The swell didn't arrive on Sunday. Teams of chargers had been on standby, waiting to see how this swell played out. Waiting to swing into those voluminous Nazare peaks. The forecast had always pinned this one as peaking overnight on Sunday. And with these frustratingly short, wintry days, sunset will soon eat into you, without care of a colossal XL swell just starting to fill in.
And then, yesterday morning was a different story. The buoys were blipping, 9ft@14 seconds, that swell pumping in from the WNW. The key here is that swell having a touch of north in it, just what Nazare liked for a decent XL session.
What transpired may not have been the biggest Nazare we've seen, of course, but still a solid day to shift long hunks of foam against tall, brutish waves. Guts and grist are needed in aplomb to make any sort of headway at XL Nazare – but those with the stones to go are always rewarded. Your standouts here are Tom Butler, Sebastian Steudtner, Maya Gabeira, Rodrigo Koxa and more.
“The conditions were looking pretty good with a light offshore breeze and some really good lines,” says our man on the ground and master Nazare lensman Helio Antonio.
“Tom Butler was out there pairing with Sebastian and they're probably the most efficient team. Those two have been surfing Nazare together since the old days and have it lock down. When they’re in the water it’s non-stop surf.
“So, like expected, Sebastian surfed tones of waves, the best ones on the first peak quite close to the rocks. Killing it. Tom also scored some nice bombs.
“Maya Gabeira was charging too, as usual for the queen of Nazare.
“Another amazing team was Alemão de Maresias and the crazy waterman Kalani Lattanzi. A couple years ago Kalani was surfing on the bodyboard world tour and now he’s surfing mountains at Nazare. Yesterday’s performance was crazy. He's evolved, rapidly.
“The other stand out was the young portuguese charger Tony Laureano, only 16-years-old. He was one of the few paddling and dropped into the best one of the day. Pretty amazing.
World record owner Rodrigo Koxa was also charging until he lost his board to the rocks.”