There a few places on earth where only a very small group of people can even think about surfing. Jaws. Teahupoo. And of course, Nazaré. For years, the Portuguese freak of nature was scoffed at by many in the big wave community. A novelty wave, they called it. It’s not a real wave, they said. Then, all of a sudden, the perception of the place changed. After years of people like Carlos Burle and Garrett McNamara surfing it, many from the big wave community decided they would give it a go. Then they realized that it surely is one of the most powerful waves on the planet.
It’s a unique place–a vast underwater canyon funnels the power of those massive open ocean swells directly into the region, supercharging those moving mountains into something found nowhere else. And it has been loading up for the last few days.
Two days in particular. While the surfing world watched the swell marching towards Jaws for the Pe’ahi Challenge, Nazaré went berserk. On the 21st and 22nd of October, Axi Muniain, Francisco Porcella, Rafael Tapia, Maya Gabeira, Ross Clarke-Jones, Carlos Burle, Rodrigo Koxa, Marcos Monteiro, and Lucas Chumbo risked life and limb for nothing more than the love of surfing giant waves.