Last year, just before the world shut down, I was in Portugal for one of the best events I’ve ever seen. It was the Perfect Chapter, a roving one-day event that focused solely on the tube ride. I was there for a little over a week, and since the event itself was a single day, I spent a lot of time simply riding a bicycle around the wonderful little town of Cascais.
On one particularly memorable day, I hopped in a van with Anthony Walsh, Cory Lopez, and Balaram Stack. Since the Perfect Chapter runs on the best day of the Portuguese winter, the waves were next-level good — it was a day or two after it ran, and the swell was still pulsing.
We headed out to Coxos, a wave that is built just right for me. A long, roping right-hander that, at the right size, has a relatively easy take off and, if you’re lucky, a barrel you can simply set a line and poke yourself into. I proceeded to surf poorly, as usual, and have the best time ever, but Balaram Stack had his eyes firmly planted across the bay at a wave called the Cave. It’s a wave that I want nothing to do with, and for good reason. It is, without a doubt, the most dangerous (regular-sized) wave in Portugal. It’s one of the heaviest waves in Ericeira, which is saying a lot.
The next day, I played a round of golf with the guys. Nic von Rupp joined in. When Balaram mentioned the Cave, Nic’s eyes lit up. Nic, as you know, favors waves that aren’t for the faint of heart, and his love for the Cave was clear as the cloudless sky. For Nic von Rupp surfing the Cave is his happy place. In his most recent vlog, Nic spends the morning at nearly-maxing Coxos before donning two wetsuits (not for warmth, mind you, but for protection), and proceeding to do exactly what he lives to do: get super barreled on a wave that wanted to take his head off.
See more on Nic von Rupp’s YouTube channel.