Following last Monday’s strong Atlantic swell, CNN News asked big wave pioneer Laird Hamilton for his opinion about Carlos Burlé’s ride at Nazaré.
“If he’s claiming that he’s ridden the biggest wave ever ridden,” Laird commented from his home on Kauai, “I’d say he maybe wiped out on the biggest wave ever ridden.”
As for Maya Gabeira’s near drowning, Laird doesn’t think she has the skills to be putting herself in those kind of conditions.
Controversy surrounding Garrett McNamara’s unsubstantiated “90 foot” ride from last year, in which the wave barely broke, suggests the big wave community continues to harbour issues with the type of giant waves Nazaré offers – mostly fat, flat and demanding jetski assistance. The fact that few international big wave chasers chose to make an appearance at Nazaré for this latest swell would also support that feeling.
Shane Dorian’s visit last year highlighted the difficulty of paddle surfing Nazaré which is where the majority of big wave surfers’ interest lies today.