Nazaré, Praia Do Norte, Portugal, December 22 2016
This is another fine effort from Lucas "Chumbo" Chianca, who is already in the running in the Billabong Ride of the Year category of the Big Wave Awards. This young Brazilian big-wave surfer from Saquarema, just north of Rio de Janeiro, has become a gung-ho big-wave surfer who is ready to charge at a moment's notice. He has already said that he feels most content when the waves get big, and feels connected to the ocean when he's surfing 30-foot faces.
Chumbo has been part of the Nazaré charge since inception and has always been one of the surfers getting the most waves out there on any given day -- tow or paddle. His approach to paddling into big ones when the waves get really serious is to sit inside of the others, and to sit deep, and get as many waves as possible. This plan has two possible outcomes -- he is in the zone for the most waves, and some of the best waves of any particular big-wave session, or he is in the path of marauding sets that are going to mow him down.
There was no hesitation as he paddled furiously for this set wave and he wanted that wave so much. He caught it with some nice momentum and as he got to the bottom and started drawing off the trough and into the maw of the wave, a helplessly committed Francisco Porcella came flying through the air, narrowly missing Chianca.
As a paddle-in effort it is a fine attempt at greatness, and the fact that he gets clipped and devoured by the lip is of no consequence to his heroics.