Watch: Russ Bierke gets pumped at Nazare
In a recent chat with Swellnet, Russ Bierke questioned the "pay to play" ratio at big Nazare, but reasoned that his promotion to the Big Wave Tour meant he had to put some time in.
So this week he flew to Portugal for the first proper swell of the season and got whipped into a North Canyon peak which he instinctively faded. All the great rides at Nazare have been a result of coming from the other side of the peak or fading it and swinging back when the peak stands up, both strategies aimed to get the surfer as deep as possible on what is a misshapen wedge: tall but short.
Similarly, both strategies also require impeccable timing, but unfortunately for Russ he fades too far and by the time he comes onto his heel-side rail the peak has shifted leaving him in a hopeless situation.
Said Russ after the wipeout: "I barely got a breath before the second wave landed on me. Feeling pretty sore today, got a good whiplash when I skipped in front of the wave, but no injuries which is good”