Since arriving at Nazare, Tom Butler and Sebastian Steudtner have been standouts at Portugal's behemoth. Then, on Friday, Mr Butler, from Newquay in the UK, may have just tipped the scale for what's being ridden out there with speculation that it could be the biggest wave of the season and maybe even all-time.
You see, Tom's been there since day one. He knows Nazare. It's a hop and a skip from the shores of Kernow, after all. And some, like filmer Jorge Leal, thinks it could be a contender for biggest wave ever surfed. Remember, Jorge's filmed pretty much every session out at Praia do Norte, so he damn well knows the score there.
Anyway, it won't be verified until April whether Butler has stolen the biggest wave ever surfed crown from Brazilian, Rodrigo Koxa. We pulled up the charts from November 8 (Koxa's wave) and Friday gone (Tom's wave) to compare the stats anyway.
“I have been shooting probably all big days since day one,” says Jorge Leal, “when me, Garrett and our team started the Nazaré big wave project. I can tell you easily that Tom's wave is one of the biggest waves surfed at Nazaré.
“Also Tom have drew one of the best lines on a giant wave, he took off behind the peak went all the way down through big bumps flying at full gas, then managed a proper bottom turn to escape that lip, was one of the most intense rides I saw.”
Remember, Tom's no slouch. You gotta remember that he's in the realms of 6'2” and that wave is towering over him. Is it the biggest ever, though? Jury's out until next year. So, what's your verdict? Remember to keep an eye on the charts by going HERE.
Cover shot by Jorge Leal