What better way to start our September Bodyboard Holiday in Portugal than a day spent rolling with the pros, and watching the action unfold on final’s day at the Sintra Pro?
Getting to see the world’s best bodyboarders perform at Praia Grande (just 5 mins from our villa) was an absolute treat! Our guests not only got to watch the likes of Iain Campbell, Uri Valadao, PLC and Alex Uranga battle it out for the men’s crown, but they also had the opportunity to hang back stage and meet them in person. “It was refreshing to see how laid back and down to earth all the pros were.” said Eddie, our client from Mexico, who caught up with Amaury Lavernhe & Alex Uranga after a free surf session.
After grabbing a selfie with Joana Schenker, the winner of the women’s division, bbhols’ regular Ash Chapman commented: “She was very approachable and super friendly!”
Seeing the big guns surfing in Sintra was also a real eye opener in terms of how professional bodyboarders can optimize every part of a wave and make manoeuvres look so effortless in beach break conditions our clients can relate to. This spontaneously became the benchmark and reference point for the week’s coaching. Though we weren’t expecting our crew to emulate Iain Campbell’s 10-point back flips that led him to victory, we were able to focus on utilizing speed and executing manoeuvres in the power pocket. – By the end of the week we’d seen vast improvements in these areas of everyone’s surfing.
The Sintra Pro is the longest running competition on the world bodyboarding circuit where the local council puts up big prize money every year. It is also the first of three competitions to be held in Portugal in as many weeks, with the Viana de Castelo Championship (26th Sept – 1st Oct) and the Nazare Pro (3rd – 11th Oct) completing the trio. This ensures a large turnout for the competition as the world’s elite take advantage of one flight for three events. As a result there is always a good vibe about the place, and although the waves are not like El Fronton or Shark Island, all the pros seem to enjoy surfing this fun beach break, and taking in the local cuisine and culture. With the historical town and mythical mountains of Sintra just 10 minutes away, and a whole variety of good waves up and down the coast, there is plenty to do on the lay days too.
Our group trip to Portugal will be here at the Sintra Pro again next September, but if you can’t wait that long, then why not check out our October 2017 trip …two places still remain!