The International Surf School team has seen a few changes since 2001 - and we continue to strive to offer the best tuition, experience, and accommodation that we can. Today, we're proud to have the team that we do - and hope you're as excited about meeting them as we are to have them on board. They all live and breathe the ocean and love to share their passion for the waves and the local area with you.
A Vila do Bispo local, Rui made his big move to Sagres and set up ISS back in 2001.
After a number of projects around the world, he moved back home to focus on life in Sagres.
The business side of things keeps him pretty busy, but if you're lucky you'll bump into him during a lesson!
Xana works behind the scenes to keep everyone in check (not an easy job...) and manage the day to day operations of the Surf School.
If you've stayed with us before you've probably chatted to her via e-mail or bumped into her around the Surf Camp.
A Marine Biologist, she knows a thing or two about the ocean!
Childhood friends with Rui, Vitor Hugo (AKA Gordo), joined the ISS team as an instructor in 2002.
He has also spent time at a previous project in Morocco, before settling as Head Coach back home.
If he's not teaching on the beach, you'll probably find him fishing... but not catching very much...
Originally from Curitiba, Brazil, Rafa made the move to Sagres in 2003 and linked up with the ISS team.
You can see him throwing foam off the lip at any of the local beaches - and finding left handers that don't actually exist...
Failing that, he'll be behind the BBQ, grilling up a feast.
Carlos joined the ISS team in 2014, after teaching all over Portugal for the previous 10 years.
He settled quickly in Sagres and now also helps to manage the Surf Camp.
A yearly contender for the Justinator award (most time spent surfing during the summer...), you won't spot him in the water... he'll be at a secret spot...
Part of the original team way back in 2001, the years have been much kinder to Pedro than they have to some of the other OG's... He returned fresh faced in 2019 to rejoin the team. Having grown up on the Sagres coastline, and spending most of his evenings catching Sea Bass - if you see any fish swimming through the lineup, be sure to send a report his way.
Joining ISS in 2018, João slotted straight in to the team.
After moving to Faro to study, he made his way to the West Coast in the search of waves.
He came with a strong love of single fin longboards, and a filthy habit of falling in and out of love with new boards...
All he needs for inspiration is some coffee and chocolate!
Originally from London, England, Dave found his way to Sagres in 2017, and has been working for ISS ever since.
Gordo lovingly refers to him as 'The Slave' - a traditional Portuguese term of endearment which translates as 'Beloved One' or 'My Most Favoured Friend'...
He also maintains the website and Social Media for the Surf School, so make sure to give a like on Instagram!
Joining the team in 2019, Jess instantly made an impact - taking over operations in the office and bringing with her some revolutionary ideas including 'Organisation' and 'Tidying The Office'.
She's been vital to the team since then!
If you're passing by the office to check in or book a lesson the whole process is definitely made quicker with coffee and cakes.
Running the Surf Camp since 2018, Mel is the driving force behind all of the projects that go on around the house - from redecorating and gardening, to removing plastic waste and using locally sourced products.
She also works with local animal rescue shelters, organises beach and ocean clean ups - but don't mention the cats... what cats?
We're always happy to hear from our students and guests. If you have any feedback, requests or messages for any of the team, you can always get in touch through the phone or email, or by following us on social media.