6 Famous Portuguese Surfers: The Best!

It’s always up for debate, "who are the most famous Portuguese surfers"?

We list the current most famous Portuguese surfers, going into detail of their impact on Portugal's surf culture and surfing as a whole.

The list of famous Portuguese surfers is forever growing so here is our 6 best!

Most Famous Portuguese Surfers?

The most famous Portuguese surfers include Tiago Pires, Frederico Morais, and Vasco Ribeiro.

This list of the most famous Portuguese surfers is forever growing! Let's get into each famous Portuguese surfers story below in detail.

Want to find more surfers? View our list of the most famous surfers ever!

Frederico Morais

Born: January 3, 1992

Origin: Cascais, Portugal

Style: Powerful and Fluid

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About: Frederico Morais, born and bred in the vibrant city of Lisbon, is a force to be reckoned with in the world of professional surfing. Known for his powerful and fluid style, he seamlessly weaves through the waves, showcasing a perfect blend of technique and raw energy. Growing up along the stunning Portuguese coastline, Frederico developed an early passion for the ocean, and it didn't take long for him to make his mark on the international surfing scene.

Achievements: One of the most famous Portuguese surfers, Frederico Rodrigues de Assunção Morais, has made significant strides as a professional surfer. Since 2017, he has consistently showcased his skills on the global stage, participating in the World Surfing League Men's Championship Tour. Kikas achieved a remarkable milestone by qualifying to represent Portugal in the men's shortboard event at the 2020 Summer Olympics, highlighting his prowess in the sport at the highest level, even though he did not ultimately compete in the event.

Instagram: @fredericomoraiis

famous Portuguese surfers - Frederico Morais Surfing 2023

Nic von Rupp

Born: August 2, 1990

Origin: Lisbon, Portugal

Style: Big Wave Riding

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About: Nic von Rupp is a distinguished professional surfer originating from Lisbon, Portugal. He has become a prominent figure in the surfing world, particularly renowned for his specialisation in conquering colossal waves. Growing up in Praia Grande, Sintra, Nic holds German, American, Swiss, and Portuguese passports, showcasing his diverse background and linguistic fluency. His journey in surfing began at the age of 9, quickly transitioning from small wave competitive surfing to a remarkable pursuit of big wave riding around the turn of the decade.

Achievements: Nic von Rupp's accolades include securing multiple Portuguese national surfing titles and excelling in speciality events during his teenage years. Making his mark on the World Qualifying Series surfing tour in 2009, he demonstrated exceptional skills. In 2013, von Rupp achieved victories at both the Perfect Chapter and the Pawa Tube Fest events, showcasing his prowess. His standout performance continued with a second-place finish at the ISA World Surfing Games in 2015 held at Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua. Notably, he has twice been recognized as a World Surf League "Big Wave Performance Of The Year" finalist, acknowledging his exceptional ability to navigate challenging and colossal waves. In 2019, Nic von Rupp featured prominently in the short documentary film Brusco, offering insights into his big wave pursuits across Portugal, Ireland, California, and Hawaii.

Instagram: @nicvonrupp

famous Portuguese surfers - Nic von Rupp Surfing in Faro Portugal

Teresa Bonvalot

Born: October 7, 1999

Origin: Cascais, Portugal

Style: Regular

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About: Teresa Bonvalot, born on October 7, 1999, is a distinguished Portuguese professional surfer. Hailing from Cascais, Portugal, she has made significant contributions to the world of surfing, representing Sporting CP at the club level. Teresa showcased her skills on the global stage by representing Portugal in the women's shortboard event at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Despite missing the WCT qualification by just one spot in 2022, Teresa secured a wildcard entry to compete in the 2023 Tour.

Achievements: Teresa Bonvalot's illustrious career is marked by an array of remarkable achievements. She holds the prestigious title of 2x European Junior Champion, claiming victory in both 2016 and 2017. Additionally, Teresa has secured the title of WSL Qualifying Series European Champion in the 2021/22 season, showcasing her prowess in the competitive surfing circuit. Her dominance extends to the national stage, where she has been crowned 4× Portuguese National Champion, achieving this feat in 2014, 2015, 2020, and 2022. Furthermore, Teresa's talent earned her bronze medals at the 2021 World Games in La Libertad, both individually in the Women's category and as part of the Team event, underscoring her excellence in the international surfing arena.

Instagram: @teresabonvalot

famous Portuguese surfers - Teresa Bonvalot Surfing in 2020

Tiago Pires

Born: March 13, 1980

Origin: Lisbon, Portugal

Style: Regular

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About:  Tiago Pires, affectionately known as "Saca," is a trailblazing retired professional surfer from Lisbon, Portugal, born on March 13, 1980. Renowned for becoming the first male Portuguese surfer to qualify for the WSL Elite Tour, Pires initiated his surfing journey at the age of 9, achieving notable victories in national championships before gracefully announcing his retirement in 2016. His enduring legacy is celebrated for not only breaking barriers in Portuguese surfing but also for his tenacity and skill showcased throughout his remarkable career.

Achievements:  One of the most famous Portuguese surfers, Tiago Pires, or "Saca," carved an indelible mark in the world of surfing with a series of groundbreaking achievements. As the inaugural male Portuguese surfer to qualify for the WSL Elite Tour, Pires set a precedent for his compatriots. His tenacious journey included notable victories in national championships, a commendable qualification for the WCT in 2007, subsequent re-qualification through the WQS, and a career-high WCT ranking of 21st in 2010, showcasing his skill and resilience in the highly competitive realm of professional surfing.

Instagram: @tiagosacapires

famous Portuguese surfers - Tiago Pires

Vasco Ribeiro

Born: November 22, 1994

Origin: Cascais, Portugal

Style: Regular (Natural Foot)

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About: Vasco Babel Ribeiro Pessoa, born on November 22, 1994, is a distinguished Portuguese professional surfer. Currently, he competes in the WSL Men's Qualifying Series (QS), a pathway that grants ten surfers the opportunity to qualify for the prestigious Championship Tour. Representing Estoril Praia at the club level, Vasco has made a significant impact on the global surfing stage.

Achievements: Vasco Ribeiro achieved a historic milestone in 2014 by securing the title of the WSL World Junior Champion, marking the first time a Portuguese surfer claimed the junior world championship in surfing. His dominance extends to the national stage, where he clinched the Liga MEO Surf, the Portuguese national championship, an impressive five times in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2021. Notably, Vasco contributed to the Portuguese team's success, earning a bronze medal in the Team category at the 2021 World Games in La Libertad. His commitment to excellence is further reflected in his consistent presence in the WSL World Championship Tour, including notable performances at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Instagram: @vascoribeiro

famous Portuguese surfers - Vasco Ribeiro Surfing in Portugal

Yolanda Hopkins

Born: June 2, 1998

Origin: Faro, Portugal

Style: Regular

Famous Portuguese Surfers

About: Yolanda Hopkins Sequeira, known as Yolanda Hopkins or Yolanda Sequeira, is a distinguished Portuguese professional surfer born on June 2, 1998. Representing Clube Naval de Portimão at the club level, Yolanda boasts an inspiring journey in the world of surfing. Her multicultural background, with a Portuguese father and Welsh mother, adds depth to her identity. Yolanda discovered her passion for surfing at the age of eight, setting the stage for a remarkable career.

Achievements: Yolanda Hopkins has etched her name in surfing history with notable achievements. In the 2020 Summer Olympics, she secured a commendable 5th place in the women's shortboard event, marking her debut appearance at the prestigious games. The 2021 ISA World Surfing Games witnessed her prowess as she claimed the Vice-Champion title, earning a silver medal in the Women's category and contributing to Portugal's success with a bronze medal in the Team event. Yolanda's skill and dedication were further recognised when she bagged the Best Wave Award at the 2019 Portugal Surf Awards and received the Tiago Pires award in the same year. Her journey reflects not only individual excellence but also a commitment to representing Portugal on the international surfing stage.

Instagram: @yo_surf

famous Portuguese surfers - Yolanda Hopkins Young Portuguese Surfing Talent

Famous Portuguese Bodyboarders

Joana Schenker: Joana Schenker is a highly accomplished bodyboarder from Portugal. She has been a dominant force in women's bodyboarding and has secured multiple national and international titles.

Dino Carmo: Dino Carmo is a prominent Portuguese bodyboarder known for his skills in big wave riding. He has gained recognition for tackling challenging waves, including those at Nazaré.

António Laureano: António Laureano is another notable Portuguese bodyboarder who has made a name for himself in the national and international bodyboarding scene.

Miguel Adão: Miguel Adão is known for his progressive and dynamic style in bodyboarding. He has competed in various competitions and is recognized for his contributions to the sport.

Famous Portuguese Surf Spots

  1. Peniche: Peniche is a popular surf destination for famous Portuguese surfers with several renowned breaks, including Supertubos, which hosts the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour event. Other notable spots in Peniche include Molhe Leste and Consolação all loved by famous Portuguese surfers.
  2. Ericeira: Ericeira is a World Surfing Reserve and offers a variety of waves suitable for surfers of all levels. Coxos and Ribeira d'Ilhas are two well-known surf spots in this area.
  3. Nazaré: Famous for its gigantic waves, Nazaré attracts big wave surfers looking to ride some of the largest waves in the world. The underwater Nazaré Canyon contributes to the formation of massive waves. It's loved by famous Portuguese surfers.
  4. Guincho Beach: Located near Cascais, Guincho Beach is known for its consistent waves and strong winds. It's a popular spot for both famous Portuguese surfers and windsurfers.
  5. Sagres: The southwestern tip of Portugal, around Sagres, offers several surf spots with a mix of beach and reef breaks. Tonel and Beliche are two well-known beaches for surfing in this area.
  6. Praia Grande: Situated near Sintra, Praia Grande is one of the largest beaches in Portugal and is known for its consistent surf. It's suitable for surfers of various skill levels.
  7. Carcavelos: Close to Lisbon, Carcavelos is a popular beach for surfers in the capital city. It can get crowded, but the consistent waves make it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.
  8. Costa da Caparica: Just across the river from Lisbon, Costa da Caparica offers several kilometers of sandy beaches with various surf breaks. It's easily accessible from the capital making t poular among famous Portuguese surfers.

Summing It Up: What To Do Now

Now you have a vast list of the most famous Portuguese surfers be sure to check out famous surfers from countries around the world such as Spain and Brazil!

If your interested in learning more about surfing discover our many guides that will inform you on your surfing journey. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Instagram to stay informed on our amazing surf shots and stories shared from surf creators around the world!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the biggest waves in Portugal?

The biggest waves in Portugal are often found at Nazaré, particularly at Praia do Norte.

How fast do surfers go at Nazare?

Surfers at Nazaré can reach incredible speeds, with some estimates suggesting speeds of up to 60 miles per hour or more, especially when riding the massive waves generated by the underwater Nazaré Canyon.

What is the famous big-wave in Portugal?

One of the most famous big waves in Portugal is "Praia do Norte" in Nazaré. It's renowned for its colossal waves, particularly during the winter months, attracting big-wave surfers from around the world.

How many surfers have died at Nazare Portugal?

The specific number of surfers who have died at Nazaré, Portugal, is difficult to ascertain as it may vary over time. The powerful waves and challenging conditions at Nazaré make it a demanding spot for even the most experienced surfers.

Is Portugal safe for surfing?

Portugal is generally considered safe for surfing, but it's essential to be aware of local conditions, tides, and potential hazards. As with any water sport, surfers should prioritise safety, use proper equipment, and be mindful of their skill level in varying conditions.

What is the surf capital of Portugal?

Ericeira is often considered the surf capital of Portugal. The town, located on the west coast, boasts numerous world-class surf breaks and has been recognised as a World Surfing Reserve.

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