Our History

The surf culture has been passed from generation to generation of the Machado family, almost like a tradition or a legacy.

Paulo Machado, owner of Moby Dick, and his brothers were pioneers in surfing in Portugal, long before it was considered a competition sport or even a modality.

Back in the 70’s, it was very unusual to see boys carrying surfboards under their arms, running around in shorts in the Middle of Cascais. There was yet no surfing in Portugal and not many would venture into portuguese waves. There were also no wetsuits or even surfboards as we know them today!

Rocha Beach, 1983
1st National Championship, 1977
These were the golden years for the surf culture in Portugal

In 1968 Paulo’s grandmother brought Paulo and Pedro a surfboard made of styrofoam from Brazil. This was the begining for them, when they start ‘catching’ some waves. In the 70’s they start surfing with their older friend’s surfboards, like the Gavazzo brothers, the Deffence brothers, Pedro Melo and Carlos Vieira. In 1975 Paulo inherits his first surfboard from his older brother Pedro, and together they represent the family in Portugal’s first surf competition, in Ribeira d’Ilhas, Ericeira. The year was 1977.

Pedro Machado, Paulo’s older brother, had the first Twin fin in Portugal, a “Spirit” that had to be commissioned and which took a whole year to arrive! This was revolutionary for surfing. The boards were getting smaller, allowing better performances. They were lucky enough to get to know a lot of travelers, who told them great stories about foreign waves and always left behind some boards or wetsuits that didn’t exist in Portugal back then.

In 1978, the two brothers founded the Surfing Clube de Portugal, the Portugal’s first surfing club and which still lasts.

In the early 80’s, their young brother Nuno also starts surfing. Today not only Nuno but also his children, Kiko and Nuno, surf with us.

The surf industry and the Portuguese market in the 90’s

Paulo first started working in the surf industry with Pedro Martins Simões, a visionary which was “the father” of the surf industry, shops and also the one who brought the first International championships to Portuguese shores.

Paulo has since then been commercially responsible for introducing surf brands such as Instinct, Redley, Victory, Excel, Semente, Rusty and Lightning Bolt in the Portuguese market.

In the 90’s, Paulo helped Miguel Ruivo reorganizing the Surfing Clube de Portugal and opening the first surf school in the country. By that time, the Associação Nacional de Surf was created and the Circuito Nacional de Surf also appeared. A lot of major surf events are brought to Portugal in this decade.

It is during this “surf boom” momentum in Portugal that Mariana, Caetano and Pedro, Paulo’s children, were born. Today they help Paulo managing Moby Dick – the lodge, the surf school and the activities for kids.

Ribeira d’Ilhas, 1978
Paulo Machado, in 1980
The Moby Dick lodge and surf school | keeping the dream alive

In 2014, Paulo Machado opened the Moby Dick lodge, in Malveira da Serra, Cascais. Moby Dick is a surf house for ocean affictionados and aims to honor the surf spirit; it is a place to share experiences and connect. One year later they opened the Moby Dick Surf School, with the purpose of teaching people how to ride waves, in a surfboard, in a deep connection with the ocean and nature. Both concepts aim to pass on the surf culture, as both a sports and a lifestyle.

And if Paulo lived in the golden years of surf, he also passed those fundamentals to his kids, who have shown a calling since their early years.
Caetano and Pedro developed their lives around surfing and the ocean. Surfing since tender age, Caetano was still in dippers when Paulo first took him to catch some waves. He was even in the national circuit competing for a while. Eventually he ended up turning to free surf and chose to practice free style only, without the weight of the championships. Mariana and Pedro started very young as well. Nowadays they share the surf philosophy, with the surf house, and teach surf techniques, with the Moby Dick surf school.

Ocean vibes and connection with nature

Today our school counts on the teachings of profissional surfers and certified surf instructors, who believe that surfing is more than a sport, it is a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

The surf culture is about truly connecting and sharing with others, and discovering more about yourself, others and the our planet. Embracing our fears and pushing forward.
Surfing is salt and sand, waves and sun, it is a constant lesson… it is about challenging ourselves and trusting oneself. It is relaxation and connection. Join us on this adventure! We want to teach you and learn with you.

Havai, 2010