Ibiraquera is home to the current PWA Wave Champion Kauli Seadi. He loves the place so much he organized a PWA wave event in 2007 here and so suddenly this Brazilian beach was put in the spotlight. Could it become the next Jeri?
How to get there
I flew (American Airlines and TAM) from LAX connecting a flight in Miami, Florida to my first destination in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. After spending a week in Cabo Frio in Rio de Janeiro, I flew to Florianopolis, Brazil. We then had a bus arranged to take us on a 2-3 hour bus ride, depending on the traffic, to Ibiraquera. It is a narrow, busy, paved but bumpy road. I advise you to be careful if you rent your own car in Brazil. The driving there is pretty wild, but I come from Maui where it’s really chilled out and simple driving. It was quite a change for me in Brazil! From the airport in Florianopolis its one road (BR 101) that you follow straight down to Ibiraquera. It's about 50miles/80km.
TAM airlines is, very good with the extra baggage. It cost me a flat rate of $25 a bag. I didn’t have any problems with American Airlines either. It was $80 a bag to fly international. I think it’s pretty reasonable considering the bags were so big and heavy!
How the wind works
The best time to visit for wind & waves is from July to November although you could stretch this to December. The winds come from storm systems off the south of Argentina. About 80% of the time it is port tack with northerly winds and the other 20% is starboard tack with southerly winds. The wind can be light to super windy with over 25 knots.
The waves in Ibiraquera are swell driven rather than just from the local wind. The best conditions for wave riding are a northerly wind with a south swell. With these conditions the waves wrap around the little island in front of the beach forming long breaks that peak from the island. The water is a brown colour during the northerly winds. The south winds bring the ‘blue water’ but the starboard tack waves are messy with less force. The winter (June-Aug) is best for waves and during the summer (Dec-March) the wind is better but with less swell. The PWA contest was held in September at the end of the swell season although this choice of date probably had more to do with fitting it into a busy calendar rather than going during the ‘best time’.
For beginners to free riders there are several lagoons close by the beach with very flat water and lighter winds than on the sea.