Just about any wave can be perfect if you have the right board. You ride logs at Malibu, shortboards at Lowers, guns at Jaws, and when it's blown and choppy the foil offers unparalleled glide.
The most important thing is keeping an open mind and experimenting and with tools you've got, and that philosophy is what Laird Hamilton -- the original foil surfer -- built his career upon.
Earlier this year, Hamilton traveled to the Portugal to test his latest foil equipment at pumping Nazaré. He arrived just days after the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge and shared what will be remembered as a super session with fellow Maui big wave chargers, Ian Walsh and Kai Lenny.
Now he just released a new fllm project called "Scratching the Surface" which tracks the rest of his trip to Nazaré for the swell, with big wave foilers Terry Chung, Luca Padua and Benny Ferris. Laird helped pioneered foil surfing, as this clip well and truly shows that he's still got it.
The storm system that hit Portugal, known as "Storm Dennis," went on record as the 2nd strongest bomb cyclone on record in the North Atlantic. And remnants of the storm kept Nazaré and nearby spots breaking for several weeks.
Though conditions eventually worsened for conventional big-wave surfing, Laird and the squad found their own slice of perfection that was only attainable on foils.
"The great thing about the foil is that it opens up opportunities. It opens up places that wouldn't normally be looked at. It speaks to what the foil offers and opening up your perspective. These conditions came along and we got to ride a wave where we're the only ones out," shares Hamilton.
Anyone who has kept up with Laird knows that he built a career by living unconventionally. He saw possibilities for surfing where no one else looked and was largely responsible for evolving big wave surfing into the multidimensional sport it is today.
This creative mindset is hugely important for us surfers, and scoring a good session largely relies on having the right equipment. We all know the feeling of getting frustrated in a crowded lineup or taking out the wrong board. While It's easy to get stuck in our ways, everyone could benefit from switching things up from time to time.