Only for big balls!
The coastal town of Nazaré is also located on the Portuguese Atlantic coast, about 40 kilometers north of our camp. The surf spot is located north of the town, at Praia do Norte, right next to the rocky outcrop, below the fortress of São Miguel Acanjo.
The spectacular thing about this wave is that it breaks only a few hundred meters from the beach, so you can experience everything up close!
The usually unusual height of the wave breaking here has various causes. Just off the coast is a canyon, an approximately 230 kilometer long sea gorge with a depth of up to 5000 meters. The end of the underwater canyon is therefore just off the coast of Nazaré, resulting in very large jumps in water depth in a very small area. This is where the full power of the incoming waves is discharged.
Furthermore, with the appropriate wind and wave conditions, a strong current is directed into the sea along the beach and the rocky outcrop, resulting in a further “build-up” of the wave through the so-called rip. With a correspondingly large swell with predicted wave heights around 12 m, the waves can then break with more than 20 m height.
Maybe you have heard the name Garrett McNamara before, a veteran of big wave surfing. He made the wave famous in Nazaré when he surfed a wave over 23 meters high on November 1, 2011, which was considered the highest wave ever surfed until then. In 2013, this record was surpassed several times at the same location during a century wave, although there is no “formal” confirmation. In May 2015, Sebastian Steudtner finally received the “XXL Big Wave Award” in the category “Big Wave” for riding an estimated 21.6 m wave from Nazaré.
In 2016 there was for the first time (and so far unique) a big wave contest of the World Surf League in Nazaré. The won on 20.12. the Australian Jamie Mitchell. 23 surfers took part in the event, and conquered waves with more than 12 m. In some wipe outs it became really dangerous, so that there was no repetition of the contest so far.
If the forecast for Nazaré is right, we will never miss it and we will go with you to Praia Norte of Nazaré! An unforgettable experience. Even if you do not surf this wave yourself.
Only for big balls!