Senior Editor

The Inertia

Nic von Rupp is no stranger to Carcavelos Beach. It’s a fickle place, but when it’s working, there’s no place quite like it. And today, the day of the Perfect Chapter surf contest, it was definitely on.

“On its day, it’s fucking insane,” Nic told me a few years ago. “You have to be on it in terms of forecasting, though. It’s a tough one. It’s an amazing beachbreak, but it’s not an everyday thing.”

Today, “fucking insane” fits the bill. As it should, really, because the Perfect Chapter is an event that runs only when the waves are exactly that. Organizers wait until the very last minute before giving a green light, ensuring that the forecast is going to hold up.

That, of course, leaves some of the competitors scrambling to make it to the event site on time, but such is the life of a professional surfer. For Nic, though, Portugal is home, so he’s only got to scramble if he’s chasing a swell somewhere else — which is unlikely, given the kind of swell that creates the conditions the Perfect Chapter runs in.

“We have a commitment to the fans where we only give the go-ahead for the contest when we can guarantee a proper show,” said Rui Costa, the event’s organizer. “We have the best tube riders in the world in the Perfect Chapter, guys who can go out and get 10-point rides in conditions that are practically impossible for the average surfer, so we’ll wait for a day that can put them to the test.”

At the time of this writing, the finals were just starting. Nic von Rupp looks to have a good chance at winning for a third time. While everyone is surfing incredibly well, Aritz Aranburu and von Rupp are standouts. The perfect 10 you see above, though, is an example of just how well Nic knows this wave — and because of it, he’s the one to beat.


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