Stab Magazine | Paddling Nazare Looks Like An Absolute Nightmare!

Paddling Nazare Looks Like An Absolute Nightmare!

But Kai Lenny, Twiggy Baker, and co ain’t scared!

cinema // Mar 12, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For the Joe-Sixpack surfer, is there a less attractive locale than Nazaré’s near rewardless buffet of lurching, lumpy peaks, and big, thoroughly cooked burgers, (with, sure, the occasional juicy pit or two)?

It looks like such punishment, such labor. 

Following the Nazaré Challenge, Kai Lenny, Twiggy Baker, Nic Von Rupp, and a handful of other other self-mutilators threw themselves on the Nazaré chopping block, for one of the biggest paddles sessions of the season. 

Here’s Portugal’s Máquina Voadora on the session (sic):

“Three days [after the Nazaré Challenge], with many of the boys postponing their flights, Monday came with the “After Party”, and considering all the media attention on what had just gone down on Friday, this session went through relatively unnoticed.

Conditions were pretty much the same forecast for the event 3 days earlier, with the exception of a few variables that made it a bit more heavy and challenging for the boys. The rescue support infrastructure from the event (or the lack of it) was also a key difference during the After Party. By late morning our team counted five broken Guns and several physical injuries, the worst of them probably by Portuguese Big Wave Surfer João Guedes (02:01) who ended up in the Hospital with a hurt knee.

The Bomb of the day was indisputably scored by Nic Von Rupp, who went deeper than Lucas Chumbo on a massive left-hander (01:31) with a vertical drop. Lucas is not used to having someone deeper than him when conditions are at that level, he probably didn’t notice Nic was there until both were fully committed, one for the books right there. Besides this double bomb with Chumbo, Nic also scored an impossible air drop (01:13) an hour later, making him one of the main standouts of the entire session. Both his waves are probable XXL entry material for this season awards.

Kai Lenny got involved in one of the most spectacular wipeouts (00:45), in what could have been one of the rides of the day. Luca Padua, 17 year old from Mavericks, also left his impression and showed us why he is a promise and blended with the Nazaré vibe like a champ. Grant “Twiggy” Baker who won the contest on Friday, (obviously) scored his share of bombs and even attracted a flock of drones (01:11) in one of his main waves. Tom Lowe also scored one of the best waves of the day, just before Nic’s second bomb, unfortunately we missed that shot from both drone and land, but it won’t be forgotten.

The boys had to deal with a difficult positioning strategy, where, in order to score the main bombs, they had to accept the possibility of being obliterated by the ocasional (but guaranteed) huge Clean Up Sets. The risk/reward ratio assessment was a key factor, besides having to overcome critical drops, bumps, many closeouts and long hold downs…”


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