São Jorge Surfing

About São Jorge

São Jorge is long (56km), thin (8km at widest point) and extremely steep (1053m at the central peak). Short, rocky platforms called 'fajas' are the dominant coastal feature, formed by either lava flowing into the sea or piles of rocks that have fallen from the sheer cliffs that rise up to 400m in places. Of the 46 fajas (30 on the north coast) only 5 are ever surfed regularly by the locals. There's little need to explore further as there are more waves in a 3km stretch than the small population of locals can handle. Faja dos Cubres has been touted as Portugal's longest wave yet it must be in close competition for the leg-burner crown with the Faja da Caldeira do Santo Cristo when it links up from the tip of Feiticeiras to the tail of Lago do Linho. These fajas work in all size swells and break with power over the boulders. One feature of the island's geology means a SW wind may be 35km/h on the south coast but accelerates over the mid island ridge and descends at almost double that speed on the north side. W-NW winds can follow the cliffs cross-shore and basically behave in an erratic way. Faja dos Vimes is the only regular south coast option when SW swells and N winds combine. Like its neighbours, São Jorge is also a year-round proposition, handling the biggest winter swells but also picking up whatever is coming from the W to E swell window in summer. N winds are a bummer and exposes the island's lack of options, but the Cubres/Sto Cristo area is often rideable in onshore conditions.

Surf Spots