Surfing these Atlantic Islands requires patience and determination. The Azores volcanic peaks appear directly in the oceanic path of winter low pressures and scoop up the swell onto lava slabs, basalt boulders and the odd black sand beach. Isolated by 1600kms of angry Atlantic from Portugal and often encircled by the Azores High pressure system, winds are unpredictable and swells can come from a multitude of directions. A small population of cool locals patrol the main line-ups, but there is plenty of scope for discovery, making the Azores a mysterious, hardcore destination for adventurous surf-trippers. On Madeira incredibly tall, vertical faces encircle the interior. These same words are also perfect to describe the waves that rumble over deep reefs and points, creating one of Europe's most respected big-wave venues. Jardim do Mar may be famous for all the wrong reasons as coastal armouring has threatened to extinguish this world- class wave but there are many other acts in town for those that seek power and size. The ability to navigate big waves and big rocks on big boards requires big cojones, so the tight local crew are welcoming of respectful chargers that make the pilgrimage to ride the wild surf.
The Stormrider Surf Guides are the worlds best selling and most respected collection of surfing guide books delivered in paper, ebook and app formats. The Stormrider Surf Guides are the only comprehensive colour guides to surfing the coastlines of Europe, North America, Central American and the Caribbean, Indonesia and the Indian Ocean, South America, Africa, East Asia, The Pacific and Australia. The authoritative text includes oceanographic, environmental and cultural notes on the entire coastlines. Each guide contains numerous full colour maps and superb photos of the best waves, shot by the best photographers. All information is compiled with the help of local riders whose sensitive approach enables an accurate and knowledgeable appraisal. An essential tool for surfers searching for their perfect wave.