Behind The Shot: Lucas Chumbo at Jaws
Though it's not known as a big wave spot, Saquarema in Brazil is a powerful wave at size. Brazilian journalist Julio Adler assures me of this. More importantly, Julio says Saqarema has a long tradition of wild man surfers, a lineage of loose units with a taste for the big stuff both in Brazil and Hawaii.
Lucas 'Chumbo' Chianca is the latest in the pedigree. If you've paid any attention to XXXL sessions the last two seasons you couldn't have failed to notice him, falling out of the sky at monolithic Nazare, holding position on the bowl at Mavericks, or blindsiding the left at outsized Peahi. Chumbo is this generation's Mark Healey: the Fear-O-Meter is set to zero so he'll sit deepest and find himself in the most radical of positions, getting cleaned up or swinging late for a wave others have deemed a preposterous proposition.
This sequence was shot during the recent Peahi swell. The swell that notables such as Billy Kemper and Paige Alms considered too dangerous. Tim Bonython was shooting from the water:
"After spending a good part of the day shooting on Keith Baxter's boat, we decided to head across to the left which is a lot more precarious as it has a tendency to close out quicker than the right. It doesn't actually fully close out but breaks across the bay where you're running the gauntlet."
"Kai Lenny was foiling and Chumbo, who's a goofy, was focusing on the lefts. The light was perfect with 15 to 25 foot waves unfolding across at us. Then the horizon darkened and there it is, Lucas on top of a monster dropping down in full control as it seems to expand as the wave well and truly hits the reef!"
Ol' Tim is prone to a bit of excitement but when he called it "the perfect ride - a 10 out of 10" it was hard to argue. The sheer size, the critical takeoff including a wayward board and an airdrop, and then the lip cascading down from the troposphere.
"It was a moment where the stars aligned," continued Tim, "where we were sitting in the perfect place where history went down right in front of us. I reckon I was as stoked as Lucas was. It was a great feeling all round."
And what about Chumbo's future? "Lucas is a guaranteed future world big wave champ for sure," says Tim, before reconsidering. "...but then there's Kai Lenny. It's like John John and Gabriel Medina with those two. They're going be the two to watch."
Sequence by Tim.
PS: For anyone who's wondering, 'Chumbo' means 'lead' - as in the heavy metal - in Portuguese.