“Fun” is not the first adjective that comes to mind when describing Nazaré. Usually words like “scary” and “monstrous” are the initial descriptors, that is if you’re even able to form words and don’t immediately hyperventilate in an attack of anxiety at the mere thought of surfing there. But somehow, in the photos above, Nazaré teases fun. Maybe it’s the smiles on the hellmen and hellwomen’s faces while waiting for one of those scary and monstrous waves to emerge from the submarine canyon that put off the fun vibe. Maybe it’s the offshore wind that gave the normally big, mushburgery straight-hander a clean and groomed makeover. In reality, Nazaré will always be scary as hell, the devil just happened to look rather handsome yesterday.

During yesterday’s freesurfs, New Yorker Will Skudin juggled driving safety, shooting photos and running rescue while solo on a jet ski. Skudin is on the Big Wave Tour and is competing in the Nazaré Challenge tomorrow. He was even able to hop off the ski and paddle into a few himself (see below) to warm up for the event. “The locals said that this was the first time they’ve seen this at Nazare,” Skudin said about how clean the conditions were. “They were stoked.”

All photos above and below were taken by Skudin, unless otherwise noted.

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“Heading back out to Nazare was pretty daunting after the beating I received last week,” says Big Wave Tour rookie Russell Bierke, pictured here. “I kicked out of my first wave and copped a set on the head that washed me to the beach, which was actually just what I needed to shake off the nerves. Paddling Nazare at that size ended up being way more fun than I [was] expecting it to be! Willy[Skudin] is an animal! It’s hard enough to drive a ski in there, let alone with a big camera housing and trying to shoot at the same time.”
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“Waves were solid 20 feet and all the boys were pushing it! Nazaré is the most shifty and dangerous shorebreak and paddle out ever,” said JoJo Roper, above. “It seems you need a ski to really paddle it big. I lucked into the team with Koxa, Sergio and Will, who’s an amazing rescue driver and now photog, he’s doing it all.”
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“Surprised this one barrelled, stoked on the ride, but even more stoked to see brother Will[Skudin] shooting! Thought he was just running safety until he showed me this shot in the line up!” said Tom Lowe, pictured above.
Skudin scrapes into a clean one at Nazaré. “I am super blessed to be able to team up with Sergio and Koxa here. We have been having so much fun and trying to get the most out of each day,” Skudin said.

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