Hugo Pinheiro and friends return to Mar da Calha

October 2, 2018 | Bodyboarding
Mar da Calha: Hugo Pinheiro finds the pit in the Tagus River | Photo: Silva/Red Bull

Three years after unveiling the unusual wave that breaks off the coast of Lisbon, in Portugal, Hugo Pinheiro and friends returned to the scene of the crime.

This time, the four-time Portuguese national bodyboarding champion invited Daniel Fonseca, Vasco Ribeiro, Pedro Boonman, Lourenço Katzenstein and Tiago Pires to join him on a very special boat trip.

Mar da Calha is an offshore wave that breaks near the Bugio Lighthouse, a platform located in the Tejo river mouth.

In 2015, the rider from Costa da Caparica revealed to the world, in the form of a documentary, one of the most unknown and powerful waves in the Tagus Estuary.

Mar da Calha has unique characteristics and for centuries was part of the collective imagination. Thanks to Pinheiro, the heritage was not lost, and new experiences and images were created for the future.

Mar da Calha: a wave that breaks off the coast of Lisbon | Photo: Silva/Red Bull

A Fickle Wave

However, and after watching the first documentary, action sports fans said they wanted to see more waves and riders tearing them apart. Hugo accepted the challenge and prepared an adrenaline-fueled sequel.

"It was a huge challenge to shoot the sequel. First of all, because this is a rare and fickle wave. It was a complex operation with boats and jet skis, but I'm sure the result will surprise everyone," explains 38-year-old bodyboarder.

Pinheiro, who has won five European bodyboarding titles, had to time the mission well to make sure everyone was ready to move quickly when the ideal swell and weather conditions aligned.

"I remember that Mar da Calha didn't produce any waves in the year following the documentary's debut. And, even when it works, you have to be there with the right swell, the right tide, and the right wind," continues Hugo.

"Filming is also a challenge. It is a very unstable site that requires the use of jet skis or a boat. And because it is a wave that breaks in several zones, it also makes the process of shooting pretty tricky."

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