Things are starting to wind down at Nazare this week. Well, when we say wind down, we mean, it's going to be 20, 30ft plus for the next couple days. And at Nazare, that still means it's going to be scary, with yesterday marking the last day of this XL Euro swell that slammed just about everywhere.
Oh that doesn't mean this swell's done though – check back fore more from Europe later on as it continues marching northwards. And sure, there's still the odd colossal set at Nazare, peep our live cam HERE.
An off-shoot of swell will linger off the coast of Portugal today and tomorrow, then it is set to merge with a larger North Atlantic swell, potentially making for a huge day later in the week – but more on that soon.
Yesterday though was all about a mix of tow and paddle, featuring the likes of Gabriel Sampaio, Pedro Calado, Lucas Fink, Mathieu Aguierre, Miguel Blanco, Martin Schricke, Natxo Gonzalez, Andrew Cotton, Twiggy and so many more.
"This is my first season at Nazare owning a drone so it opens a lot of possibilities for some new angles that I've always wanted to try out there," says Helio Antonio about the above shot. "Nic Von Rupp drew the perfect line, surfing as close as possible to the critical part and the picture was done. I was super happy with it right on the spot (doesn't happen often) and couldn't wait to show everyone."
For Gabriel Sampson, this marks the start to his Nazare season: “Wasn’t that easy,” he said. “With some closeouts because off the swell direction. I chose to place myself on the first peak because I‘ve seen some more vertical waves over there. After I made that drop and made it off the wave, I got a set in the head and had to get out at the beach.”
And Maya Gabeira, record holder for biggest wave ever surfed by a woman, a record that was set last year in February 2020 said: "It was a consistent week of surf here. Not full size because of the west angle but the paddling crew pushed the performance daily. It was a good week for it and we squeezed in tow sessions to get boards ready and the team prepared for a possible big day."
“There's a load of new faces at Nazare this year,” added Helio. “But the size yesterday, was probably around the double-to-triple overhead range, maybe a few bigger. You know, that swell direction was a bit too west for Nazare and the canyon there.
“Anyway, it was a great session for those who wanted to practice their tow surf. There were a few guys paddling and for those it was pretty challenging since, as we know, waves at Nazare break all over the place. Crowd on the cliffs was having a blast whenever someone succeeded in paddling to a wave.”