Tow surfing, extreme surfing and big wave surfing are various names to describe the incredibly exhilarating and outrageously risky activity of surfing the biggest, most hazardous waves in the world. The unpredictability of the ocean makes surfing a difficult and onerous sport for any average Joe surfing regular-sized waves. However, some thrill-seekers just don’t get a big enough kick of adrenaline by surfing the boring waves of anything under a tame 10-feet. Extreme surfing involves traveling the world in search of the largest, most impressive and most dangerous swell the globe has to offer. And as a surfer in Portugal proved yesterday, some punters do manage to be courageous and lucky enough to surf these gigantic waves.
Brazilian surfer, Carlos Burle, is believed to have set a new world record for surfing the biggest wave of all time in Portugal yesterday, after traversing his way expertly down 100 foot high swell. The wave appeared just off the coastal town of Praia do Norte, which is about 130km North of the country’s capital, Lisbon. Garret McNamara currently holds the official world record for riding a 78ft wave at the same spot in 2011. Guinness World Records is awaiting an application from Burle to determine if he will hold the new official title of riding the world’s biggest wave.
Burle modestly told Stab Magazine following his emergence from the massive wave, “It was a mix of good timing, fate and all that stuff together”. Although, right placing, right timing and a bit of luck would certainly be of assistance to these surfers in catching these massive waves, we still think you’ve got to have some serious guts to go out in that environment and actually catch a wave on which one singe foot wrong or one off turn could result in concussion or even death.
To highlight the danger of extreme surfing, Burle actually saved the life of fellow Brazilian surfer, Maya Gabeira, prior to his momentous wave. Burle reveals that seeing his friend almost drown was “the worst situation I have ever faced”. Gabeira got caught inside a giant wave and reportedly disappeared for about five minutes. Burle then saw her floating face down heading for the rocks nearby. He raced over to her, grabbed her and took her to the beach where she was immediately treated with CPR.
Although Gabeira was fine, this dramatic, near-death experience highlights the immense risk extreme surfing entails and the necessity of intense training and effective safety measures when engaging in the sport.
If you find the thrill and excitement of surfing alluring, but aren’t quite ready to face waves the likes of Praia do Norte, never fear because there are much safer and more controlled places to surf that still give you an adrenaline burst. The best way to start is to buy online Elnino Softboards in Australia then head out to your local coastline. Australia has a plethora of ideal beginners surfing spots dotted all over the country, meaning there is no better place to kickstart your hobby. And being an island with never ending stretches of idyllic beaches, it seems almost cruel not to make the most of Australia’s incredible surf. Try to go to places with relatively small swell to begin with so that you can become accustomed to the tactics and techniques involved with the art of surfing, before moving to the more extreme surfing spots.
The ideal time to start surfing is when you’re still a youngster. With Christmas on the horizon and the weather only getting warmer for the Summer break, there has never been a better time to buy online foam Elnino surfboards in Australia and treat your little one with a perfect gift that will keep on giving for years to come. Check out all the great surfing gear from The Grom to ignite your kid’s passion for the great Australian pastime of surfing.