Europe has shown its potential for big wave surfing. A world record for the largest wave ever surfed can easily be broken in the Old Continent. So, where are the highest peaks located?
Surfing was not born in Europe. Not even big wave surfing. But the Old Continent has a long Atlantic tradition when it comes to powerful swells.
The North Atlantic waters, in particular, have been creating groundswells since the beginning of time, and surfers know well the energy behind these waves.
The European big wave surfing scene is still young.
In the early 1990s, big wave hunters started exploring new frontiers of wintertime action in a professional and active way.
Praia do Norte, Nazaré | Portugal
Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal, currently holds the official record for the largest wave ever surfed.
The local underwater canyon, plus a happy combination of local winds and currents, creates one of the most perfect A-frame big waves the world has ever seen.
The danger factor is an adrenaline bonus. Enjoys SW-N swells.
Punta Galea | Spain
Punta Galea, in the Spanish Basque Country near Getxo, is a serious right-hand point break offering long carving walls and barrel sections.
Here, you'll find some of the strongest currents in the world. On big days, watch out.
The wave breaks at the bottom of a deadly 60-meter cliff. Enjoys N swells.
Belharra | France
Belharra is a well-known reef break located off Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the French Basque Country.
It usually breaks in low tide unless wave height reaches the upper level.
The big wave spot must be accessed by boat, as it breaks 2.5 kilometers offshore. Enjoys NW swells.
La Vaca | Spain
La Vaca is located at El Bocal Beach, near Santander, Spain.
It was discovered in 2006 by two Cantabrian surfers, Óscar Gómez and Luis García.
Its massive, thick wall of water is no problem compared with the strong currents and dangerous underwater floor. Enjoys N-NW swells.
The Cribbar | England
The Cribbar is located off the Towan Headland in Newquay, Cornwall, UK. This is one of the oldest big wave spots in Europe.
It was first surfed in 1966 by Ric Friar, Pete Russell, Johnny McElroy, and Jack Lydgate.
Also known as "The Widowmaker," The Cribbar is a steep, treacherous, fast, and hollow adventure that may end up on a rocky cliff. Enjoys SW-NW swells.
Mullaghmore Head | Ireland
Mullaghmore Head is the most famous big wave surf spot in Ireland.
The wild righthand reef break can only be challenged at high tide. If you dare to get barreled, prepare your mindset for the worst.
A wipeout at Mullaghmore Head hurts. Enjoys W-NW swells.
Aileen's | Ireland
Aileen's has been hailed as "the perfect wave."
Despite the rip currents and the reef below, this is one of the Irish jewels in the triple overhead surf category.
On big days, from the Cliffs of Moher, you can easily spot the beast in action. Enjoys E-SE swells.
Discover the best big wave surf spots in the world.