Nazaré Surfing Challenge: Perfect Conditions! (Video)

Situated on Portugal’s Silver Coast, Nazaré is a small city of fishermen, artisans, and big, exceptional waves.

And surf season is heating up. From October through February, Nazaré will host prestigious and aspiring surfers alike. This week, the World Surf League had its annual Tow Challenge. The team-oriented event drew heavily decorated competitors from around the globe.

After a patch of less-than-ideal conditions, the perfect weather window arrived on December 13, rolling 15-metre-high bombs and telescoping barrels up to Nazaré’s shoreline.

Nazare’s underwater scape is what sets the perfect environment this time of year. “The topography confines internal tidal currents and refracts oncoming waves, causing them to double in size as they join,” reports ExplorersWeb contributor, Kristine De Abreu.

In this highlight reel, big-wave surfing’s best wrangle the goliath waves at this year’s Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge. For the complete Tow Challenge replay, head to the WSL’s YouTube channel.

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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