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Frenchman Sylvain Demercastel roadtrips to the Algarve and reflects on the joys of not flying, experiencing the unknown and discovering new spots, even if they are just new to you!

Words  Sylvain Demercastel   

Photos Sylvain Demercastel / A.Varenne


We always talk about projects and far away trips to reach our dreams. Some plan years in advance THE trip of their lives, others sacrifice on a daily basis in order to finance a few moves on a dream wave on the other side of the world. Travelling has always been a fascination for the waterman/ surf lovers. It’s the promise of a new sensation, a call to let yourself go and the accomplishment of your dreams, or, simply, riding your board on warmer water, more beautiful locations, in the middle of the unknown.

It’s always our passion to windsurf that pushes us to go away, despite the inconveniences of carrying heavy equipment. But that pain of checking in massive board bags can discourage more than one windsurfer… and I’m one of them!

Nonetheless, compromises do exist and they don’t make it any less exciting. Europe – our continent – offers road trips with windsurf jewels as great as the other side of the world. Stuck at home for more than a year because of an endless knee rehab, I find myself at the moment where, finally, I can jump once again into my footstraps. Not an easy task to erase the fear of re-injury and find the perfect conditions to ease back into windsurfing at home. I don’t want to fly and most of all; I have no time to go far away for too long. After surfing randomly on google maps, I notice that the south of Portugal offers similar aspects with places from afar such as Morocco or Chile that already attracted me before…. No more time to lose, after consulting the forecast and getting in touch with a few locals via Facebook; I take the decision to go on a solo road trip in my van, just like the old days. Of course I take with me all my toys (surfboards, SUP) because you never know what awaits. And when you think about it, it’s not such a big deal if you don’t find the perfect conditions, when you have the chance to discover new places, new smells, and also know that if you don’t like it, you’re free to go home whenever you feel like it.