Watch: The 2023 Capítulo Perfeito - Stab Mag

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Miguel Blanco, seen here, shooting a tube. Photo: Vasco Lazaro

Watch: The 2023 Capítulo Perfeito

A shootout for tube shamans.

news // Feb 25, 2023
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 3 minutes

[The 2023 Capitulo Perfeito is ON! Below, we break down everything you need to know about the event.]

Surf competitions are fascinating endeavors. 

They might seem simple on the surface — just get a crew together and, like, decide who surfed the best — but possibilities rapidly expand once you tinker with the who, what, when, where, and how. And, though we all love/tolerate the Woz, alternative events add much to the tapestry of our exquisite little world. 

For the uninitiated, Portugal’s Capitulo Perfeito [Perfect Chapter] is a good example. 

“I always loved the Billabong Challenge, and how it was so different from all the other events,” says the organizer, Rui Costa. “I wanted to create something like that for the surfers here in Portugal. And I wanted to make it all about the tube — it’s the most universal thing in surfing. We all want to do it, and we all know which one is the best.” 

Big pump energy feat. Pedro Boonman. Photo: Andre Carvalho

The first edition — held in 2012 — was an instant success. The organizers soon decided to open it up to surfers worldwide. But there was a catch: They would have to earn their invites via a voting process with the local surfers. 

Capitulo Perfeito has bounced around and run at the nation’s heaviest beachbreaks: Carcavelos, Supertubos, and Nazaré. The 2022 edition will be at the foremost of the three. 

Carcavelos is less than 20 kilometers/12 miles from the capital of Lisbon, an equally historic and hip city where I was recently served roast pigeon in a bustling (bit try-hard, to be honest) eatery that has a DJ spinning vinyl each night. Carcavelos is the nation’s OG wave, and still commands admiration and fear from anyone who’s seen it proper. 

This year’s Capitulo Perfeito waiting period runs from January 9th to March 9th [it got called on for February 28], and the goal is to cherry-pick the very best day of the Euro-winter for eight hours of tubs. €25,000 his the winner’s pockets, and an extra €10,000 is administered via other awards like best cone of the day.  

And, yes, you (or Tiago Pires) can go right. Photo: Andre Carvalho

This year’s invitees are Adrian Buchan (AUS), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Balaram Stack (EUA), Bruno Santos (BRA), Clay Marzo (HAW), João Maria Mendonça (PRT), Michael February (ZA), Miguel Blanco (PRT), Nathan Hedge (AUS), Nic von Rupp (PRT), Pedro Boonman (PRT), Salvador Vala (PRT), Tiago Pires (PRT), and Torrey Meister (HAW). 

Everyone on that lineup packs a punch. But, notably, it includes a Pipe Master (Bal), a World Champ (ADS), the 2022’s favorite wildcard (Hedgey), the most stylish CT surfer of the past decade (M-Feb), Europe’s most irrational swell chaser (NVR), the prince of Portugal (Saca) and…what title do you even give Marzo?

Notice a theme? They’re all tunnel pigs who you won’t currently find chasing Q points. And a lot of them still had to earn their invites. The field is curated from three categories: International Surfers, National Surfers, and New Generation (surfers under 17). While the International Surfers were chosen by the event organizers, a voting system decided the National Surfers and New Generation. Two wildcards are also thrown into the mix, for good measure — in this case, it was previous event champ Aritz Aranburu and local trials winner João Maria Mendonça.

Each year, the event delivers both tubes and #narrartives — including putting XXM Nazaré on everyone’s bucket list, and seeing Marzo become the first person to surf a heat in boardshorts in Europe in February

This year, we’ll keep you informed as the comp gets called on and the legend expands. 


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