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Esposende, situated alongside Cávado River that pours right into the Atlantic Ocean, is most likely and at least up until now, the Northern Portugal’s best kept SUP secret. From sandy beaches backed by dunes to a maze of tidal marshes and with 20km of uninterrupted river paddling, the area seems like a perfect watersport and stand up paddle playground.
TotalSUP caught up with Esposende’s local SUP tribe, SUPinhas, who have built a vibrant SUP community in this stunning location a buzzing NSP training centre which is also a home to one of NSP’s youngest Team Riders – Mia Soares Sliva (#supmiaproject).
Led by four founding members, António Silva (SUPInhas President, ASUPP accredited SUP Coach and Mia’s dad!), Miguel Nogueira (underwater photographer and ASUPP SUP Coach), Gonçalo Santos (doctor and SUPInhas spokesperson) and Gonçalo Henriques (IT and social media specialist), the club’s activity focuses on SUP coaching, touring and training the future female SUP team of Clube Náutico de Fão. Bringing in diverse expertise and passion for the sport of stand-up paddleboarding, SUPinhas have been attracting SUP enthusiasts and ambitious riders who have a unique opportunity to learn and progress using NSP quiver.
Hi SUPinhas, welcome to TotalSUP! You’re based in a beautiful part of the world with both access to Rio Cávado and Atlantic Ocean… Could you tell us more about your location and why it’s great for paddleboarding?
You can SUP on river Cávado for about 20 km from the mouth of the river to the first real obstacle (a small dam in the city of Barcelos). The river is mostly large and calm with a beautiful scenery. There are times of strong winds but you can also choose places that are more protected. It’s also a river where several Portuguese Olympic athletes and champions practice rowing, due to the excellent conditions it provides.
You can also practice SUP Wave on the coast of Ofir with surf schools and great supporting facilities, including showers, parking spaces, bars and restaurants. The coast is protected by pontoons that provide some safety against the (sometimes) strong Atlantic Ocean waves.
Our top spots are located at the Cávado´s mouth where you can practice SUP Wave or paddle along the Natural Reserve´s maze of marshes (when the tide is low the channels form a maze that allows some awesome SUP touring). You can also go the opposite direction to Marachão and, for the stronger riders, bag the three dams on the way to Barcelos.
What is the SUP scene like in Esposende?
Esposende is ideally positioned for many watersports. Access to the river has allowed for the growth of at least two strong kayak and canoeing training clubs. The access to the sea has also allowed for the growth of many surf and kite surf schools. These have had connections to the local schools for many years and, as such, there is a strong local tradition of watersports both on the river as well as on the sea.
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Lately, also the kayak and canoeing schools have expressed interest in developing SUP teams, given that the canoeing federation is one of the key promoters of SUP competitions that take place during the kayak and canoe competitions.
As a local SUP hub, we currently organize SUP Touring tours on the Cávado river and many other social SUP initiatives throughout the year. We also do SUP Wave sessions at Esposende’s beach and we are currently training the future female SUP team of Clube Náutico de Fão.
Could you tell us about your collaboration with NSP?
We have a Junior SUP pro athlete in our group, Mia Soares Silva (#supmiaproject), who represents and is sponsored by NSP. This allows us to meet a lot of NSP team riders and representatives here in Portugal and around the world as well as have access to NSP boards.
What’s in your NSP fleet?
We have almost all NSP models in our fleet (from Ninja and Sonic to Puma and more). The NSP Allrounder LT inflatable boards are our top boards for beginners with a great price and quality ratio. These boards are also used for renting and touring activities. We are introducing and recommending this board model to the clubs that are starting their SUP teaching activities.
We also have some NSP HIT cruisers to introduce people to rigid boards or to support them with their first attempts at SUP Wave. The NSP Puma is for riders who have less time to practice the sport but want a fast but stable rigid board.
Our more active SUP friends go for the Sonic, Ninja and Carolina models. Mia is currently riding the NSP Ninja 14×20.
You’ve built a thriving SUP community around the brand called the NSP Fan Club Portugal…
The NSP Fan Club Portugal community has started with a small group of friends that love NSP boards.
The fact that we have an U18 pro athlete sponsored by NSP has strengthen our relationships with the brand. About 95% of SUPinhas have NSP boards and whenever a new member joins, we have the full NSP quiver at hand.
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The group keeps growing through our SUP activities in the area that are shared on social media.
We’re wishing you further growth and a successful SUP season for your entire SUP Team!