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SUMMARY
+ Brazil's best beachbreaks
+ Consistent year-round
+ Drier winter time
+ Buzios/cabo frio options
+ Rio access and services
- Lack of points and reefs
- Rare epic conditions
- Ultra-crowded main spots
- High street-crime rate
oneill



Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SOUTH AMERICA


Barra de Tijuca, John Callahan

Surf Spots

Barra de Guaratiba
Grumari
Prainha - Rio de Janeiro
Praia Macumba
Barra da Tijuca
São Conrado
Leblon
Arpoador
Diabo
Copacabana - Posto 5
Itacoatiara
Ponta Negra
Jaconé
Vila
Itauna
Seca
Praia Brava
Forte
Geriba
Laje Rasa

The Surf

Rio’s physical features are dominated by the Sierra do Mar mountain range, which is cloaked by the Mata Atlantica forest. Mountains plunge into the sea, forests meet the beaches, and cliff faces rise abruptly from the extended lowlands. This combination forms the landscape of rare beauty that has made Rio famous as the Wonderful City “Cidade Maravilhosa”. It’s one of the most densely populated places on earth, with seven million “Cariocas” indulging in dancing, drinking, beach-going and sunbathing. The low coastline has been deeply altered by years of earthwork and has several offshore islands in the background.



When to Go

The littoral ‘carioca’ is well exposed to the frequent S-SE Antarctica swells (April-Oct), providing 2-10ft (0.6-3m) conditions most of the time. Expect unusual late-winter E swells produced by lows tracking way off the coast or by major highs blowing strong E winds which send short ENE groundswells. Swells rarely get big which is convenient because few spots seem to hold size. Dominant wind comes from the E varying from 16% (June) to 32% (Oct); NE-SE is the usual direction while winters seem to produce more SW-S winds when cold fronts move towards the coast. Offshores only occur on calm mornings before 10am when the E seabreeze picks up or on SW spots with NE winds. The good news is that tidal range is really low and doesn’t matter most on the time. Grab a ‘tabua de mares’ for better understanding.

SURF STATISTICS
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
dominant swell E -S E -S E -S E -S E -S E -S
swell size (ft) 2 2-3 3-4 4 3-4 2
consistency (%) 50 60 80 90 80 50
dominant wind NE -E NE -E NE -E NE -E NE -E NE -SE
average force F3-F4 F3-F4 F3-F4 F3-F4 F4 F3-F4
consistency (%) 67 46 39 48 47 60
water temp (C) 25 25 23 22 22 23
wetsuit boardshorts boardshorts springsuit springsuit springsuit springsuit
Population
15M

Coastline
636km (397mi)

Timezone
GMT -3h

Travel Information

Weather

Rio is tropical, warm and humid, with local variations, due to differences in altitude, vegetation and proximity to the ocean; the average annual temp is 22°C/72°F, with daily averages higher in summer from 30-32°C (86-90°F); rains vary from an annual 1,200 to 2,800mm (48-110”in). It can also be dreadfully humid; there are more showers in summer than at other times, but they rarely last long. From December to March, the high summer season, very hot days are followed by luminous evenings when heavy and rapid rains usually bring relief and starlit nights. Most surfers tend to come in winter; take a shorty for the morning windy days but boardshorts rule this coast!

Nature

The beach in Rio is the main place to go for action, sport, parties, shows...Futvolei is big! Don’t miss Pão de Azucar (400m) or Corcovado Cristo Redentor (710m) for sunset views of the city from a cable car. Pillion flights with a pilot hang/para-gliding off the 510m Pedra Bonita can be arranged. Excellent hiking and climbing.

Hazards

Surfing is popular around Rio so expect thick crowds at any urban spot any time, look for long beaches with hiking access for hassle-free line-ups. Other sea hazards are rare, aside from pollution. Drug abuse and violence litter the streets and crime rate is very high. Avoid strolling in favelas (shantytowns), Rocinha, being the largest one.

Hints

Get boards in Rio. They are cheap ($150-200, shortboard) and good quality. Shapers: Lelot, André Cebola, Akio. Shops: Mercomundi in Gavea, Gaya Surf or Stcomp. Gun use is unlikely, hire one if need be. Few surf schools: Escola de Surf Rico (Ipanema, Barra) or ES Paulo Dolabella (Ipanema). Avoid Carnival time!