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Surfing and Riding ATVs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Ed Nesta surfing the waves in BazilRiding the Waves and Flying over the Beach during our travels.


The adventurers are back! Once again on holiday in Brazil, we take advantage of new challenges all in the quest of adventure and new experiences for Luxury Experience Magazine readers to enjoy! Since we are Dive Masters and have explored the great undersea world, have raced karts, shifter karts and cars, skied the “black diamonds”, water-skied, trekked, ridden mountain bikes down and over treacherous desert terrain, rode a hot air balloon, and parasailed, we are always ready to try a new adventure!

Edward F. Nesta – Hanging Ten

Ed Surfing in Brazil
Ed Surfing in Brazil

Hang ten, pipeline, rip, set, cutback, goofy foot, and the dreaded wipeout are all part of the unique language of “surfer speak”, to which I wanted to belong. After Debra’s experience of learning to surf in December 2003, (read the article “Best of São Paulo” in the Destinations section), I had waited an entire year listening to her go on about surfing, and decided that I had to try it for myself. In January 2005, once again in Itamambuca, Brazil for our annual New Year’s ritual and celebration with friends, with Debra behind the camera this time, I was ready to learn the fine art of surfing from Zecão, (José Carlos Maciel Rennó), the owner of Escola Zecão de Surf,, who is also a Professional International Surf Champion. We started on the beach as Zecão walked me through how to initiate that first jump from the paddle position to the balance position. Foot positioning, arm positioning, and where to look, are all important components of riding the waves. Armed with the information, and support from Zecão, I was ready to tackle the waves of Itamambuca. What an adventure it was as I learned a thing called “balance” on a board, not easily achieved on moving waves, but I was game and kept at it. With Zecão calling out minor adjustments along with his constant positive support I finally got the hang of it, and found that I was actually standing on the board and riding the waves! I was surfing! Okay, I was actually up and down plunging into the water, but with determination, and support from Debra and Zecão, I was actually riding the waves, and I was learning and enjoying the art of surfing. By the end of my lesson, I was thrilled that I had succeeded what I had set out to do – learn to surf! Debra and I are very competitive by nature, so I couldn’t have her one-up me, and I now have the photos to prove that I was actually surfing, and in my view a bit better then her, but that is what keeps the competition going. Debra couldn’t resist taking a board out, and once again she was surfing. Thanks, Zecão for the opportunity to surf. I can’t wait to return next year!

Debra C. Argen – Riding ATV’s

Debra, Ed, Regina and Gilberto riding ATVs
Debra, Ed, Regina & Gilberto on ATVs

My brother, David Argen once had a moto-cross bike and he always asked me if I wanted to learn to drive it, to which I always declined. I felt that I was a better passenger then a driver, but I loved to hang on as we flew over the moto-cross track he had created with his friends. When I lived in Brazil, my friend Gilberto Sacilotti, an ex-moto-cross champion, also had a moto-cross bike and he made the same offer to teach me to drive, to which I also always declined. My friend, Regina (then Oliveira), now Sacilotti, suggested that I forget moto-cross bikes, and decided that she should teach me to drive a small Kawasaki motorcycle. Finally, I resisted the urge to “just say no” and made the mistake of saying, “yes”. Step one: learn how to start the motorcycle! With Regina seated behind me, I stood up and attempted to kick start the motorcycle with unfortunate results. Without proper balance, we promptly fell over and lay on the side of the road with the motorcycle on top of us, laughing like a couple of idiots. After some time, our friend, Totonho drove by in his car, and when he saw our predicament, he promptly fell to laughing so hard that tears rolled down his cheeks. Finally, he did recover, and he helped us to lift the motorcycle off us, but believe me, that was the last mention by any of my family or friends suggesting that I learn to drive a motorcycle.

With this bit of background information, it should probably come as a surprise that when we were at Transamerica Ilha de Comandatuba,, in Ilheus, Brazil, and the hotel suggested that we take out their ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles also known as quadricycles), I did! After Gilberto and Regina, who were also with us on this trip, teased me, I knew that this time I would succeed – besides an ATV has 4-wheels so I wouldn’t have to worry about balance! I not only succeeded, I loved it! Of course, what would not be to love, flying down long stretches of pristine white sandy beach with the waves crashing along the shoreline! We raced along the sand, and I even made “do-nuts” on the sand! No wonder racecar drivers do that; it’s great fun! It was a very hot day, so we took a break and swam in the river before getting back on our ATVs. With riding on the sand mastered, we decided to try riding the ATVs over the trails. Being an inexperienced rider, I decided to ride with just my wet bathing suit, instead of putting on my dry shorts over a wet bathing suit, wrong! Big mistake! Don’t do it! As I took to driving the ATV fast over the trails like I was still riding on the nice flat beach, I soon found myself almost sliding off the ATV since the seat was now nice and slippery. Fortunately, I hung on and both the ATV and I fully survived. Since I did not want to slow up the rest of our little group, I did not stop to put on my shorts, but just slowed down a bit to keep from sliding off again, and was rewarded with the sight of a sloth hanging in a tree! I had seen a sign, saying that were sloths along the trail, but I was the only one to see it. Sometimes it pays to slow down a bit and enjoy the beauty, and at other times, ride like the wind!

For additional information on Bahia, please contact the Bahia Tourism Office at:

Please read our other articles on Brazil and Bahia in Destinations, Hotels & Resorts, Restaurants, Gastronomy, Chefs’ Recipes, Spas and Music Scene.

© April 2005. Luxury Experience All rights reserved. 

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