The truth about surfing in Portugal's Northern Coast

Portugal has roughly 1,115 miles (1,794 kilometers) of coastline. It is considered one of the greatest surfing destinations on the planet. However, the eyes of the world are always focused on the same spots.

And you know them already. That's why it's time to unveil Portugal's charming "ugly duckling."

Ericeira, the surfing capital of Europe; Peniche, Europe's most famous barreling wave; Nazaré, the biggest wave in the world; Azores, the surfing jewel of the Atlantic. And that's it. You've heard it multiple times: "Portugal is an amazing surfing country." Sure.

But the truth is that foreigners never get the whole picture. Not even one-tenth of what Portugal has to offer. In mainland Portugal, all they hear and get is the stretch of coast between Nazaré's Praia do Norte, and Lisbon's Costa de Caparica. And that's 90 miles (145 kilometers) of dreams promoted to exhaustion.

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The magical trade winds of the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands probably enjoy the best climate in the world. And they are also one of the most popular destinations in the planet for windsurfers, kitesurfers, and wave riders in general.

The archipelago's trade-wind-swept coasts and its UNESCO Biosphere Reserve seabeds are considered unique settings to practice a wide range of nautical and aquatic sports.

At the same time, they're an irresistible attraction for surfers and scuba divers from across the world who can meet up any time of the year, drawn by a climate like no other. Yes, in the Canary Islands, it's all about the sea and the waves.

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The best surf spots in Texas

If the word "Texas" conjures images in your mind of dusty cowboy boots, shootouts, pickup trucks and barbecue plates as big as your head, chances are you've learned everything you think you know about one of America's largest states by watching spaghetti westerns and Walker, Texas Ranger.

And you'd be dead right: you really can find all of these things in Texas. But they say everything's bigger in Texas, and, pardner, that sure does go for its surprises, too.

Possibly the last place you'd expect to find quality surfing, the southern and eastern coasts of the state are bordered by the warm, shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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A beautiful chaos, the ultimate surfing wave, a freak of nature, the advanced surfer's testing ground, a specialty wave, the premier tube riding arena, and, ultimately, the Mecca of surfing.

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