The lesbian world has already produced some superstar Sapphic surfers in the shape of Keala Kennelly and Cori Schumacher. Are you next?
If you want to ride the waves like a champion lesbian surfer, you’ll soon have the chance. This May, lesbian-owned tour operator Brazil Ecojourneys invites women to sashay south to Praia do Rosa in the gorgeous state of Santa Catarina and catch the surf during South America’s first ever lesbian surf camp.
Brazil Ecojourneys is owned by keen surfer Marta Dalla Chiesa who created the trip to give women of all sizes, ages, skill levels and nationalities the opportunity to come together, learn and vacation together.
“There are very few opportunities to meet other lesbian surfers. Even in the Gaysurfers network, there is a very small presence of women but we know there are a lot of lesbian surfers out there, mainly organized in local surfing groups, and even more lesbians that would like to try surfing but can’t find the opportunity,” says Dalla Chiesa.
Faced with this conundrum — and following on her hugely successful annual mixed LGBT surf camp — Dalla Chiesa decided to offer this trip for lesbian surfers.
“We wanted to offer the opportunity for women —gay women and their friends — to have a safe and friendly space to learn to surf and to enjoy a great vacation with like-minded people. We have run mixed LGBT surfing trips before, but it was mostly men signed up, so we thought it was time to give lesbians their own event,” says Dalla Chiesa.
Wealthy Santa Catarina is a gorgeous destination for any kind of vacation. The location couldn’t be better, boasting 560 kilometres of Atlantic coastline and a backdrop of lush coastal forests and the dramatic Serro do Mar mountain range.. Santa Catarina scores top points for surfing, too; it’s said to have the best waves, and is the site of South America’s only Association of Surfing Professionals’ World Championship Tour surfing competition. The area is also known for its stunning beaches.
“Praia do Rosa, in particular, is known to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is really spectacular and the surf conditions are outstanding all year around — and they’re suitable for all levels,” Dalla Chiesa.
She adds that the area is very popular with the LGBT community. “Especially the capital, Florianopolis, where we spend the first two days. It is one of the top gay destinations in Brazil. Praia do Rosa is a small, rustic-chic beach resort, one hour south of Florianopolis. Although it does not offer any gay-exclusive services or nightlife, it is very friendly. Surprisingly it also has a few restaurants run by lesbian chefs, which we will check out during our stay.”
As well as surfing, Brazil Ecojourneys’ week long itinerary includes yoga lessons, caipirinha-making workshops and free time for sightseeing and socializing. A number of other outdoor activities are also available locally, such as trekking and cycling.
While the week is exclusively for women only, it is open to lesbians and to their allies, Dalla Chiesa says. “But in late September/early October we will run our mixed-LGBT week again, so gay guys don’t need to feel excluded.”