Davide, a Waterwind team member, exaggerated this August, and went to try the mythical spot of Jericoacoara, in Brazil. He sent us this great review, that has already made us feeling the need to go there, as soon as possible....
Windsurf, spot review: Jericoacoara (Brazil)
Jericoacoara (Jerì) is a little town, located in the north of Brazil, 300km from the international airport of Fortaleza.
It’s considered as a great windsurf destination since almost 10 years thanks to its wind constancy; here the “aliseo” blows from July to December. In the past Jeri was a small village of fishermen; now it’s definitely a tourist destination that has kept a particular appeal. it’s located inside a natural park and all its road are made of sand; it can be reached only by a 4x4 car.
the weather is dry from June to December and rainy from January to May; there are many palms and the wind here is blowing at each moment of the day.
From the wind point of view, its main feature is that it offers an extraordinary constancy of strong windy days: out of 17 days the bigger sail I have used is the 4.7 (my weight is 68kg); after taking with locals, this is the standard case for August...every single day you can be sure about the wind.
Windsurfing and winds
In Jeri the Aliseo is blowing constantly from July to December (in these 2 borderline months it might happen to have some light wind days...like 5.5). The tide amplitude here is quite evident and the tide forecast has to be kept in mind during your windsurf sessions.
During August the waves are small, and they get bigger during October/November: these 2 months are the best choice for wavers. On the other side, getting closer to December the wind will slightly decrease its intensity. So if you’re planning a trip at the end of the year, you have to consider that there might be “lighter” wind days.
During August the waves can be handled by medium-skilled surfer (feet in the straps, waterstart): when going out you’ll find nice kickers (1 meter or a little bit more) with side wind: a good starting point for learning jumps. the locals here, even in this period, can jump up more than a couple of masts...
Normally the waves get bigger as the tide is rising, but it’s not always true, because the tide is not the only factor influencing the waves size.
Windfinder is not really reliable here: it catches more or less the trend, but you have to keep in kind to always add 5-10knots due to the thermal wind. Typically the wind starts to get stronger at 10 in the morning, reaching the peak in the afternoon (it turns also of some degrees due to the thermal wind). In my experience the wind behaves like this in the first week, whereas in all the other days the wind peak was around 12-13 and then after 15 it starts to decrease.
All the Jeri bay is downwind, so in the bay the wind is extremely gusty. All the beginner lessons are done in this area, even it’s not the best place for beginners.
The main spot is located on the right side of the main beach (looking at the sea). You go out with the wind on your right side and in the first 100m you can find nice waves to jump. Outside you can find big rounded-waves (around one mast or smaller) and you easily jump even here. Especially in some days, every single run is just so amazing… there’s no chance to get bored there.
A nice feature of this spot is the possibility to have a rest in each moment: you start and arrive in an area in which you have water under your knees.
When starting from the beach, it’s crucial to have you feet in the straps in a short time, because you reach the area of the waves to jump with the feet out...you’re going to see some serious s…stuff
The water current outside is quite strong(in the direction of the wind) so you have always to point upwind, in order to don’t lose water.
It’s really a great “training center”, that allows to anyone to improve in windsurfing. Outside it’s necessary to have the waterstart; waves and holes in the wind could make it a little bit challenging.
Personally, going out at full speed was really amazing…up and down outside with huge walls in front of you!
When coming back, crossing the “flag”, it’s possible to start surfing the waves: it’s a little bit crowded here, but there’s space for everyone with a little bit of patience.
For freestylers who wants to really have flat water is possible to reach the area in front of the duna: here the wind is gusty, but the water is almost flat.
The Malhada beach ( “ma-lia-da”) is located on the right of the main beach and it’s known to be the “wave spot” of Jeri: it can be reached with your board starting from the main spot with 4 upwind runs.
Personally, due to my level, I’ve never gone there with my board, but anyhow in August can be visited even by intermediate or beginner wavers.
Looking at the sea from the beach, the spot is divided in 2 zones: the right area is reserved for surf and SUP. On the left there are kite and windsurf.
There are some rocks that might be under the water in high-tide conditions. Moreover there are visible rocks on the very left side (so downwind… be careful). From what I’ve heard, there might be a little bit of “fight” for the waves between kiters and windsurfers
Lagoa do Paraiso
With 40 minutes of 4x4 you can reach a nice lagoon with white sand: here you can fide a flat-water spot, perfect for freestyle or just for improving maneuvers.
Normally here you have the same wind strongness like in Jeri, or a little bit less.
However the day we’ve gone there my 4.5 was really full, and at the end the day, in Jeri they told me they’ve used 4.7 mostly (so a light wind day!).
In the Lagoa the wind is gusty and you have holes in the strength of the wind in some area.
The rent “Jeri250” allows me to get a full rig there, whereas my friends rent the equipment at “Bob wind”.
We were 5 people with 4 complete rigs and we organized the transfer with the well known local “Luiz” (which owns also a good kiosk, named “windsurf drinks”); the total cost for the transfer with a “camioneta” is 350Rs.
The travel along the dunas was really funny.
When standing in the beach, you’ll have the wind right in your face, so your runs will be all along the beach.
In the water, in front of the umbrella zone, there are some bather, so be careful.
I’ve had a lot of fun in this spot…but I’ve also got an injury just under my eye due to my sunglasses: during a fall the board hit my face… thinks that can happen…but fortunately nothing serious.
Here’s some nearby spost, that I haven’t tested: Tatajuba (1h20) and Camocim (1h30)
In Jeri there are many places to rent the windsurf equipment: the closest to the main spot is “club do ventos”; it is also the one with newer equipment (JP ad Startboard carbon boards, and Neilpride sails); it is also the most expensive. Some friends have rented here and they were very happy with it.
They have also a good bar/restaurant; this was my favourite place for snack (acai) after my windsurf sessions.
I’ve rented at Jeri250 (http://www.jeri250.com/), the centre managed by Edvan and Aurora; I’ve been very happy with it!
Here you can find RRD board and sails. Evan, Aurora and Hugo can help you with the choice of the right equipment according to the wind condition of each day. The rent is located in the main beach, just at the right side of “rue principal” (main street crossing Jeri). The total rent cost for 15 days is 515 euro.
Here’s, day by day, the equipment I’ve used:
94 4.5 (lagoa do paraiso)
94 3.7 , then 4.2
Before my session, I was used to go the Malhada beach: there is easier to evaluate the wind intensity.
You can get to Jeri by flying to Fortaleza: from Italy there’s a weekly flight from Malpensa (direct flight) with Meridiana. There are also daily flight with TAP Portugal (usually via Lisbon). Prices: 600eur or above; medium price is 800eur. For carrying the equipment TAP is asking 150eur (1board, 2 sails, 1 mast, on boom) for each way. With my weight I’d bring a 4.2 and 4.7.
From Fortaleza you can get to Jeri with a public bus (60-70rs) and it takes around 7 hours; there are 3 buses per day and for detailed timetables check http://fretcar.com.br/
Te other way to get here is via a private transfer, with a 4x4; the cost is around 600Rs (max 4 peolple).
In August 2016: 1eur=3.5Rs.
Take into account that in Jeri there are no ATMs, so it might be a good idea to get money in Fortaleza. Most of the bar/restaurant in Jeri accept credit cards.
If you have the chance you can schedule your trip after checking the tide forecast: it might be a good idea to arrive here with the lowest tide.
In August the average cost per person per night is 20-30eur for a double room with breakfast. The price varies with the Exchange rate of the local currency and it increases a lot for the Christmas period (also due to the high demand of brasilian tourist, during their summer).
After a brief research I’ve chosen the pousada “casalice” (http://www.casalice.com), and I’d recommend it for sure. It’s well managed by a couple of Italians, Claudio and Anna Maria that have been moved there since years.
Claudio is also an expert wavers so he will be glad to give you some tips about windsurfing in Jeri. The breakfast here is really great, with a wide choice of homemade products.
Restaurant and other topics
There are many nice restaurants, all reachable with a 5 minutes walk. For a dinner (main dish of meat or fish with 2 sides, some beers and some desserts) you usually spend 60-90Rs per person.
Among those we’ve tried, I’d recommend: “espaço aberto”, “na casa dela” and “pimenta verde”.
The nightlife here is quite soft and usually at 2:00 all is over.
After the sunset, at the end of the main street, at the beach, there are many kiosk that serves cocktails made with fresh fruits: I’d suggest to try “windsurf drink” kiosk, managed by Luiz.
By the way, it was very interesting to assist to the lesson of Luis to his child (8 years old): in one of the first lessons is already been launched with an 84lit wave board, a 2.0 sail and 25knots of the main spot! Feet in the straps and harness… and boom! Obviously he was crashing at the first or second wave… but according to Luiz every local here has learnt this way!
Since 6 months Jeri has a brand new medical center, that is able to operate some basic stuff.
Being 200km from the equator, the sunset is at around 6:00. The weather is quite dry, but if you lay at the main beach (downwind) it’s possible that you start sweating; a nice place for sunbathing is the Malhada beach, in which you feel the wind in front of you (sun cream is strongly suggested).
I’d suggest also a visit to the site “Pedra Forada”: apart the rock view, I have loved the trekking that bring there from Jeri. With the low-tide you can walk all along the beach, but you can go up the hill to take some amazing photos.
The “Pedra Forada” is on the right side of the Malhada.
Sunsets here are really amazing, and you can enjoy the show from every point of the beach. I suggest to try at least one time to see it from the duna; every evening a lot of people meet here to see together this amazing show.
During the sunset, with high-tide, there might be good waves to ride with a surf or SUP.
After the sunset it gets dark in around 40minutes. At the beach you can also assist to the famous “capoeira”, a typical fight that looks like a dance.
Moreover, since there are not too many lights, it also possible to see many stars in the sky during the night.
My own personal impressions
The days spent in Jeri have been an awesome experience and I’ve improved my skills a little bit, especially with the testing of smaller boards; I’ve chosen this place after a tip of my friend Laurent, which know my level and he suggested this place as a great one to improve and in which I’d have fun… and he was definitely right … from the windsurf point of view is a kind of luna park.
Thanks to my friends Pietro, Federico, Jonathan and Marco, surfers with whom I’ve spend this amazing experience, and also to all waterwind.it friends for all the tips during this year with them! And cannot forget the thanks to Daniela for the recordings and pics!
At the end of the vacation the jibe count is dramatically equal to zero… but the most important thing, having fun, is achieved! I admit to have prioritized the fun… instead of practicing maneuvers.
Sooo… are u convinced? Who’s gonna come next August with us?
If you’re still unsure, have a look at this last pic…of the main spot! (it’s well known that the Brazil has greats … main spots!)
Click here to enjoy the whole slidegallery of the holiday.
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The video of my holiday in Jeri
The video in the water taken with GoPro