Nazaré, December 22, 2016.
Lucas Chianca -- a young Brazilian big-wave surfer from Saquarema, just north of Rio de Janeiro, has been carving out a career for himself in the big-wave arena, and blowing minds in the process over the last few seasons. Nicknamed Chumbinho (his dad is Chumbo, "lead," so he is "little Chumbo") he is a talented surfer in normal conditions, but recently displayed such great style and bravado in giant surf that he was noticed by the then Big Wave Commissioner Peter Mel, who gave his inspired performances a tip of the hat.
Chumbinho sits deeper than most, and reckons he feels more comfortable when it gets up to thirty foot. That's when he feels the most connected. "It's a connection with the ocean," said the 22-year-old in a recent WSL interview. "I don't feel the pressure. I feel like I'm surfing what I want and doing what I love now. That's a point that I changed my whole life for." Read the full interview here."
This beast of a wave and his contender for Ride of the Year is a remarkable ride at a venue that continues to blow minds. Nazaré has fast grown into one of the most impressive big wave locations in the world, and the Nazaré Challenge this year was possibly the most exciting big wave event ever.
On this ride, Chumbo is sitting way further inside than the others, and paddles hard for the feathering set wave. He hits a foam trail, pops a little wheelie and rights himself with total confidence to grind into a serious barreling left. Just to add some variety to his big wave prowess, he drags his arm into the face of the wave to stall for a barrel section before emerging and gliding over the top for a wave that's nerve-wracking to even watch.