Praia do Norte, Nazaré: too big to be surfed

The "Black Swell" has hit Europe with all its power. Extreme weather conditions were felt, and wave riders transformed opportunities into epic XXL liquid challenges.

UK, Ireland, Spain, France and Portugal have severely suffered the effects of Winter Storm Hercules. Damaged homes, destroyed cars, deadly floods and slammed trees. The Old Continent battled the fierce storms with red alerts.

In Biarritz, France, a woman was swept into the sea by a giant wave. In the city of Porto, Portugal, four people were injured and dozens of cars were dragged away by a tidal surge that crashed onto the coast.

In the United Kingdom, Jorge Gill and Jack Hammersley have turned floods into sports. Despite the heavy rainfall, the young riders used a winch pulley system to wakeboard in a flooded car park.

Porthcawl Harbour (South Wales), Towan Headland (Newquay), Praia do Norte (Nazaré), San Sebastian (Basque Country), Mullaghmore Head (Ireland), Belharra (France) went off the charts.

Nic Von Rupp enjoyed a big wave surfing session in Mullagmore Head, alongside Kurt Rist, Sandy Kerr and Tom Butler. The Portuguese surfer rode 30-foot bombs as if he was having the usual morning coffee.

The maritime and coastal authorities believe this is probably the largest swell ever recorded in Europe, in the history of oceanography. Stories of impressive surfing stunts will surely be pouring, as the "Black Swell" fades away.

Check the Wave Height Forecast for the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal and Spain, UK and France.

Waves are constantly breaking all over the world, and if you're on a surf trip or family vacations it's always good to know you can rent a surfboard anywhere there's a gem to be ridden.

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