Lucas Chumbo Continues To Politely Shove Big Wave Surfing In A New Direction
Alley-oops and all. Watch the full Nazaré Tow Challenge replay here.
There was carnage in the first heat.
We saw a jet ski get lit up, which tends to happen when people chase and sometimes flee wedges exploding up and down the beach. And then we lost female fav Justine Dupont to a leg injury sustained while she was trying to kick out of a particularly choppy wave. Damn.
Naz don’t play. Not at this size, at least.
It had been 58 days since we last saw a tow contest at Praia do Norte — which is approximately 7 minutes in big-wave terms. However with plenty of swell, and sixteen keen surfers, and decent wind, and not too much fog, why not give it another whirl? The event we saw in December was technically a late version of the 2020 – 2021 event and so today was the official Nazaré event of the 2021 – 2022 season.
In big waves, much of the battle comes down to positioning. Peter Mel (who was commentating alongside Stab scribe Paul Evans in the booth today) had been patiently waiting in a completely different part of the lineup when he got the wave of his life at Maverick’s last year. But when it comes to tow surfing, jet skis more or less remove that from the equation.
The focus then shifts to two things: How tall of a wave you can get, and what you can do on said wave.
To the surprise of nobody and the delight of all, Lucas Chumbo continued to surf Nazaré on a different level — a level that he usually shares with Kai Lenny. Kai wasn’t there today, as he’s got a wildcard into the upcoming Hurley Pro Sunset Beach. Consequently, Lucas did things that nobody else could. You know, like, alley-oops (watch this clip until the end).
Even though Lucas only got a 4.7 for the oop (really, judges?), he still won the Men’s Best Performance.
Meanwhile, with Justine Dupont sidelined, up-and-coming Brazilian surfer Michelle des Bouillon was in the lead for the Women’s Best Performance — then Maya Gabeira snatched it from her. The world record holder had been drawing some aggressive lines at the wave that once almost killed her. Fair enough.
And the Team challenge? That was taken out by Lucas Chianca and Nic Von Rupp.
More coming in 58 days, maybe?
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