Now comes my favorite part – Surfing! As stated in the previous blogs, there are a few surf spots in the city of Fortaleza. There are other spots but for the sake of adventure, one can find them on their own. The furthest spot to the south is Praia do Futuro, then there is Titanzinho, then in the city itself is Diario, Ponte do Metalica, and the furthest spot to the north is Leste Oeste. Leste Oeste is the last break as you leave the city and head into Caucaia which is the next county north.
If you remember from the first post, I stated that Ceará has a dominant wind pattern and it blows from the east. Praia do Futuro is out of the protection of the bay and consistently has waves but to be honest, the form is usually awful. Many people surf this spot and I have as well but my recommendation would be to skip Praia do Futuro. Praia do Futuro has many barracas and the locals come here on the weekends and the beach gets rather crowded which sounds like a pretty good situation. However, it is a favorite place for the foreign tourists to bring their new “working” girlfriends. The result being that the service is poor and worse, crime is up in this area.
Speaking of this issue, this brings us to probably the best wave in the area which is Titanzinho. Titanzinho has a talented local crew and a nice jetty to protect the break from the wind. How talented is the local crew? Well, surfers such as former World Pro Jr. champion Pablo Paulino and pro surfer Andre Silva call this break their home. However, Titanzinho is also the name of the favela and this area is not to be taken lightly. I am a pro surfer and I could show up and tell everyone that I am the writer from the Side Wedge and paddle out. Maybe they would even like my surfing! But with the gang activity in the area you are taking a huge chance so either write and befriend a local pro surfer to be your ticket in or just play it safe and surf another area such as my next suggestion.
Located inside the bay of Fortaleza is Diario. Diario is in the tourist area in the neighborhood of Beira Mar and this is a safe area in the city. As for the break itself, Diario is a left and a right and it is a crunching beach break. It is a rather easy break to figure out and I will lay out the best way to surf this spot.
If you also remember, I explained that the wind consistently blows from the east and the swells wrap in from the south. The lefts are the most consistent wave and most of the surfers sit on the north end and wait for them. What normally happens is that the sets swing in wide and then the left pushes back into the break. However, depending on the conditions, the lefts breaks pretty fast and will shut down. The real place to surf is the right and this requires some patience and several factors to line up.
If you also remember in a previous post, I wrote about the extreme tidal fluctuations in Ceará. At low tide, Diario is a small break that closes out and appears to be a great wave for groms to ride on bodyboards. Also, in the right corner of the break is an area of rocks close to the shore. As the tide fills in, the rocks begin to get covered up and this is where your take off spot will be. The best spot to take off is over a finger of rocks that jut out further than the rest of the rock shelf. This finger of rock provides a good roll in that will allow you to get up some speed when you enter the inside section. If you do not want to be surfing over the rocks, from the water you will see two covered seating areas on the beach. The rocks end directly on the far left corner of the first (north) pavilion. If stay directly in front of this structure that houses the Chandler Surf School then you are safe. So once you line up, just sit and wait for the sets that come deep from the south side of the bay. These sets double up and follow the bank and do not close out.
If you keep heading north along the sidewalk you will come across 2 jetties but sadly the waves are not that great. Well, the second jetty does get a mushy wave on both sides but they are nothing worth paddling out for. Maybe with some time, some new sand bars will form along them but at this time it has not become a surf spot. So just keep heading north until you see a pier. This break is called Ponte do Metalica. Nope! This spot was not named because the surfers love Metallica. The name actually means “metal bridge”. When you come to the pier, the surf spot is on the north side of the pier. It is a fun wave and it peels off pretty well over the rock bottom. The paddle out spot is right along the pier.
When you leave the city, the last break is Leste Oeste. This is popular surfing area but once again there is one large issue. Remember that I explained that English is not frequently spoken in Ceará. Well, unless your Portuguese is good enough that you can speak to a thief that is robbing you, then please skip this area as well as Titanzinho. Leste Oeste is also conveniently located in a favela.
Of course there are loads of other breaks in the city such as Havaizinho but if you want some adventure, it is there for you to search them out. In my next post, I will speak about the breaks outside of the city. There are a lot of fun waves to be found and enjoyable towns as well to visit.
I grabbed the photo of the left at Diario and the wave at Titanzinho from the local surf report which is: www.waves.terra.com.br You can check out all the city breaks and the waves at Icarai at this site.