Joao Kopke: surfing small waves near Lisbon's Belém Tower | Photo: White Flag Productions

Who said you couldn't surf Storm Doris? A Portuguese surfer decided to paddle near the Belém Tower, a 16th-century fortification located on Lisbon's Tagus River, in Portugal.

Meet João Kopke. He is probably the first-ever surfer ride a wave a few meters away from one of the most iconic historical building of his country.

Kopke took advantage of the energy sent by Storm Doris. The groundswell that hit Western Europe was so powerful that there waves in unconventional surf spots.

"When I go to Lisbon by train, on my way to the conservatory or college, I always imagine surfing in the most unlikely places," explained the young surfer.

"The storm Doris appeared on the horizon, and I had the idea of looking for the most unusual spot possible. This was the most magical place I have ever surfed. It's going to be hard to find a better one, but I'll keep looking."

It was not the best surf session of all time, but the experience was definitely unique and exotic. Kopke rode a few beginner rollers surrounded by tourists, and a few media professionals, including White Flag Productions, who took the shot above.

The Belém Tower was built by King Joao II. It was meant to be a defense system and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. The river structure is 39 feet (12 meters) wide and 98 feet (30 meters) tall and is roughly two miles away from the Atlantic Ocean.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) submitted a declaration of intent to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for the inclusion of adaptive surfing on the 2024 Summer Paralympics program.

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