After first standing up on a surfboard in 1989 in Praia Grande, Sintra, João De Macedo went on to become one of Portugal’s top young surfers. Academic life followed his surfing career. He graduated in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Founded Surf Academia surf camp (surfacademia.com) at his home beach in Sintra. Wrote the surf book, “How to be a Surfer,” and published it in Portugal in 2004. Moved to California and published it in the U.S in 2006.
Between 2007 and 2008, hired by Save The Waves, João led the research, development and launch of the groundbreaking World Surfing Reserves (WSR) program. A quote by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard in Save The Waves’ first documentary film, Lost Jewel of the Atlantic inspired the WSR movement and catalyzed the proposal to make it happen. João retired in the end of 2010 as WSR Program Manager yet continues as a global ambassador for the program, including serving on the WSR Vision Council and Executive Committee.
João completed his Master's Degree in Sports Management in 2009, today lives with his girlfriend Shelly in San Francisco, is sponsored by Reef, Von Zipper, and X-Cult Surfboards. Northern California’s winters, opened a new phase in his surfing career, leading him to be found chasing down ocean swells at Mavericks and other big-wave breaks.