Here breaks one of the best waves that You can find in Europe and Africa (no kidding!). When it´s flat, You won´t find much interresting here. There is sand and stones and dust in abundance. The shoreline consists in a lot of black stones that form a little arc. South of that there is a sand beach. To get there You have to follow the right (means: not the wrong) piste until You find some primitve hut build of wood and palm leaves (if they´re not already destroyed by wind and waves).
The year round pretty constant blowing trade winds come side offshore from the right. They´re usually very light in the morning and get up to force 5 in the afternoon. When a solid north atlantic swell finds its way down to Sal the perfect shaped reef comes alive and produces some very long and clean rights and a short but intense left. Smaller waves break almost directly on the rocky shore. The bigger ones break a bit outside but give You still a good chance to end on the rocks when You make a mistake.
There is very few locals on the island that surf / windsurf / kite that wave, but give ´em priority and do Your best to conserve the relaxed athmosphere!
surfing: Get into the water at the sand beach south of the break (but be carefull with the heavy shorebreak) or, if You dare, jump into the water right in front of the peak and paddle as fast as You can (only recommended on small days). Usually the right is more a technical wave what means that there is room for many manouvers down the line on the way to the channel. Only once in while You´ll find tubes on the right. The more intense left offers more of those caverns to get shacked but don´t kick out too late as the wave ends on dry rock. The waves never close, out even on really big days there`ll still be a safe channel.
windsurfing: Your sponsor gives You an endless supply of gear? It´s the last day of Your trip and You want to get rid of some masts and sail? You´re just really good? Then go for it! Start at the 3m wide zone at the sand beach between the rocks and the gnarly shorebreak, wait until a set passed, pump Your way through the zone with very light and gusty winds close to shore, get upwind against the cross - offshore winds, find the peak, start with the initial aerial, speed down the line and place Your turns wisely and kick out into the channel. Timing is everything. One wrong turn, an aerial not landed in the green part of the wave or going out at the wrong place with little wind and a big set comming in, all these things leed to the same end: exit over the rocks and broken stuff. There is no other way out as through the channel, no way to pass the whitewater and there is no wind close to shore to jibe or to get the power needed to cross the incoming waves. This is for expert wavesailors only. But they will have the fun of their livetime sailing this place!
kitesurfing: some adventurous kiters are allready coming to this place since quite some time. It´s been the first place where I`ve actually seen kiters surf the waves. And as new shapes get better in real waves this might become a premier kitesurfing place. Winds are in the perfect range from force 4 to 5 most of the time. The gusty side - offshore wind that makes it that difficult for the windsurfers is not as gusty for the kiters. I´m sure we´ll see some premier action more often at this place in the near future.
in case it gets crowded: never forget that it was the windsurfers who discovered this wave, so give ´em priority!!
and now check out the surf- and windsurf galleries and the info board!
Ponta Preta, a threatened wave