Itacaré is going off

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

Sun, cheering and lots of surf is how this past weekend in Itacaré can be described, when the surfing contest Bivolt of Surf and Bodyboard by Smolder and Backdoor was held at the beach of Tiririca.

The winner of the open category was local Iago Silva that recently also came second in the national championship of Billabong Brasileiro 2012. Over 120 young athletes gathered on Saturday and Sunday morning on the beach, each one of them trying to show their best performance on the famous waves of Tiririca.

12 year old Gabriel Garrido from Salvador took place in the competition and sent a positive message to all young people out there saying that surfing is a good way to stay healthy and happy and spend time outdoors and away from bad sideways and habits.

Amongst the athletes was also local surfer Mariana Padilla, who got the third place in the feminine finals and said that “the level of the competition is very high because most of the participants train here in Tiririca and therefore achieve a high level of surf”.

Just like Gabriel, everyone was excited that the contest was held at the beach of Tiririca where the waves always are inviting to good rides. Thor Costa has been renting surf equipment for over 10 years in his shop in the street of Pituba and has over the years seen the surfloving crowd in Itacaré.

The reason Itacaré is so dominated by surf is not only because of the vibe but also because of its geographical positions. The localization of the beaches is in a perfect spot for the swell to enter and that is why the waves always break so beautifully” says Thor.

Victor Kruschewsky, media advisory and promoter of the event, says that the reason that they had chosen this beach for the competition is because it’s one of the favorite surf spots in south Bahia.

“There are good waves, beautiful people, it’s a sunny day and people of all ages are sharing this joyful vibe” said Victor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepless in Itacaré

 

By: Bella Papadopoulou

Except for being Bahia’s capital of surf, Itacaré offers an excellent party scene. While reggae is what dominates the rhythm of this town, everyone will be able find something that fits his taste.

 Having spent the day relaxing on the beach or surfing the waves, it is impossible to turn down the night’s seductive invitation for a Caipirinha or two. Luckily there are hundreds of places to do so!

Favela and Djungle have since a long time back been crowned as king and queen of Itacarés nightlife. On the cobblestoned street of Pituba, people gather around the two fruit stands where you point at the fruit of your choice and then watch it being transformed into a cool Caipiroska. If you arrive alone, it is a guaranteed promise that you will leave with a handful of new friends or even the next love of your life (depending on how many Caipiroska’s you had).

For those who are looking for something more low-key, the sea fronting bay of the so called Orla is your answer. Here you will find places like the Casarao Amarelo and the Casarao Azul that both offer a loungy atmosphere accompanied by soothing sounds of live Bossa Nova.

The equivalence to Rio De Janeiro’s samba, in Bahia is the Forro. Thursday and Saturday Mar é Mel has a live orchestra for everyone that wants to practice their moves on the dance floor. Or why not try some dancesteps on the beach?  Cabana Corais, a bungalow-like bar on praia do Concha, has a live band playing Forro every week.

If you like something more intimate, then Sandy’s Pousa da Terra is the place. In the garden of the cozy pousada the ambience is just like that idyllic feeling that can only be achived when there is a bonfire and a guitar involved. Top it off with a Mojito with a lot of ice.

 

 

Festive atmosphere at Praia da Coroinha!

By: Bella Papadopoulou.

One of the “Itacaréan’s” favorite Sunday activities is to watch the annual beach football league at Praia da Coroinha, an event that brings people from all ages and neighborhoods together in a cheering atmosphere.
The Football League has attracted local residents and tourists for 18 years, making it the most important competition of the city. Every Sunday afternoon, people gather around the sand field to watch the goals and witness one of the most beautiful sunsets in Brazil.

“I really enjoy coming here each Sunday and share this feeling with all my friends. It is a very good thing for our society” says local resident, Jorge Gazo.

Arnaldo Santos Silva is the main organizer of the league and says that everything is based on volunteer support.

“All the work we do is voluntary and we have players from 5 to 18 years. We do a kind of social work for the sake of sport activity in the city” Santos says.

Nildo Malhado has been training with his team for this league and proves to be one of the favorites among the crowd this year. He also believes that the level of the games is increasing every passing year.
“Itacare is a place where a lot of people enjoy and are involved in various sports, a league like this increases the mood of the city,” says Nildo.

While the players show their moves on the sand, children play around with a ball of their own.  Among them was young David Nascimento, a loyal fan of the league that never misses a game.

“I always meet my friends here on Sunday. I think it’s important to have actions like this one in the city in order to keep the youth away from drugs and other crimes,” says David.
But this is not just an entertainment for locals. Tourists from all around the world gather at the bay of the beach in order to follow the games and enjoy a cold Brazilian beer. English Tom Fry spent his Sunday evening watching the games, enjoying the excitement in the air.

“This is so much fun! I’ve been at other beach football games in Rio de Janeiro as well, but this one is a hundred times better. The atmosphere is very good and the level of the football is high”, says Tom.

in waves we trust

By: Lala the Sunchaser.

The locals of Itacaréare known for two things: their appreciation for reggae music and their love of surf. For many here, surfing is a drug. I have witnessed the young and older running barefoot in the rain just to catch a wave. And I have spent  the past few days with one of these surf addicts who goes by the name of Felipe Almeida. Born and reared in Itacaré, Felipe began surfing at the age of seven. The first time I met him we were both on the same boat for a day trip along the Contas River. I had only been living here for three weeks. Felipe didn’t talk much but I knew there was something more to this mystery man than a great head of hair.
I met Felipe a few weeks ago at his surf shop on the main road aka “Pituba”. We talked for over an hour about waves, the surf culture in Itacaré and his life as the owner of Local Surf School and Shop.
“Why Surf?” I asked.

He closed his eyes as if he was floating in the ocean then quickly re-opened them and responded, “The first time I stood up. I knew I wanted to continue.”

I asked Felipe if he thought surfers were born with the skill to ride waves or if hardcore training was the key.
He shook his head and said, “Both. For me, I believe both.”
Who introduced you to surfing?
A few of my friends influenced me. In particular, Neto, Origenes, Adriano, and Bruno.

Name your top 3 favorite surfers and why.
Andy Irons was the most radical surfer, Danilo Couto because he exudes courage, and Origenes Araújo for his surfing style.

What is surfing about for you?
It´s all about the feeling. It´s very spiritual and it´s very personal. I surf to be ready when that perfect wave arrives. Each surfer brings his or her influences to the ocean. The type of wave you need may be completely different from the type of wave I need. It is an endless quest.
When did you first begin teaching and what are the first things you share with your students?
I started teaching in 1998 at the age of sixteen. During the first class, I review the landscape of the beach and its surrounding area, then we discuss safety, and next we warm up together by stretching before we enter the water.

What does one need to teach surf?
There are five different certifications. You don´t necessarily need them all but I have these from the International Surfing Association (ISA).
1. Professor Surf
2. Technical Surf
3. Judge Surf
4. First Aid Certification
5. Life Guard Certification
How would you describe the surf culture in Itacaré?
Itacaré is a small town with not a lot of construction which is great for surfing because the wind current is better and the surrounding nature is beautiful so many people travel here for this reason. The native surfers respect each other and the space of visiting surfers. Although it’s always more fun to surf where there are less people.

How would you describe Itacaré?
It´s my foundation, my home.
What do you like to do when you are not surfing?
Swimming, reading, and playing guitar. (He’s also known for lurking around with a bottle of white wine in hand.)

Where is your next surf trip and what are the 5 most important things you will bring with you?

I am planning to go to South Africa and Indonesia next year … I will bring:

  1. Pimenta sauce made my mother
  2. Five different surf boards (pranchas)
  3. My new camera
  4. Sunglasses
  5. My iPod

Speaking of iPods, what is your favorite song?
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.  Actually he responded by saying “Comfortable Numbers” and just to keep the conversation going, I acted as if I knew the tune. Felipe had been life guarding on the beach and not until my walk home did I realize that he actually meant this track from the album, The Wall.
I´ve managed to attend one surf class with Felipe and although, it was a formidable experience, I could envision riding a wave in this lifetime with a great deal of discipline and practice. There were three other students in my class: two from Holland and one from São Paulo. It was a beautiful day and Felipe taught the class in English since it was the common language amongst us four. After two hours in the water, we returned to Pituba craving food then hammock time.
Felipe is a staple in the community and a character amongst characters.