The monster swell that hit Nazaré on January 17th and 18th is still being talked about as one of the biggest ever here. This swell originated from a North Atlantic storm and produced some of the heaviest waves the town has seen in years, even by Nazaré standards, reaching the 80ft mark at one point on Thursday and possibly much more on the day before.
Many of the world’s best big wave surfers were in town (despite others choosing to charge Jaws and Mavericks), including Benjamin Sanchis, Ross Clarke-Jones, Axi Muniain, Sebastian Steudtner, Maya Gabeira, Hugo Vau, Alex Botelho, Marcelo Luna, Andrey Karr, João Guedes, Roland Pierre, and many others.
This wave was one of the main highlights of the day, captured by drone team “Máquina Voadora,” flying very low to give us a unique perspective of how thick Nazaré is, contrary to the misconception that it’s really just a giant mushburger at this size.
The surfer, Axi Muniain, is a 35-year old adventurer/explorer from the Basque country and one of Europe’s top big wave surfers at the moment. “This small bomb was surfed just before the winds got too strong,” Axi says about the wave. “I would have liked to draw another line but it was impossible with our location and If I had twisted my line further inside, I would have taken the impact on my head. Luckily we had a solid rescue plan and after [a quick] swim I was rescued. Sebastian Steudtner told me that he was gonna find a bomb for me and that’s what he did. Thank you, brother, for your support and determination.”