Out front – Portugal

In terms of variety, few places on Earth can match Portugal’s plethora of world-class wavescapes. You know how you know? What was once the country’s most famous wave, the powerful righthand pointbreak of Coxos, is barely even mentioned anymore. That’s how good the other spots are.

Portugal has arguably the most challenging big wave in the world (Nazaré Canyon in Praia do Norte), one of the most bloodthirsty righthand slabs in the world (Cave), one of the best jetty wedges in Europe (Figueira da Foz), one of the most consistent contest locales (Ribeira D’ilhas), and a beachbreak with barrels that are so superb, that’s exactly what they named it (Supertubos).

If that weren’t enough, Portugal also has two sets of islands, Madeira and the Azores, under its governance and so many beachbreaks, reefbreaks, pointbreaks, slabs, jetties, lefts, rights, A-frames, and backwash novelties scattered along its 530 miles of coastline, you’d have to be lobotomized to lose interest. And there’s rideable surf year-round (although fall and winter are best). And with all its peninsulas, somewhere’s always offshore.

Basically, there’s Heaven, there’s Earth, and somewhere in the space between is Portugal.

Credit: Luís “Ben” de Sá (@luisbendesa)

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