WATCH: Heavy Portugal Slab Session During North Atlantic Mega Swell

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 66d ago

This North Atlantic mega swell got everywhere. See Morocco from earlier and we've got coverage out of the UK, Ireland, Canaries, France and more Morocco all dropping soon. And although the size was in the water for the likes of Nazare, the swell was hitting too west to really set that behemoth off. So what's a guy and gal to do with all that raw Atlantic power?

If your answer was, seek somewhere that can handle those conditions and offer up some deathly, hollow slabs, then correct. The likes of Nic Von Rupp and Miguel Blanco along with bodyboarders Joao Andre and Luis Pereira made for a Portuguese slab that you've likely seen before, but not from this angle. Just look at this thing grow out of the ocean, spit up a keg as it crashes into the distance. It is a breaching monster and certainly not for the average surfer.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

“It was pumping,” Miguel tells MSW. “The swell was kind of crossed but it was big and strong offshore, I knew this was going to be the day for it.”

Luis.

Luis.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

Drama? You bethcha. “So much happened during that four hour session,” said Miguel. “A lot of broken boards and leashes, long swims to the beach on a heavy 8ft shore break with the strongest current ever. It was wild.”

Miguel Blanco, surfing something like this takes a lot of patience and is especially tricky on your backside.

Miguel Blanco, surfing something like this takes a lot of patience and is especially tricky on your backside.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

As for the fear factor, this beast isn't for the feint-hearted. “It's scary and not inviting at all,” Blanco added. “Paddling out is quite dangerous too if you don’t want to go for a 20min paddle and get stuck in the shore break. The take off spot is small and you always have to be under the ledge, otherwise you are just going over the falls on every wave. It takes it’s time to get a good one out there.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

“The vibe in the water was so good! There are always a few old school boogies that have surfed there forever and then there’s this new generation of surfers and bodyboarders, all around the same age that want to push their limits and be constantly searching for the best waves. We surf together quite often. It's scary and not inviting at all

“Nic is always out there and a standout. It was one for the books.”

Capturing all you see throughout the feature is our regular lensman Helio Antonio: “The waves were growing three or four times the size from a sometimes impossible or very difficult take off which meant a bunch of them went unridden.

NVR.

NVR.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

“Joao Andre is probably the most experienced guy out there and surfed some beautiful barrels. Luis "Porkito" Pereira also mastered a couple of bombs. He's one of the most respected bodyboarders in Portugal, having paddled giant Nazare before the jet skis took over.

“Nic von Rupp was doing his magic. He's a slab lover and being a goofy foot surely allows him to take full advantage of the place. Always a show to watch.

“Miguel Blanco surfs backside but that didn't stop him from doing some crazy drops and getting on some well sized barrels.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

“We're currently on lockdown in Portugal, individual sports are allowed but the government leaves to each city council if they want to close the beach or not. I'm not sure what the status is at this place but the police showed up at the beach telling everyone to leave (not the surfers). Strange times, great waves.”

Reminder of how the North Atlantic was looking (courtesy of our swell chart) a few days before this session.

Reminder of how the North Atlantic was looking (courtesy of our swell chart) a few days before this session.

Joao Andre.

Joao Andre.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio

Not for the uncommitted.

Not for the uncommitted.

© 2021 - Helio Antonio