Words by Frederico Morais. Photography by Alan van Gysen

I’m super excited to have a wildcard in the the WCT event. It’s a big opportunity to be a part of this close group of incredible athletes, and that’s the ultimate dream. We work every single day to get here and take every single opportunity to be in an event like this and I’m just super stoked and very grateful.

And of course being from Portugal it’s a very big thing. I mean in Portugal you don’t have many pro surfers on tour. There are lots of younger guys starting to come up but until now it’s only been Tiago on tour and not many of us have competed here in Peniche, so you feel really happy to be at home with your family and friends watching. It’s pretty epic.

I’m really proud to be a part of this Portuguese momentum right now. I can’t wait to add more to this and bring some happiness to the Portuguese surfers. And the industry with all the comps and the world tour it makes a big difference. It’s been a very big effort from all the brands, everyone who works for this to make it happen. It’s really great to see sponsors from within and outside of the surf industry

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0039

Portuguese surfing right now is in a very exciting place. The first main guy anyone's probably heard of from here was Tiago. And we’re still completing against him. So there isn’t really any competitive history on the world tour.

Before that there were a few guys on the QS, but nothing crazy. Right now we have like seven guys trying to quality. I mean Vasco (Ribeiro) was the world junior champion last year and Tiago was on tour for seven years. So we’re looking strong and I think we’re making a name for Portugal on the surfing scene. I mean we also have Nic von Rupp, he chargers like a maniac and he’s everywhere. So I’m really proud to be a part of this Portuguese momentum right now.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0012

We all need to work together to make it easier for everyone and I think it’s really exciting. I think Portuguese surfing is growing very fast and it’s going to continue to go. We just need to look for the right opportunities to work with the right people and to commit and dedicate to the sport.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0030

I don’t usually come to Peniche when it’s flat (laughs). Only when it’s good and that’s when everyone comes. No but here you have plenty of things to do, it’s a very beautiful city. You can always surf. There are two sides to the peninsula so depending on swell direction and wind you can head to another side. It’s really consistent and the perfect place to learn and train. It’s really famous for the golfing. I don’t golf, but for guys like Kelly etc do so it’s good. No one has seen him yet, but he’s probably golfing.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0081

The food is also really good and people are very welcoming. It’s a cool fishing town. There are some famous restaurants. There is one I love in particular it’s called Tasca do Joel. It’s a really good restaurant, with really good seafood and meat. The town has lots of history and a very cozy and welcoming feeling.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0018

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0053

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Surfing is growing so much in Portugal, but one of the problems is that the standard of surfing is still low and needs to develop. So that’s one thing we should worry about and try to get more good surfers and create more and more good surfing. But I think that’s coming. I mean all the schools and coaches are doing a good job, but it’s still crowded. But everyone respects each other in the lineup and you don’t see fights or big arguments.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0019_MattWilkinson

Everyone is mellow and just wants to enjoy the waves and their surfing and the simple lifestyle of surfing and grabbing a surf during lunch or after work so there is a good surf culture. Everyone is very passionate and supportive. You feel it when you’re having a good free-surf in the water.

The banks look super fun, so either barrels, turns or some airs, but probably a combination really. Supertubos is a very peaky wave so I think you can easily get a barrel and finish with an air or big layback. And it’s best on mid-tide. Even when it’s barreling you can find a wave to do turns, but when it’s barreling you aren’t looking to do turns - haha! But ye it’s a wave where you can mix everything. That’s the great thing about Supertubos. We’ll see. The swell is looking good. Not huge, but really fun. I think the lefts are better. If you get a really good right it’s more hollow and scary, but the lefts are more consistent.

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Portugal_AlanvanGysen-0069_Federico&RichardDogMarsh

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