The bay of Santa Maria faces the south. The wind here is port-tack, side-off shore.
You need to be careful on these spots because they seem to be very safe but if you have a problem or break something, the next stop is probably Brazil! (Don’t panic – we do have a jet-ski!)
There are some very different spots in this bay – far more that you first imagine. You will find some good waves here when the swell comes from the South or from the North (wind swell).
1. Ponta Leme (aka Ponta Este)
This is probably the easiest wave in Sal. To windsurf here you need to start from our Center and sail upwind. The wind is usually side to side-on shore and the waves are not very powerful. If you are not confident with your wave riding this is the place for you. Even when the swell is getting bigger, the waves are still easy to ride – safe and danger-free. The wave can be surfed both back side and front side. This is also a very good spot for jumping. There is a lot of flat water in front of the waves, so you can get full speed on the wave for some very high jumps!
A few days of strong winds will create a wind swell from the North-West and Ponta Leme is one of the first spots the waves will reach.
2. Ponta Leme’s Left
Just a few hundred metres before Ponta Leme, there is a small point where the wave is hollow and, therefore, more powerful. This small wave is not for everybody, especially when it is small and breaks just in front of the rocks. The wind here is side-off shore, which is great for wave riding but unfortunately it is often irregular and lighter in the wave. The waves here are inconsistent during the day as it depends on several elements – particularly the tide. When the conditions are good, enjoy them. When they are not working, you should come back a couple of hours later to check how it is going! When the swell gets bigger, you can catch a wave at Ponta Leme and ride it up to here. The length of the wave increases with its size. After a certain size, the wave can even connect up with Wave Power.
3. Wave Power
OK – it is a long story how this spot got it’s name – and unfortunately it has nothing to do with powerful waves… Anyway, this is not a long wave but form time to time there is a good hollow bowl here which can be really great for aerials.
4. Club Angulo
This is probably where you will start you windsurfing experiences of Sal’s different spots – right in front of our Centre. From here you can go upwind to Ponta Leme or downwind to Ponta Sino. In the winter there can sometimes be some shore break here on to a few rocks, but nothing really dangerous. Don’t worry – we have plenty of staff to help you through the shore break if you are at all nervous.
When there are some waves you can watch some of the team from the Centre doing some amazing wave riding with big aerials and goiters, just a few metres in front of the Centre. If you want to join them, just remember it can be shallow and a little rocky here and there….
5. Rife (AKA Pontão)
Located next to Santa Maria’s pier, this is a good spot for the summer months. You will have to share your wave with a lot of surfers, so even if the waves are small you need to make sure you are capable of avoiding hitting one of them! This is far from being the best spot on the island but this is one of the best to share some good times with the local guys, both on the water and on the beach.
6. Club Mistral / CNS
That’s not really a spot; it’s more a starting point for the other spots for people from the CNS and Mistral Clubs. There is very often a shore-break, which is potentially big in the winter, a lot of boats and gusty winds. Not recommended, but a good starting point for Ponta Sino, downwind.
7. Ponta Sino
On the other side of the bay is Ponta Sino. You must be an advanced windsurfer to go to Ponta Sino, mainly because it is off-shore and you need to be able to get back upwind at the end of the session – usually the time you are exhausted after riding dozens of waves! But the spot is rewarding. The wind is side-shore and the waves are powerful, breaking on a small reef, far enough from the beach to enable big jumps. You just need to be careful with tow wrecks. The one upwind is quite visible but the smaller one is downwind near the shore and completely underwater and potentially dangerous at low tide. There is also a strong tidal current at times so don’t sail here alone if you are not fully confident. This is definitely a spot you should try at least once – and you will share the way back to your starting point with the flying fish!