It was by no means a world-record breaking day in terms of sheer size of waves ridden, but the swell that did grace Nazaré for the 2019 Big Wave Tour challenge might have been the best possible outcome.
40-foot sets rolled in all afternoon and, aided by the touch of a slight offshore breeze that cleaned up the face, the product was some of the best Nazaré surfing we’ve seen yet. Whereas on big days, mind you big is a relative term when it comes to Nazaré, the surfers are almost reduced to taking a power stance and hoping they can beat the break, but “smaller” days, like what we saw last Friday, allow the surfers to get more technical with their riding and actually make a few moves. Natxo Gonzalez demonstrated this flawlessly when he received the first ever perfect 10 for making it out of a cavernous barrel that lasted for a section or two before spitting him out safely on the other side. Big wave pioneer Garrett McNamara called it the "The greatest thing [he’s] seen at Nazaré."
Though Natxo might have had the most exciting ride of the day, Grant “Twiggy” Baker proved yet again to be the best surfer out there as he consistently took down wave after wave, and ultimately the rest of the competition.
The 45-year old South African veteran scored 11,000 points for his win, and with only two remaining events at Mavericks and Jaws, it’s now his Big Wave Tour title to lose. It was an incredible day of surfing all around, from massive wipeouts to house-sized barrels, if you missed the action on Friday it’s worth a re-watch. Here is a link to all the heats.