Praia Da Arrifana
Praia Da Arrifana, municipality of Aljezur, north-west of the “Atlantic” Algarve, the capital city of Faro, Portugal.
A beach located within the Alentejo natural park and the Vicenza coast, an area of extraordinary natural beauty, designated a blue flag beach.
This project began thanks to my sister’s move in 2021, a place she immediately fell in love with.
Shortly after I went to see her, the idea came immediately, to come back several times to tell a story, a story of a country of surfers, people from all over the world, a meeting place, a place for kids in search of absolute freedom, riding the magnificent waves of southern Portugal.
I went to shoot for the first time in July 2022 and then return a few months later with the opportunity to be with the locals without any kind of problem, with a common love for sport, a fantastic sport, where you are just you and the sea, at peace with yourself and the world around you, a true mental medicine.
That place, those waves, those people, gave me pure simplicity in things, a healthy life, taking advantage of the little things, the essential, having full self-sufficiency.
Below is excerpts of an interview I did with one of the local surfers of Praia Da Arrifana.
Erik De Felice
I have grown up at Praia da Arrifana in south Portugal where I have learnt to surf before swimming since I was five years old.
Arrifana is a small town where about 661 in habitants live, but it is a magic place where people in particular young people come from everywhere in the worly stay together to surf the wonderful portuguese waves.
This place, these waves, these people make me feel better to give importance to a healthy life, simple things, and be in self control.
The ocean in for everybody you don’t need a space to practice or to compete in this sport. The only thing you need is your love for the ocean. I’m very fond of this sport so I travel every week from beach to beach.
When I was a child I always went to the sea to do surf before and after school. Surfing was my entertainment. Surfing is an extreme sport, to compete you need to travel and to be indipendent economically.
Without sponsor a lot of athlets woulan’t have the opportunity to become professionists. Surfing is a particular sport, you need technical ability, a deep knowledge of the ocean and of natural phenomenon. No system can help surfer’s life.
You never know how the ocean is in front of you in its wave you decide to overcome. It can be the right one or the wrong one.
It is pure adrenaline; you use it to pass your limits and keep you alive.
Surfing is an extreme sport every year a lot of surfists die, so the fear is always in this sport and it is the only thing that helps you to stay alive.
For me it is one the best sport in the worly. You can it check anything. In surfing you have to be confident in your abilities, on your hard work and with a bit luck.
“The wave is in my head, everything stops for a while as I dreamed.”