Backdoor & Reef

This line of coast has several waves, each working on different swells. Almost all of them are best at lower tides. Crowds vary with no rhyme or reason. While it’s overpowered on big swells, it breaks on most others.

The Takeaway: Just check it. It’s easy to get to and you can see multiple breaks from Mataduoro to Ribeira from the cliff top.

Backdoor & Reef Pictures

About Backdoor & Reef Surf Breaks

Break Type: Reef

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Moderate

Accessibility: Moderate – beach access but rocky shoreline and rock reef


Good For A Check

The Terrain
The seabed here is composed of a rocky reef, flanked by cliffs that extend rocks into the water, creating scenic little coves. This diverse shoreline and seabed structure provide ample opportunities for various wave formations.

The right amount of swell is important here; while it isn’t ‘fickle’, too much swell will overpower the breaks, and too little means the waves won’t form at all. 3-6ft (1-2m) seems to be the best window.

Local Insights
The crowd here can be unpredictable. Sometimes, you might find the waves excellent with hardly anyone out; other times, the same conditions could attract several skilled surfers, making it challenging to catch waves. Bodyboarders are often present, looking to ride the barrels. This spot is a prime location to start your daily surf check, as it offers a good indication of the conditions you can expect in the area. If the waves look promising and it’s quiet, there may be no need to explore further. Conveniently located not far from the main city center, the cliffs provide a perfect vantage point for a quick and easy surf check.

Be cautious during your paddle out and back in. The area is riddled with submerged rocks and sea urchins hidden in the crevices.