Queer Surfers Will Hit the Brazilian Waves in March
By Heather Cassell
Surfing in one of the hottest surf spots for amateurs to pros in one of the world’s top 40 most beautiful bays among other LGBTQI surfers in South America, sounds like a dream. It’s not though. This year marks the third annual Gay Surf Brazil, an LGBT surf camp in Santa Catarina at the famed Praia do Rosa (known as Rosa by locals) in Southern Brazil, March 25-April 1.
The five-day surf camp attracts a mixture of returning surfers and new attendees of all levels of surfing who are drawn to Southern Brazil for its great waves, beautiful beaches, mild climate, and warm hospitality.
Participants will learn surfing from instructor Capitão David, who runs the oldest surf school in Rosa. Guests will relax with two yoga sessions in between catching waves, enjoy the local culture and also take in a two-night stay in Florianopolis, known as “the Magic Island” or “Floripa.” Like Praia do Rosa, Florianopolis is recognized for its surfing culture and for its LGBT-welcoming spirit for nearly 40 years.
“There’s colonial history, good seafood, and lots of other activities besides surf like biking, walking trails, and really great beaches to relax,” says Lesley Cushing, co-owner of Brazil Ecojourneys with her wife, Marta Dalla Chiesa, host of the surf camp.
The surf camp was originally launched in partnership with gaysurfers.net after the LGBT surfing community website proposed the LGBT surfing event to Brazil Ecojourneys in 2013. Gaysurfers.net produced the documentary Out in the Line-Up, an award-winning documentary about LGBT surfers and homophobia in the surfing community released in 2014, reported Curve Magazine.
There was nothing like an LGBT surf camp in South America at the time. Marta saw the opportunity and jumped on it, especially since one of the world’s most renowned surfing sites is right in her own backyard.
“Surf is a very non-stereotypical sport for gays,” Marta tells Curve. “Even I was surprised that a social website with thousands of gay surfers existed. We knew we wanted to get involved.”
Three years later the event is gaining notoriety and a loyal following. Guests will also get to meet and surf with local members of Gaysurfers.net.
Gay Surf Brazil 2017’s starting package rates are $1,533.00 (single room occupancy) and $1,434.00 (double room occupancy). The package includes accommodations, transfers, surf camp instruction, yoga, English-speaking tour guide, and some meals. The surf camp doesn’t include equipment (excluding surf lessons), flights, insurance, optional tours, gratuity for services, or tourist visas.