When the Levante blows, the Faro skimboarders shine bright
- 06 January 2017 | Skimboarding
Faro is the largest city of the Algarve, the most touristic region in Portugal. Every year, millions of people from all over the world visit this southern and warm coastline.
The Algarve has some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, and the average air temperature is most of the times above 65 °F (18 °C). The water is consistently mild, and you rarely hear waves breaking on the shore.
Faro is facing south and sits just 150 miles away from the Mediterranean Sea, so it rarely gets north Atlantic swells. However, where there's ocean, miracles can happen. And that miracle is called Levante.
Levante is a North African wind that blows in the Iberian Peninsula and south of France and produces powerful swells in the region. In other words, it means a few days of intense water action anywhere from Sagres to Barcelona.
SurferToday visited the stunning sand spits of Faro on one of those days and was lucky to meet two local skimboarders - David Marques and Luis Carmelo.
They're both young and talented. David and Luis are keeping the local skimboarding scene alive, and they never miss the Levante days.
David is an incredible rider. His eyes are always on the next wave. And Faro Beach is pumping splendid six-footers right now.
"We used to have an incredible skimboarding spot a couple of miles south from here. But the ocean ate it. Nevertheless, it's still very good when we get Levante," notes David Marques.
David uses a customized board by Victoria Skimboards. On his yellow board, he combined a classic traction pad with a homemade cork pad. The board is not new, but it seems to work well under his feet all the time.
David and Luis still remember the days when the world tour had a stop in Portugal. They believe the United Skim Tour (UST) may return one day if the sport continues to grow worldwide.
For now, they're part of a group that is promoting skimboarding in the region. SkimFaro aims to get more people to the beach, and to the magical shore break waves of the Faro sand spits.