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Nazare Challenge Gets the Green Light for Friday!

Credit: @ WSL / Poullenot

After an epic late summer/early fall, winter has started off pretty slow here in Hawaii. Town is heading into its winter slumber, and while there have been a couple of decent pulses on the North Shore, none of them have really set the buoys off. But that’s not to say that the big wave season hasn’t started. In fact, over in Europe, Nazare has been going ballistic for the past two weeks—and things are about to ramp up even more today.

The World Surf League has called the Nazare Challenge on for Friday the 16th, and the conditions are forecasted to be pretty much perfect. It won’t be the biggest Nazare we have ever seen—probably in the 20- to 35-foot range on the face—but the wind should be light offshore and the ocean should be about as smooth as it gets at Praia de Norte, so the Big Wave Tour should be kicking off with a bang.

Then, to make things even more exciting, the swell from hell is bearing down on Europe and expected to hit sometime Sunday morning. This one is also going to have perfect conditions in many places, but it’s so big the WSL has decided it won’t be paddleable, which is why the contest is running on Friday’s smaller swell. It will be all tow on Sunday and probably Monday too, and some record-breaking rides may go down.

Will we see the first 100-foot wave ridden at Nazare this weekend? Probably not, due to the westerly angle of the big swell (which tends to not wedge up as tall as a more northwesterly direction), but it should definitely be exciting. In the meantime, the rest of Europe and north Africa will also be going Richter, so keep an eye out for footage from all the top spots.

Meanwhile, it would be great if the Atlantic could send some of that juice over our way. California has been flat for weeks now, and here in Hawaii, we are just getting into Triple Crown season. It’s time for the Country to light up!

See you in the water!