Perfect Chapter: Nic Von Rupp Wins Europe’s Finest Tube Fair  - Stab Mag

Season finale of How Surfers Get Paid drops Thursday, 5pm PT

The champ. Photo: Andre Carvalho

Perfect Chapter: Nic Von Rupp Wins Europe’s Finest Tube Fair 

Long live the specialty event.

news // Feb 28, 2023
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Aritz Aranburu describes his relationship with barrels as an addiction. 

Which, on the surface, sounds a bit strange if not indulgent. But, upon inspection, the claim takes shape as a verifiable truth. Today, I heard a story about him having a flight canceled during a Lisbon layover. The surf that day happened to be good 40 minutes away in Ericeira. With eight hours to kill — and a free pass to a nice airport lounge — Aritz decided to rent a car, drive to the beach, borrow a suit from someone, a board from someone else, surf for a bit, then head back. 

Can you imagine still loving surfing that much, even after doing it professionally for over two decades and having visited most of the world’s best waves? 

Portugal’s Capítulo Perfeito [Perfect Chapter] is designed for surfers with this level of cone addiction. It ran today — spectacularly so. 


Everything about the comp is centered around on the tube. It features a season-long waiting period to cherry-pick the best day of waves at the oft-violent beachbreak of Carcavelos. The judging criteria rewards barrels, and barrels, and nothing else. 

Though it sounds oxymoronic, the Capítulo is a local-global event. It’s local in that it’s organized and run by local core surfers, and features Portugal’s best baz hounds. It’s global in the sense that, each year, it draws a selection of international talent keen for a trip to Portugal — especially with a forecast they know will deliver. This year, the event drew crew like Clay Marzo, Adriano de Souza, Ace Buchan, and Mikey February. And, yes, I did happen to see them all in a room (made of scaffold) together. — a peculiar site which some swear by ‘round here — said there were 8059 kilojoules of energy in the water today. Cute number, dunno what it means (though, via a series of Googles, I’ve come to establish that it could power a 2,000-watt oven for an hour). The metric system said it was roughly 2-3 meters. Hawaiians would have it at 4-6, and imperial face enthusiasts would say 6-10 with 12-foot sets. But, to say it was fucking cooking feels like an empirical truth.  

Bruh. You need sleeves here. Photo: Andre Carvalho

Highlights, in a semi-particular order, included: 

-Marzo surfing a short-arm full (4/3s were the standard today)
-João Mendonça being good at most things 
-Ítalo Ferreira showing up, fanning out 
-The first ADS sighting since the 2021 Corona Open Mexico 
-Aritz Aranburu feeding his addiction 
-William Ailotti twinning and almost winning 
-Pedro Boonman’s tube swinery 
-Matias Canhoto winning the New Generation division (keep him on the radar
-Nic Von Rupp’s 10, and winning of the entire event 

Pedro Boonman, hounding. Photo: Vasco Lazaro

Turns out, when you get a crew of excellent surfers together to compete with a clear objective in compelling waves, it makes for superb viewing.

Who woulda guessed?


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver

Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.

Mar 21, 2023

Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More

Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…

Mar 20, 2023


“I’m A West Oz Bogan For Sure, I Just Don’t Have The Mullet”

The first SEOTY entry of 2023 is ‘Into Dust’ ft. Jacob Willcox.

Mar 20, 2023

Warren Smith on New Welcome Rivers Range and Buying Jaguars on Facebook Marketplace  

Now available in the Antipodes...

Mar 20, 2023


Wavegarden Spills How The Sausage Is Made

BTS of their global air wave rollout ft. Yago Dora, Dion Agius, Reef Heazlewood and…

Mar 18, 2023

Minds, Machines, And The Magic Of Hands

How modern shapers split their time between designing files and hand-finishing boards.

Mar 18, 2023


Are Hectic Lefts The Final Finless Frontier?

William Aliotti is on the right-foot-forward fringes.

Mar 17, 2023

Watch: Luke + Eddie

A mostly unknown, on-duty lifeguard won the most prestigious big-wave event in history. How Luke…

Mar 17, 2023


A Pipe Master, Ryan Burch, And Some Pickle Forks On The Eastern Seaboard

This one ticks a lot of boxes

Mar 16, 2023

Brazil Has A Talent Problem

And three other things we learned from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Mar 16, 2023


Mick Fanning On A Unicorn, Bags Of Dicks, And A Shocking Script Read By Surfing’s Biggest Stars

Vaughan Blakey and Nick Pollet on their outrageous film, 'The Greatest Surf Movie In The…

Mar 15, 2023

Italo Ferreira Caught 63 Waves In An Hour

And other stats from our Stab in the Dark production.

Mar 15, 2023


Can A Freesurfer Go The Other Way? A Dakoda Walters Case Study

The 57-kilo Aussie has taken a Stab High approach to trad contest surfing.

Mar 15, 2023

Caity Simmers And João Chianca Fulfill Respective Prophecies Under Gaze Of Portuguese President

A very good day of competitive surfing.

Mar 14, 2023

Kelly And Steph Are In Trouble

What's a GOAT gotta do to make the cut around here?

Mar 14, 2023


“I Used To Only Surf Here With One Guy…His Name’s Henry, And He’s A Seal”

A contemplation on the frigid desolation of Iceland.

Mar 14, 2023

World #1 Carissa Moore Vanquished By Front Pad Toting Wildcard, Lucky Few Get Supertubed

‘Go hard or go home, innit’ 

Mar 13, 2023

Hungover Hold-Downs, Patent Feuds, And One-In-A-Million Malfunctions Involving 11x World Champs: The Story Of Surfing’s Inflatable Vests

These things changed the game.

Mar 13, 2023