João Valente is the founder and editor of Surf Portugal Magazine, the first surf magazine in Portugal. Growing up in Brazil, JoÃ£o’s family moved back to their native Lisbon in the early 1980’s, where JoÃ£o found a small but enthusiastic surf scene that was taking hold along the beaches, reefs and points of central Portugal. These days, Surf Portugal is the most widely distributed amongst numerous competing magazines that cater to the growing surf market in his country.
João became an important ally for Save the Waves during the battle to save surf spots from destruction on the island of Madeira, a Portuguese outpost in the Atlantic Ocean that is host to some of the best big-wave spots on the planet. João and his close friend, Zã Seabra, were actually the first Portuguese surfers to ride the waves on the island, predating the first visit by Americans Sam George and Evan Slater by one year.
João continues to avidly support coastal conservation efforts in his home country and abroad. His writing and photographs have been published internationally, and he continues to stand vigilance against the ever-present threat of coastal development in the EU.