Senior Editor

The Inertia

On December 11th, Nazaré was pretty big. Not as big as it can get there, but pretty damn close. As is the norm now when a giant swell funnels through the Nazaré canyon, many of the best big wave surfers in the world made sure to be on it. Here’s the thing about surfing giant waves, though: the intensity of the wipeout is tied directly to the size of the wave. And a Brazilian big wave surfer named William Santana found that out the hard way.

“We want to reassure you that everything is alright with William Santana,” wrote Above Creators on YouTube. “He’s a true water warrior and his skills shine even in the face of the most colossal waves.”

When surfing Nazaré, it’s not just the wave you wipeout on that’s the problem. It’s basically everything — the current, the looming cliff, the other waves in the set, and the difficulty the PWC pilots face when attempting to pluck someone from the impact zone. Thankfully, Santana escaped unscathed, but it’s likely that he gained a healthy dose of respect for just how quickly things can go wrong.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.