Óscar Gómez, Jetson Surfboards team rider, dealt some weeks ago with one of the most important challenges for a big wave rider: surfing at Praia do Norte, the big wave sanctuary in Nazaré (Portugal). Provided with his Jetson Marlin boosted gun, the cantabrian charger spent three days taking a closer look at the portuguese monster.
It’s not your first time in Nazaré, isn’t it?
No, I’ve been there in 2004. I met some of the locals: Jose Gregorio and Paulo Rodrigues, the frenchman Michel Larronde, the basque guys Guillermo Lecumberri and Ibon Amatriain, and some more.
How was the experience of facing Nazaré without a jetski?
I surfed the three days I was there. The first day there was 9ft shorebreak, the second was the best day with 26ft glassy conditions. On the third, the sea got rough and it was quite choppy with 14ft waves. The second day was definitely “the day”. The waves were big and I was quite nervous keeping an eye on the set. In the end, I could get rid of the sets and I was able to catch some bombs. You need to be a good waterman before trying to paddle surfing in Nazaré. It’s so hard to catch a wave. It’ not easy to get the right position and bear the pressure when the set is coming over. Finally, thanks to my Jetson Marlin I could manage to get a bunch. I got some accumulated tension, there were some waves I could not get because of the fear. Once I made up my mind and got some waves, the board made a perfect work situating me in the right place. I’m really glad on its great performance!
Nazaré is the big wave sanctuary. There were any top guys in the water with you?
There were not many people in the water. I travelled alone but I contacted some water rescue experts in Nazaré to ensure the safety assistance. I met Garreth McNamara and share a session with some renamed chargers as Tom Butler and Sebastian Steudtner. I also met 9x World Bodyboard Champion Mike Stewart whom I could talk to for a while. To capture all the action moments I was lucky to count on the local photographer Jorge Figueira, a close friend of my water patrol Sergio Cosme. A very professional and welcoming team.
Any other projects in mind? Will you be back in Nazaré?
Sorry, I cannot reveal my future challenges yet, but I have some in mind. Certainly, all of them are concerning big waves. And sure, Nazaré is also there…