Big, bold and blue: Nazaré breaks the scale

February 13, 2017 | Surfing
Ross Clarke-Jones: going left at Praia do Norte | Photo: Correia/WSL

It was the largest swell of the 2016/2017 winter season so far. Nazaré's Praia do Norte delivered the goods under sunny skies.

It was one for the record books. On February 10, 2017, the mammoth waves returned to Portugal's infamous big wave surf break. And, as always, a large crew made sure they had their share of rides.

Eric Rebiere, Mick Corbett, Ross Clarke-Jones, Justine Dupont and many others tried their luck in the thunderous slope that chases humans. The day started with rainy and windy skies, but the afternoon brought redemption.

With all the variables perfectly aligned, Sebastian Steudtner caught was considered the best wave of the day. The German hellman dropped into a massive right-hander and found a quick line before escaping the enormous whitewater mountain.

Steudtner also tasted the toughest wipeout of the entire session, but the day was all about the great rides, and the 50-foot plus bombs rolled in at Praia do Norte.

"Nazaré was hardcore! There's a was a guy who was reanimated on the beach. It was super stormy and bumpy. Not easy It was for sure one of the biggest days of the season. I think we have to reflect on this day. A bunch of things happened," expressed Sebastian Steudtner.

Nazaré can be tricky and dangerous, especially with a deadly combination of powerful currents, and three-wave hold-downs. Fortunately, throughout history, the Portuguese spot has never claimed lives. And this time was no different.

Justine Dupont: the biggest wave she has ever surfed | Photo: Estrelinha/WSL

Two days before, on February 8, Justine Dupont surfed what may be considered one of the biggest waves ever ridden by a female surfer. Women are definitely stepping up their game.

"What can I say about it? It was by far the biggest wave I have been on. The feeling was amazing; the speed was crazy. I didn't feel I was able to make it safe to the bottom, so I had to make the decision to escape," revealed Dupont.