There's no denying that Portugal's swell-sucking behemoth wave, Nazare, is a spectacle when conditions jack to beyond the unfathomably large range. Now's the season for the world's best hellmen to make camp near that hyper wave (and there's swell on the way) but when the down days creep in, wind's too strong, not enough energy in the swell, it's time to hunt something down.
And just around the corner from Nazare's iconic lighthouse, there's a rarely surfed, but gnarly as hell, rock-laden wave. If Nazare is pumping but the wind's up – then there's usually something breaking here, only its fickle and takes a ski to get to. Enter Marcelo Luna and tow partner Alessandro Marciano – who wrangled the other side of Nazare on the weekend.
“There is another way to find a spot to surf at nazaré,” Luna tells MSW. “And it's just the other side of what you may have seen before.
“It really doesn't break often, swell direction, tide – it all needs to be perfect. But me and Alessandro Marciano, my tow partner, have wanted to surf there for a long time.
“In my three years at Nazare, I've never seen it work until this week. It was way, way too windy for Nazare's main peak, it was impossible to surf, so we took a look around the other side of the lighthouse near the north canyon and saw this.
“Waves, 9-10 foot, running directly to the corner, over and in front of rocks. Me and Marciano arrive there with the mission of trying to get a couple of waves.
“I put him in a couple ones. But, with the last rescue, I lost the ski to the rocks and our boards too. We started swimming to get the ski and salvage the boards, we got back and headed out for a few more. This is probably the first time that the world has seen Nazare from this perspective.”
Gnarly, for sure. But always great to see another side to Nazare's chaotic nature. The forecast right now is looking rough but potentially doable over the weekend, all from the remnants of Hurricane Oscar. Its projected path will take it north of Ireland but the fetch from the swell should create ample opportunity for more exposed spots along the coastline. We'll bring you more about that as it comes in.