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Tides, how does it works?

[🇬🇧] I saved this image from 7 January 2014, not because I did not accept this removal from the sea, but because I did not want the Good Surf Good Love connoted with chaos.


I didn’t immediately realize that the brand comes precisely from this chaos, and the full acceptance of this coming and going from storms, tides, winds, and the cyclical Sun – Moon apparitions.

Today I’m posting it, and take the opportunity to explain what factors have combined in this result molotov cocktail result.

On this day, there were 12 to 16m of swell, the waves had 24s period and the tide that was alive, at its maximum height was 3.6m.

🟢 And what are the Tides?

Anyone who has spent whole summer days at the beach knows that the tide is coming and going. This action between high tide and low tide is caused by the gravitational action of the moon and sun.


“Tides are periodic fluctuations in sea level and are the result of the attraction of the sun and moon to the liquid particles of the oceans.” At

As the Earth, Moon and Sun combine in different alignments, generating different types of tides.

Every day there are 4 tides separated by periods of about 6h. That is the length of time it takes the tide to travel between full and empty.

According to the phases of the moon, we can have 2 types of tides: the Spring Tides and the Neap Tides.


Spring tides occur in the Full Moon and New Moon phase, when the earth aligns with the moon and the sun.

The Neap Tides – on the First Quarter and Third Quarter  Moon.

In Portugal the tides range between 0.1 and 3.9m in the case of Spring tides. In the case of Neap Tides, the amplitude variation is very small ranging between 1.4 and 2.5m. 

In other areas of the planet the amplitudes vary. In some places they are practically nil, in others the differences are greater.

🌍 This last weekend when the high rainfall combined with a big swell – 7 to 14m and a high period – 17 to 19s (which I didn’t explain here, but will be coming back to it soon) has already done a lot of damage, even in a neap tidal period. Imagine that these were a Spring Tide, it would surely do even more damage.

Note: to check our Portuguese tides check  here:


🇵🇹 The Portuguese West Coast has plenty of beautiful beaches. Some with more, others with less consistency for Surf. 


Santa Cruz is a lovely small town, with few Services restaurants and beach bars, but have all you need for relaxing vacations.


July and August is the highest season and full of people everywhere, but still quieter than any other close known beach like Nazaré, Peniche or Ericeira.


In Santa Cruz, local people have the habit of going home to lunch, so in the middle of a Summer day, you can very often find the beach almost empty until 3 to 4 pm when it starts to fill up again.


😉The rest of the year:

Mid Season: May, June, September – more services are opened  but the Beach still absolutely empty. – My advice is, if you can, to travel at this time… From mid-June to Mid September you can find lifeguard control in the main central beaches. Don’t expect to find crazy night parties, because, at the moment there is no night disco. But you have some nice bars where you and your friends or family will be received has friends.

And Winter? – Well, Winter is Winter. But never forget, we are in PORTUGAL, where the Sun shines! Today, 11 December 2019, it’s 16º and of course – SUNNY! 🔆

Now, let’s talk about Surf Conditions!


The coast is totally turned to West, without cuts, to protect from the swell coming straight to the shore, which makes the sea and waves, sometimes rough even during Summer.


One thing you need to know is that, because of the tides, we have weeks without daylight Surf conditions, especially for all less experienced surfers. 


Let me explain: 

The slope of the beach is steep, so at high tide, usually, the waves fail to break. The best tide for someone with some surfing experience will be mid-tide and for those who are still learning, the best tide will be around low tide. 

As you know, there are usually two periods of high tide and two periods of the low tide over the course of a day. The interval between high tide and low tide is approximately 6 hours.

Do your math! 📉

The classes will always have to be close to the low tide schedule. 

The most important tip I can give you: 

Always consider the tide, forecast and please NEVER EVER practice surf alone in Santa Cruz.

And don’t get mad at us, if we don’t want to rent you surf gear, even if you say you are experienced… We are just looking after your life!

🙏The thing we love best is that we are still absolutely alone at this beach some days, even with great surf conditions. The reason is that most of the surfers, Surf Instructors, and other Surf business owners simply live in the city, and have other jobs in Low season, so… that makes almost everyone miss the right conditions. Wich means – MORE FOR YOU!!!!


👩‍🎓To live the best that Santa Cruz has to offer takes ocean knowledge, and to live on top of the beach to know this coast pattern best. 

⚠️If you want to take Surf vacations in this lovely Town, which we totally recommend, consult us, and we will advise you, about a good week, at least considering tides for your level. 

❓If you’ve been surfing in Praia de Santa Cruz before, tell what where your difficulties and where can I help you to improve your surf performance?