To quote the Kitesurfing guide for Europe for Guincho:
“with large swell, the conditions are extremely challenging with strong currents and a shore break that eats equipment (especially at high tide). It’s the preserve of experienced sailors”.
I wish I had read this properly before I attempted a few sessions here….
The first time I went out I got taken out by the shore dump. It was like a 1.5m of water coming straight up the beach straight into your body.
The next attempt I got through but taken out by the first line of waves, got washing machined in the wave, and was lucky not to drop my kite.
The third time I went out I lasted about a few hours, and upon coming into shore got washed up the beach and into the shot of a photographer that must have got some amazing photos of my face as I was literally dumped on the beach (the kind of shot that would be published with the title how not to kite at Guincho!)
After speaking to a few other none local kite surfers from Holland and France, I was glad to hear they too all suffered the same fate as me and I was told that the swell was much much larger than normal today.
The next few days were thankfully better as the swell was running smaller and it started to make a lot more sense conditions wise.
Local knowledge goes a long way here and I have a lot of respect for people who ride well here. The conditions are really good when it’s on, and you need to be focused to ride and surf it properly.