Shane Dorian: enjoying the Euro vibes

Belharra and Mullaghmore Head fired the first bombs, as the "Black Swell" hits Europe in all its glory. Guess who joined the party.


Kurt Rist opened hostilities in Irish waters. The moment Winter Storm Hercules touched the shores of the British Islands, the surfer from New York got barreled in the tricky curls of Mullaghmore Head, County Sligo.

Andrew Cotton was really looking forward to taste the swell of the century, in Europe. There was only one small problem. Where to? It's the big wave surfer's dilemma dilemma.

"The strange thing is I haven't actually got a solid plan on where I'm going, where is going to be best and where I'm going to surf", Cotton wrote on his Instagram account.

Shane Dorian has flown quickly from his Hawaiian Islands, and only stopped at Belharra, in the Southwest of France. He had Justine Dupont and Benjamin Sanchis waiting for him, by the beach. Time do ride the giants.

Kurt Rist: hidden games at Mullaghmore Head

Interestingly, Belharra seems to be the meeting point for the "Black Swell". The Portuguese crew, represented by Ruben Gonzalez and José Gregório, also drove to the French Basque Country in search for big wave miracles.

Meanwhile, teams have been busy getting all gear ready for the big moment. Life vests, surf leashes, jet skis, wetsuits and communications got fine-tuned before sunset. Some just wanted to score any rippable wall. To let the anxiety go.

This time, Belharra won't be just a "surfers only" spot. Antoine Albeau, probably the most complete windsurfer of all time, is also waiting for his time to shine. But, has everyone made the right choices? Is Belharra the place to be?

Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Grant "Twiggy" Baker, Eric Rebiere, Jamie Mitchell, Felipe Cesarano and Rodrigo Koxa may also be found riding epic beasts in the French reef break. First day, warm up. Second day, blow up.

Discover the best European big wave surf spots.