Submitted by caml on Mon, 10/19/2015 - 21:52
How long has it been understood by surfers that the giant waves at nazare exist ?
Does swell net forecast for nazare ? Theres a similar name location in the Portugal sites . But it isnt praia do norte . Its praia do nazare
Here's the URL for our forecast Camel: https://www.swellnet.com/reports/portugal/north-west-coast/praia-da-nazare
Far as I'm aware it's the same place. Looks the same on our map.
Yep it's the same place. However the surf model doesn't perform well for Nazare, with regards to the amplified wave heights seen during large swells (due to the canyon). We've got an algorithm change to make in the next few weeks before the season kicks in that will hopefully fix it - we'll assess its output over the coming months.
caml wrote: How long has it been understood by surfers that the giant waves at nazare exist ?
Garrett McNamara, who seems to be the first person to ride big Nazare in November 2011, said he only found out about the wave when a local surfer emailed him a picture of it and asked him if he'd come over.
McNamara said in 2011 that there were a bunch of local boogieboarders and a few surfers that were surfing Nazare up to about ten feet.
It would seem there was close to zero knowledge about it in the broader surfing community up until then.
Possibly, partly because the big ones only happen a few times a year in winter and it usually looks a mess, in surf break terms, when it does.
It sounds like G-Mac first travelled there in 2010 but rode his first wave in October 2011. Here's a press release that was buried deep in my inbox (there are photos though they're not a scatch on what's been ridden there in the last couple of years):
Nazaré, October 26th, 2011
ZON NORTH CANYON SHOW 2011
NAZARÉ MAKES HISTORY ENTERING INTO
THE BILLABONG XXL GLOBAL BIG WAVE AWARDS 2012 WITH GARRETT MCNAMARA
Nazaré makes surf history with the largest waves ever ridden in Portugal. Garrett McNamara’s wave has been entered into the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards 2012, considered the “Oscars” of big wave ridding. This is the first time that a wave from Portugal has been entered into the competition.
On October 17th, Garrett was towing with CJ Macias, from Florida, on the first big swell of the project. The swell had been building since Sunday and peaked on Monday. McNamara towed into the biggest wave ridden this year, the biggest wave of the three day swell.
On this same day, the largest wave paddled into this year was caught as well. It was also the largest wave ever paddled into in Portugal. The two were towing when McNamara decided to paddle into a few with his trusted 11’1 Rusty Waimea Gun. “This beach is so challenging. You really need to make sure you are in the right spot. I did my best to position myself and then just went for it. I had no idea how big the wave was, I was just so excited to finally paddle into a wave at Praia do Norte. Can’t wait for the next swell so we can go for it again”, said Garrett.
CJ Macias caught the biggest waves of his life during this three day swell. It was the first big swell for Macias, going from 2 foot Florida to 40ft Praia do Norte. “It was by far the most power I have ever felt in the ocean and the fastest I have ever screamed down the face of the wave. It was a dream come true having Garrett whip me into the perfect spot on so many waves!” said CJ.
Garrett said “CJ was fading so deep, he was scaring me. On one I swear he could of stretched out his long arms and touched the rocks.”
The pictures from Portuguese photographer Wilson Ribeiro are already at the site of the event in http://www.billabongxxl.com/biggest_wave/index.html, in the “Biggest Wave” category.
Miguel Sousinha, president of Nazaré Qualifica, said: “It’s an honor to be selected to this award. It’s the recognition of the uniqueness of Praia do Norte and it’s one more step in the way for the consolidation of the communication strategy of Praia do Norte as a destiny of excellence for sports waves.”
ZON North Canyon Show 2011
Garrett McNamara is back in Portugal to embark on another mission exploring the waves of Nazaré, in the ZON North Canyon Show 2011. This is the second mission of a three years project, initiated last year. This is a Nazaré City Hall and ZON project to internationally promote the region as a destination for surfing, show casing the unique aspects of the “Nazaré Canyon”.
The “Nazaré Canyon” is a rare geographical phenomenon, the biggest in Europe and one of the largest in the world, which can be explained as a gap on the continental plate with 170 kilometers of length and 5 kilometers of depth. The “Nazaré Canyon”, that is located right in front of Praia do Norte, receives the swells from the Atlantic Ocean and creates waves with abnormal size, compared to the rest of the Portuguese coast.
So it sounds like G-Mac first travelled there in 2010 but rode his first wave in October 2011. There are photos with the presser though they're not a scatch on what's been ridden there in the last couple of years.
Its a beachie that has a headland at the end , the current runs back out towards the headland , which by coincidence has a deep water canyon run right up into the end of the headland , So you have a rippy current colliding with a funneling canyon . Huge random peaks .
I beleive there are also offshore sea mounts that come into play . Which will refract the swell into a more W direction and also break up the lines a bit . It appears that at a smaller size none of this except for the canyon have an effect on the wave quality . ie its just a powerful beachie , and most likely not a very good one .
Being a beachie though , i can't see much chance of succesful paddle campaigns . Not unless people are willing to do the ( ... Km ) run around each and everytime they have been mowed down and washed happlessly onto the beach . Even the skis's get smashed there quite often . I think that the harbour is a few Km's away , but the beach is so gnarly that skis' don't launch and struggle to renegotiate their way back out when caught inside .
" SA's Reserve Capacity "
"Being a beachie though , i can't see much chance of succesful paddle campaigns."
What makes you say that Southey?
Knowing Camels stance on Ski's , i was alluding to the fact that without a ski moving a paddler or dropping them into position then we are talking serious commitment . I've grown up doing the run around at beachies , and it gets old real quick at any size above 8-10 ft . Most places end up with so much water movement that it becomes russian roulette . Especially if there is no defined gutter .
Oh just watched the vid . ( your in agreeance ?!? )
southey wrote: Oh just watched the vid . ( your in agreeance ?!? )
Ok great I can use your forecast seeing you have it . Wally you missed one thing in your great post .nazare is very consistent according to gmac & co . How the hell does sand remain in position when so much swell is focused on it ? That factor is radical . Surely great oceanographers had noticed the canyon & its potential before 2010 ? Sean Collins , terry butt , larry moore , ben matson , craig ? How could it be there un noticed until then ?
southey wrote: Knowing Camels stance on Ski's , i was alluding to the fact that without a ski moving a paddler or dropping them into position then we are talking serious commitment . I've grown up doing the run around at beachies , and it gets old real quick at any size above 8-10 ft . Most places end up with so much water movement that it becomes russian roulette . Especially if there is no defined gutter .
Oh just watched the vid . ( your in agreeance ?!? )
Oh just watched the vid . ( your in agreeance ?!? )
Seen some sick photos of Nazare on Instagram when it's about 6-8ft. It's a super hollow peak that breaks really close to the shore. It looks insane
Yep, when it's inshore it's a different wave. A fave womp for the BBers, in fact they've had a comp there since 2010.
It is odd that so little was known in the surfing community when if you look the other way from the Nazare headland you would see this (during summer tourist season).
Probably indicative of a lack of mainstream surf culture in Portugal.
Camel, I see a scientist is also fascinated by the sand on the big wave side of the Nazare headland. He talks about 200 metre variations in the sand in a season.http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2014EGUGA..1614268D
Im sure it gets powerful even when small . I wonder if locals would see those huge waves and recognize the potential for the xxl factor before gmac & co authorized it
Wally that is interesting
caml wrote: Im sure it gets powerful even when small . I wonder if locals would see those huge waves and recognize the potential for the xxl factor before gmac & co authorized it
Well at least one of them did Camel, cos he sent photos of it to G-Mac and invited him over.
No kidding stu , i Must have forgot to mention I meant 10-20 yrs ago ! Considering the consistency of the place over the years & all those years of cortes bank , jaws , mavs , todos , etc and sean Collins documentaries .
Southey just seeing you said the canyon breaks up the lines , I will offer my opinion of it could be said to corrupt the lines into peaks that have been doubled , or tripled or quadrupled . Obviously what makes the waves move at speed unprecedented by surfers . For those that say its a burger or not a wave shows lack of understanding I think
The influence of canyons regarding amplifying swell is that they allow the swell lines to bend in on each other (moving faster through the deeper canyon), focussing the swell in on itself and amplifying its size.
I've drawn this below, but there's also a great gif from Surfline..
Blacks canyon focussing
Exactly craig and the bottom gif isnt nazare its blacks beach ? The speed the swell move increases how much more ?
Yes Blacks beach is bottom gif, I labelled it.
And looking at that 1m swell to 1.5-2m? Nearly double. This would depend on the swell period, height, direction and also the canyon.
Ah, well it's not that the swell speed increases, just that it doesn't slow down due to bottom friction and refraction which is occuring to the other part of the swell line.
Roger dat craig . From surfing experience , & a recent last few years notably surfing a break with a little canyon outside, was that as the wave breaks from the refraction situation as mentioned , the speed does increase , I cant give much more science but I know "cos I have to catch these peaks " and comparing it to my past experience at Margarets bommies there is a definite factor when trying to make the drop etc . When this peak effect occurs . But how about the sand bottom is it just staying as is ? Good banks for the future ?
Oh yes, I would imagine it would be faster than just a normal breaking reef, but not faster than what the deep water speed of the wave would be out in the deep ocean.
Not sure about the sand, will have to look into that.
Ok . Wonder if its similar to cortes where its refracted for 5 miles is it ? Not sure if correct) although it looks a big more close range ? I spose I can check distance etc on the navionics
Had a look for myself on navionics with tiny screen phone .it wasn't obvious as I had assumed . Took a while to find it and then it didn't look much like an obvious big wave . Theres canyons and deep water along the coast everywhere . At least a few miles of strong refraction then another ten - 20 miles of possible lead magnet .
Oops another double post
Yeah I did the same and Nazare seems to be really unique in how deep, pronounced and close it pushes to the coast, hence the uniqueness of the wave. It's hard to see with Cortes any real major features at all, same with Mavericks (compared to Nazare).
The canyon leading into Monterey Bay looks much more significant.
Really ,, Monterey compares ? I thought cortes bank was 5 miles of bank to the nor west creating a phenomenal ramping
Sorry, relative to Mavericks, just looking purely at bathymetry.
caml wrote: Southey just seeing you said the canyon breaks up the lines , I will offer my opinion of it could be said to corrupt the lines into peaks that have been doubled , or tripled or quadrupled . Obviously what makes the waves move at speed unprecedented by surfers . For those that say its a burger or not a wave shows lack of understanding I think
That's what I meant Cam . The canyon not only distorts the swell lines , but it also focuses it into peaks .
Much like a wedge , but in this case the same swell line bounces focuses back towards itself in the centre as opposed to rebounding onto the following swell .
This is very similar to tidal bores , only that we are talking deep ocean which narrows , and then unloads at the end on the canyon , back similar to a blow hole . I'm pretty sure there are no real banks there , it's just a play of water returning back from shore in shifting rips colliding with or making each peak stand up and fold . So it's a bit all over the place , the headland works as focus point for the returning water , which coincidently is right in front of the canyons end point . Many waves mostly reef breaks have shifting /sliding peaks , which is resultant of angled ridges or channels/valleys that run up into the shallow peak having surfed many rip bowl beachiies , flowing water channels etc I've seen a bit ., but I always try and understand the mechanics of places , rather than just subliminally or instinctively get to know it . Pipe is a classic where two ridges v into the shallowest peak and there's a few in Aust too . Puerto and Nazarre are rare beachiies in that there is such a deep drop off not far from shore , and like a few beachiies in Aust there are no real set banks , the peaks form from interaction with focused swell and the water from previous waves flowing back through the peak .
As for your tow stance , you've said here and elsewhere .that you only like Ski's as an access to the " arena " and safety . And I presumed like myself your against people being ferried to the take off position as the swell approaches to then paddle . In my opinion this is no different to step offs . And I'm against people doing this unless all present are okay with it !
Hey southey , i think nazare is a great place to towsurf . I don't think you would be able to understand my stance on skis . For one I actually tow surf sometimes so that blows that theory . As for the sand bottom at nazare , how abrupt a rise is it and for how big an area does the sand bank ? Maybe Google earth might be worth a look
Your pretty vocal against people who do tow . And I'm not a big fan of people that do and then start claiming big wave heroics . I too have towed , but this only re affirmed how hollow it felt afterwards knowing that I could never paddle into the same waves ;-(( I'm not interested in digging up some of your posts in here to prove my point , so we'll just talk about the sand .
I've surfed a few deep channels between shallow banks at low tides , where a peak started to appear in what I presumed to be Deep water , as at high tide this channel was holding solid waves on the adjacent left and right . Here I believe that the returning water from off the shallow sand bars via the rip channel has created a standing wave effect . This has only seemed to work when the high tide banks are pretty symmetrical . This is what I think is happening at Nazarre , but in a massive scale . You'd have to ask GMAC if he touched the bottom in Stu's image . But I doubt it . It's probably breaking in similar depth to the waves height , as opposed by what looks like it's half that depth . The outgoing water flow creates that shallow lurching lip . !?
Southey my stance on tow surfing is a poostance . Im not vocal against it .
This shows the large drop off not far from shore at Puerto
Nice one acb .Also a sand bottom .
This thread has really got me thinking. Has anyone been able to source a decent bathymetric map of Australia's east coast?
You can explore to a certain resolution with this ACB https://webapp.navionics.com/
Also look at Hossegor. How pronounced that channel is all the way to the shore. Explains the heaving beachies
Don't be going off topic I want know about the sand at nazare
Haha, that will take some time and research. Will get back to you.
On the sand at Nazare, I'm sure some local freedivers would be able to give you a heads up. I wouldn't be surprised either, looking at the local topography and landscape, if there was an underlying shelf of flat bedded limestone or similar that ran out beyond the point and then fanned out, majority of the time covered over by sand, but then in the really large swell events sections may become exposed, but mainly holding the sand there in the first place.
On the deep water trenches in Australia, we don't really have anything of note compared to the likes of Puerto Esc. From memory there is a trench funnel off Ballina/Byron that may help to bend in south swells and some of the ground back down on the vicco coast, Port Campbell is pretty deep water but I think the focus of swell down there is the end of the funnel coming up from the depths between Vic and Tas into Bass Straight
The only other place the trench is really close to the coast is the Ningaloo stretch, but it is just a straight line drop off with no focus point to amplify the swell and most of the swell is heading up to indo instead.
It would be interesting to see if the Islands off Carnarvon weren't there, how much less swell would bend into Gnaraloo area not being able to feel the bottom off the islands and refract, instead heading straight north and bypassing the coast between there and Exmouth
As a whole the trench depths have little influence on Australian waves compared to other location around the globe, I have a feeling dominant swell directions run parallel with our contours at depths and not focus into any main areas. Although there would be localised effects of deeper water at Headland A v's shallower water at Headland B even though they are only 5km apart type scenario
Interesting to note that in southern ocean off SA, it's a 90 nautical mile run from the coast before you drop over the 100m depth. That is a lot of distance for swells to feel the bottom before hitting the coast, raw power of the southern ocean coming into play
Thanks Leroy good info will have a look at Byron charts . But im sure you would find there would be more swell if those islands off cvon didnt block the swell . For example when I surfed dorre it was 10ft but bluff was 4-5 ft .
Yes and no on the islands.
On google earth it looks like Dirk Hartog may infact have more of an influence blocking south swells, south west swell can't see it being an issue, only blocked to about the blowholes, the backside of curvier should be receiving full brunt of any swell coming out of the south west direction. Currents coming out of shark bay and wind surge on those strong south easterlies that go for weeks may also contribute
Yes, I think it's all about direction re Hartog and Dorre. The more south, def the bigger influence. True SW and W/SW should be unaffected.
Can't really see anything too major off Byron/Ballina.. bit of a canyon off the Wooli/Sandon region.
It is there Craig
Just checked the navionics you linked up before.
If you go straight east of seven mile beach, it goes 1125m, 1957m, 2403m, 3100m, 3447m, 3676m
But for the same distance offshore to the north off Byron you have a depth of 200m and to the south off Ballian itself is 300m. So it is quite a significantly deeper piece of water directly off 7 mile
It just doesn't look as dramatic as the one SE of Sandon as the gradient contouring is different within navionics itself
The change within navionics occurs basically in line with Angourie, if you go out to 300m depth and zoom in a bit , to the north will be poorer detail compared to south of this mark, thus Sandon looking more 'wow' factor.
Though both very similar, the one off Sandon is a bit narrower in canyon width
Be some nice deepwater fish out in both places I would imagine
Ah yes I see now, sorry was looking for a canyon to the south to focus south swells. Looks like this would affect south-east to east swells more.
Yeah, I hadn't looked at the charts to see exactly where it was but remembered chatting to some very keen and young (at the time) fishos who were talking about some deep water gutter off Ballina. Looks as if its a bit further north with no influence on south swells at all
Seems to be another valley out off Black rock directing in a NNW direction. If the inside edge of the swell was shallow enough to touch bottom and bend it around in it could be plausible to long period south swells sometimes making it into the Gold Coast
Would need to come up with some deep water waverider bouy technology to test that theory though
Hey Leroy , craig interesting stuff there on Eastside . So to clarify what happened ,as it was a bit of a ssw angle when I surfed that island chain dirk-bernier & obviously copped much more swell . 15ft I reckon the first few days but frontal associated south winds so didn't get to surf the peak of size . & yeah double the size of bluff apparently . So now have had a quick check and found that the islands shadow is at about 202 degrees & below numbers . All normal directions 215-240 are unhindered . BUT it looks like the more west angle has less attenuation due to bottom friction than a ssw angle . So therefore another factor playing on the size of swell at bluff .