Surfing Portugal: Amazing waves

Portugal is famous among surfers and body boarders for having some seriously amazing waves. Remember this is where big wave surfing records are continually set. Several Portuguese beaches are regularly included on the European and international professional surfing circuits. And then of course our very own Ericeira is one of the few – and the second ever – World Surfing Reserves.

This winter’s storms, particularly one called Hercules, have made Portugal’s amazing waves even more extreme than normal. Spectators and surfers alike flocked to the country to take advantage of the super swell last week. Nazaré, site of more than a couple big wave surfing world records, saw 23-meter (75-ft) examples battering its shores on January 6th. Check out the Huffington Post for a video of Nazaré’s giants and a cool slideshow of amazing waves from around the world.

For me the most impressive of all of Portugal’s amazing waves of late is not huge, but rather incredibly long. The 100-second wave was filmed being surfed in Lagos, Algarve. Pro surfer and local hero Alex Botelho is the one riding this so-called kilometer-long beauty. Though it’s only 100 seconds, for a run it seems like forever.

Alex describes his marathon wave in Surf Portugal magazine (my translation):

The swell I entered was amazing. The moment we entered the sea it rapidly grew. I was sitting on the beach and watching the sea, which was at a half meter. I knew it would rise after noon. After twenty minutes, the half-meter became over two meters. No one expected that it would be possible to surf this wave. I passed a friend of mine who was surfing in the river and then I went past the pier and suddenly I was already at Meia Praia.

See Alex Botelho’s “longest wave” plus another video about surfing the amazing waves that Hercules brought on the Surf Portugal website. It’s great stuff!

amazing waves

Some of Ericeira’s own amazing waves from one year ago. Pic: Pedro Azevedo Vieira (Flickr CC)

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