Photos: Base Camp Nazare

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Nazare has increasingly become the base for surfers during the northern hemi winter, and with good reason, nowhere is consistently big as the Portuguese beachie. Say what you want about shape and other aesthetics - brown water, devilish winds - but the amount of surfers devoting themselves to the wave speaks volumes.

The first significant swell of the season hit last week, a no question tow swell, and the assembled surfers fired up the skis and whipped into the North Peak.

Tim Bonython, who's also posted up at Nazare for the season, took these shots during the day.

And in full Big Wednesday fashion, this swell is already feeling like the proverbial lemon with pie-size waves expected this weekend. Six days out and there's a good chance it's gonna be much bigger, and there's even a possibility for a proper offshore. We'll keep you posted.

All photos by Tim Bonython.

Justine Dupont

Lucas Chumbo
Andrew Cotton

Sebastian Steudtner

ChumboFrancisco Porcella

Danilo CoutaTrevor Sven CarlsonJustine Dupont

Rafael Tapia

Alemão de Maresias

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 7:16am

It's a shifty, complex lineup, is big Nazare. Watch the wave in this vid that begins at 0:35 ridden by Sebastian Steudtner that starts as a big wedge, then runs at an angle into nothingness, before connecting with another big wedge a few hundred metres from the takeoff spot.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 8:00am

Radical

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 7:30am

Anyone got a theory/opinion/conspiracy on all the coloured wetsuits at Nazare?

In these photos alone there's green neoprene, yellow, red, blue, orange, and white. Not single panels either, but full length colour, head to toe.

Is this a way to identify surfers when viewed from a distance, a la Greg Noll in his jailhouse shorts at Waimea, a way for spotters to find surfers stranded in the whitewash, a rehash of 80s fashions, or just a big coincidence?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 12:57pm

Fashion, exposure, safety, identity/ branding.
I'm guessing they don't want to be mis identified on the internet.
When they go viral that is.
Its also filmed / photographed from pretty far away. So maybe its to keep us interested.

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 7:57am

Safety Stu easier to spot rescue

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 8:26am

Both.

If no recognition was given there wouldn’t be a soul out there.

But that’s not a bad thing. Ego is probably more responsible for the advancement of mankind than anything. Especially big wave riding.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 8:43am

wonder if this year we will start to see some advancements in performance at Nazare.

When you look at where big wave paddle surfing has got to at Jaws: guys backdooring the peak and getting giant tubes etc etc . Really complex, technical late drops.

It still looks like the line at Nazare, even with a tow-in is just straight line it for the shoulder and hang on.
Is that just the limit of the way that wave can be surfed?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 2:06pm

I think they need more refined equipment.
The paddle boards they are making are very thick . I read somewhere that the main surfers are looking for refinement of equipment.
Tow boards could go a little longer for Nazare.
I would like to see John john tow and carve it up.(not happening though.....)
Nazare is a heavy wave.....north Atlantic gets pretty powerful in winter.

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 1:55pm

To me it just feels like that is the limit of what you can do out there - and that is due to the type of wave more than any equipment options (in my will-never-surf-the-place-at-that-size opinion). Never seen a barrel out there, never seen a turn or a hook, anytime someone tries to do a big fade they get mowed down - pretty shit wave other than the impressive size on the peak

B Dub

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Thursday, 15 Nov 2018 at 2:48am

It think it's an equipment issue more than anything else. Namely: how the hell do you go fast enough to outrun the lip? And then how do you control the board at that speed?

We all want to see people turning and carving out there, but on current equipment, one turn and you're mown down.

Hate to say it, but maybe that sort of surfing at Nazare will only be possible on some sort of motorised board. Or some crazy new foil.

crip's picture
crip's picture
crip commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 10:40am

I find the same thing watching Mavs, everyone just taking the drop and trying to survive the whitewater. Nothing like Jaws. I wondered if that's the only way it can be surfed?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 11:22am

Yeah, but what a drop! 

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 3:16pm

Jamie's wave is heavy.
If you look at the frame grab you can actually see a line in the wave.When surfing big waves you want to be under that line and paddling real f..n hard.
Other wise you want to be on the other side of the line and heading for the shoulder.
Mav's is a real gnarly wave its taken out the best.
I like watching the mavs contest
It's real gritty.

Over fifteen feet any wave is gnarly!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 12:13pm

Hows Jamies wave above,bottom turning out thru the white water to glance up and go...mammmaa....got slaughtered.

simba

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 12:45pm

Fuken axed

tux's picture
tux's picture
tux commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 1:32pm

Its all about consequences..from what I can see Jaws breaks fairly consistently (shape wise) across the reef before hitting a big channel and running into deeper water...Mavs shifts across the reef and while it has a big channel it washes straight through onto the rocks...Nazare doesn't look to have a consistent channel and apparently you just get ragdolled through the inside without actually going any further in due to the amount of water moving

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018 at 1:50pm

I've seen plenty washed in at Nazare, Russ the other day and RCJ last year. Without ski assits, you're back on the beach or in the rocks.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018 at 12:40am

It's interesting that most big wave surfers are using Nazare as the new big wave spot.
Taking a real gamble there. Most would be better of at Madeira....oh wait.
Belhara this swell ?
Hawaii is still the epicenter for big wave surfing. Remember when they had water world at pe'ahi.
There is just to much variety in Hawaii .
Is Nazare the money shot ?
Or have people become desensitized to jaws ECT..?

tux's picture
tux's picture
tux commented Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018 at 7:41am

Apparently Nazare gets bigger than hawaii....

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Thursday, 15 Nov 2018 at 6:44pm

I think the coloured suits would be for safety, I would imagine it would be handy for your specific tow partner to stand out to you if shit hit the fan.

Apart from the occasional +60ft super wedges, Nazare is way better to watch footage of at large paddle to wedgey shore break size , most of the tow stuff doesn't translate to the standard video angles.