Brazilian surfer Lucas Chianca is no stranger to surfing in all types of wave conditions. A three year veteran on the Men's QS Tour, he has most recently made a name for himself as a big wave champ, winning the Nazaré Challenge in 2017 and placing second this year.
But the newsworthy moment of Chianca's current season came during the Nazaré Tow Session two days after the Challenge wrapped. Tracking down a monster left on his tow-in board, Chianca bottom turned, shot up the face and hacked off the lip. A true progressive moment on a wave that requires you to hang on for dear life.
Chianca speaks about what was going through his mind at that moment and what the future holds for progressive big wave surfing.
WSL: Can you tell us about the wave in this Instagram link?
Lucas Chianca: I just realized on that wave, "What am I'm going to do after this bottom turn?" I went so straight to the lip, I cannot do any turns. So I just hit the lip and threw my fins out of the water and slid with my tail a little bit. That was pretty much a small wave maneuver.
What was going through your mind when you decided that you were going to do that?
Just trying to do what I love, you know? I love to do maneuvers, I love to surf in all types of waves. When I get in big waves, I get more comfortable in the water. So here is the spot to do the maneuvers when I can. When I get in the water and I feel comfortable, when I feel my board is ready, I just try to improve always. That hack was one of the best I ever did, I love it, how the tail is sliding on the lip. It was pretty fun.
What's your inspiration for this kind of surfing on a big wave? You took small wave surfing to a big wave. What inspired you to do that?
I was a QS surfer for a long time, so I was inspired by those guys. I had that inspiration to improve my surfing in all types of waves. My biggest inspiration for maneuvers is Gabriel Medina, who has the best style and maneuvers and power. And for big waves I realized, why can't I do this? After seeing Kai doing those airs and tubes and hacks at Jaws I just realized, let's do this at Nazaré. So I trained all week here in all types of swell with my tow board. I just got on my magic two boards and on that day I tried the best that I could.
So what's next for you and for big wave surfing. What could come after this?
I think the next thing is starting to read more of the wave and see which line we can take better. That's what I'm trying to see here and what I'm trying to find here in Nazaré, the wave that I love and the place where I love training. I'm trying the best I can here to improve maneuvers on big waves.