Re: where to go? surf and tropical beaches
cbrider, I live in Brazil man. I'm from rio de janeiro , but I already have gone to santa catarina and I can tell you some advices.
First of all, the best waves in Brazil are there. Florianópolis is the capital and where are the most popular beaches. You can go there in 2 different seasons:
In summer (december to february) we got really small waves, and the weather is good.Air temperature really warm. The water temperature ranges from 17C to 22C, and a 3.2mm wetsuit is recomendablle.
In winter (july to november) we got the best swells, with great solid waves. Air temperature is fine and can be a litlle cold (at least for us) with the temperature ranging from 12C to 20C. The water temperature stay basicaly the same, 16C to 20C, and a 3.2mm wetsuit is fine.
So that's it. Brazil have a really nice culture at florianópolis. It's not an expensive trip, and you can find good waves there. The surf is almost on beach breakes, and the best beaches are JOAQUINA, PRAIA MOLE, PRAIA DA BARRA, CAMPECHE and others.
Joaquina is a good left, breaking near a rock, and campeche is a powerfull right, with sessions of good barrels at the outside. The others are basically both sides breaks.
The crowd here is fine, of course you have to respect like any other place you go, but people are nice and friendly.
Anyway, any other tips you want, I1m here to help .
Hope you find the place you look for, and if it's Brasil, so be welcome !
Good waves man !