It’s not just famous American big wave surfing superstars like Garrett McNamara that are surfing Portugal’s monster waves. The same waves that McNamara surfed at Praia do Norte in Nazaré have been ridden by Portuguese surfer António Silva, just without the financial support and media attention that have been heaped on the man from Hawaii. Still, with the help of a video and a little local media attention, Silva is getting some recognition. Welcome to big wave surfing Portugal – local style.
Honestly I don’t know how big the waves Silva is filmed surfing are compared to that monster we’ve seen McNamara tackle, but Silva surfed without sponsorship or the kind of safety measures that Garrett had. I’m not sure that’s a very wise thing to do as far as the safety part goes. It’s dangerous enough with as much safeguarding as possible – some might even say crazy – so doing without those precautions is simply insane.
Normally Silva hits tubes in Ericeira or Peniche, but something,“the call of the giants” as he puts it, prompted him to be pulled out by a jet ski, mount those monsters of Nazaré and put big wave surfing Portugal on the map.
António Silva is quoted in the Fugas, or “Getaways”, supplement of the Portuguese daily Público (my translation):
If I was to manage this it will be the biggest day of my life. I knew it would be a day for history. And above all I would have fun. I was there to enjoy the waves.
And, like Garrett McNamara’s world famous run, it was caught on video and of course then posted on YouTube. At current count its been viewed over 24,500 times. So it would seem that António’s efforts to promote the talents of Portuguese surfers and bodyboarders are paying off.
Check out the entire original article from Público (in Portuguese) on big wave surfing Portugal’s António Silva, including pictures and the video of his incredible run, and judge for yourself. You can see the original video on YouTube here.