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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Supertubos

Supertubos

Peniche - Northern Portugal, Portugal

Surf, Bodyboard

The name alone says it all. It’s clear that this is the best beach break in Portugal and is why Supertubos is known worldwide as ‘The European Pipeline’. You’ll find it in Peniche, 100 km north of Lisbon. Just follow the A8 until exit 14. Peniche is a small village which sits on a rocky peninsula. It was an island thousands of years ago but it’s now surrounded by dunes and beaches. The Supertubos beach is at the south of the peninsula. It’s a place of contrasts where history, tradition, bodyboarding and surfing are mixed together, making it a perfect destination with so many quality possibilities. Even with the smallest of swells you’ll still be able to find a peak with good wind and good surf conditions. 

It’s been a part of the ASP, and the Rip Curl Pro Portugal marked a before and after in Supertubos’ history. Since the first edition in 2009, it’s been a fixed host of the WCT, and that was the year when Mick Fanning took victory and exclaimed “It was Supertubos at 8-10 feet, perfect and as heavy as Pipe.” Since then, the quality of the waves and the thousands of people that gather on its sands to see the best in the world makes The European Pipeline one of the most important and awaited events of the year.

The sandbanks at Supertubos extend across the whole beach and when the sets enter, they create spectacular A-frames and barrelling slabs which are similar to Black’s in San Diego, so it’s advisable to take your best pin-tail. This is obviously a top quality spot and the locals are possessive of their waves, however, there are various peaks and, although the locals will be at the best one, you’ll probably see other options if you’re observant. Among the local crew of the seventies were Pedro Black, Joao Coelho and Luis Chaves, they were the pioneers. Nowadays you’ll find legends and great surfers like Jorge Cação, Ricardo Leopoldo and the youngsters António Ribeiro, Guilherme Fonseca, António Henriques and Beatriz Almeida. Of course this wave is an epic barrel where you’ll also find respectable bodyboarders like Manuel Centeno, Daniel Fonseca, Silvano Lourenço and João Machado.

Supertubos Peniche Portugal

Conditions

If there’s a good swell when you’re at Supertubos, and you can smell smoked sardines, it’s the sign that it is working. The best time to go is from October to May when any constant front from the Atlantic arrives. Although the dominant north wind makes it cold wind and the water is freezing, with a 4 or 5 mm wetsuit, you won’t be bothered. It holds from 3 to 10 feet, but it needs a minimum swell of 6 feet if it’s NW component and 16 s periods with offshore N winds for it to work. The lefts are normally best. The rights are just as good but shorter, and they are better when the swell direction is more NW.

The predominant swells that border the Peniche peninsula and refract towards Supertubos are NW and WNW. This, along with the special configuration of the seabed that changes the swell direction to SW – NE means it gets sent directly towards the main Supertubos peak where the sets clearly show their extra energy. When there is a big swell and the Supertubos peaks are phased out, a good option to try is Molho Leste, one of the peaks at the beginning of the beach. It’s busy when it’s working but this is because it’s one of the best options. The right peak nearest to the breakwater is good quality too. It needs more than an 8 metre swell and north wind with mid tide.

Surf Supertubos

All of the waves on the beach are powerful and require a good level from 3 feet up. If you have the ability, it’s all a question of barrels. Although the seabed is sandy, the swells are very punchy. It isn’t a bad option when there is a light onshore wind as it is still good quality and it will be a lot less busy. Watch out for the currents and lots of backwash at high tide.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Beachbreak
  • Wind
    N - NE
  • Tide
    All
  • Swell
    NW
  • Bottom
    Sand
  • Size
    5 to 10 ft
  • Time of year
    From September to May
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