Portuguese surfers find and restore historical footage

May 16, 2013 | Surfing
Portugal Radical: surfing footage from the early 1990s

A Portuguese company has recovered thousands of old videotapes featuring surfers and surfing of the early 1990s.

Surfing has exploded in Portugal in the early 1990s. Twenty years ago, rash guards were fluorescent, and surfers were riding twin fin surfboards mainly.

The first-ever TV show dedicated to action sports and surfing, in particular, was called "Portugal Radical."

The weekly program helped to boost the sport of surfing among teenagers and grownups.

Now, the National Archive of Surfing Videos is trying to give a new life to footage that has never been published or seen by Portuguese surfers.

A National Treasure

The archive was found, and it is considered a historical treasure.

"We've got two rooms, from floor to ceiling, full of videotapes," Pedro Morais Cardoso, producer at Linha Visual, tells Surfing Portugal magazine.

"We've already organized 1750 TV shows, and we estimate a total of 7000 blocks of footage. Then, there are several unedited tapes with thousands of hours of surfing and action sports."

The team behind the Portuguese National Archive of Surfing Videos found Tiago Pires, current ASP World Tour surfer, competing in the Under 12 divisions alongside the first generation of competitive surfers.

One of the first videos showcases footage from the Portuguese and European surfing competitions, dating from 1993 and 1994.

In the end, you can notice Nuno Jonet, the iconic international ASP speaker, in his 40s.

Portugal had recently unveiled an old surf film that rewrites the history of surfing.