots (faster than wind power 9). It is one of best places in the world for windsurfing and bodyboarding. At Sao Pedro the wind is the strong and stable, because the landscape wind chaalized the wind here. Other good surf spots in Sao Vicente are Praia Branca, Praia Grande, Salamansa and the beach of Sandy.
- Sao Nicolau: it is good surfing north of Tarrafel. For example, at Ponta Cascalha and Praia da Frances.
- Santiago: the swell is best between January and March. In spite of the fact that you can surf well at Santiago, other islands like Sal and Boavista are much more suitable. Recommended surf spots in Santiago are: Ponta do Atum and Chao Bom southwest of Tarrafal, bodyboard beach at Praia and Ponta do Lobo Lighthouse in the southeast of the island.
Cape Verdean surfing world champion
It is no wonder that a World Cup kite surfing, surfing and windsurfing was held many times in this surfing paradise. It will not come as a surprise that many Cape Verdeans can surf well. They have with Mitu Monteiro a former number one kitesurfing among the ranks. He started in 2000 with surfing in competition, first with the discipline windsurfing to switch later to kitesurfing. Mituu has already been 1x worldchampion (2008)and 3x vice worldchampion. In the following video a brief impressions of video below a brief impression of Mitu Monteiro with the kite for the coast of Sal.