Threescore

Portuguese wave legend Nuno ‘Stru’ Figueiredo lives in proximity to some of the most notable wave riding spots in Europe, including Nazaré whose formidable waves he was the first kitesurfer to ride. This February he scored three sessions in one day, at three different spots around Peniche, and luckily, being sponsored by Prolimit, had the luxury of a dry wetsuit for each session…

Photos: Heidi Hansen


Baleal 1 - ThreescoreWelcome to Peniche, Portugal, the peninsula that always delivers good conditions when there are stars showing on the Windguru forecast. In the Portuguese winter season, the best spots for wave riders are Baleal, Supertubos and Consolação, right by Peniche. Baleal works with southerly wind, which generally arrives with low pressure and means bad weather. The Baleal bay is a huge U-shaped bay that actually works in most wind directions, but if you are after side-off sessions you must aim for southeast to southwest wind. The waves are easy and unless you make a long tack you will always be in a safe area if you drop your kite in the water. With northerly wind and strong swell, Portugal becomes epic because then Supertubos and Consolação work, and generally the northerly wind arrives with high pressure which means good weather. Sometimes that can be pivotal in making the right decision on where to ride. A five degree difference in wind direction can turn a spot from average to epic, and there are days when everything comes together, like the 19th of February…

Supertubos 1 - Threescore

Nazare 3 - Threescore Consolação 2 - Threescore

“Supertubos was pumping like I hadn’t seen for a long time. I am always surprised how well it holds barrels with so much wind.”

Baleal 2 - Threescore Nazare 6 - Threescore

On that day I woke up in Nazaré, north of Peniche, ready for what Mother Nature had to offer. I spoke to Jose ‘Silverkitesurfer’ Carlos, who told me that jet ski safety was covered by Alemão de Maresias and we were good to go. Arriving at Praia do Norte beach, the wind was blowing around 30 knots. I pumped an Eleveight 8m to be sure I had power to jump over the waves and to ride them as well. When I launched my kite in the air I already felt a bit overpowered, but once you start there is no going back. Passing the inside, I saw a nice ‘ramp’ on the third set and did a jump that made me land almost in the first set just in front of Nazaré’s lighthouse, and then I realized that I was overpowered! Then a monster wave showed up and after I rode it the kite was hit by the spray of the lip making it fall to the water. Alemão came to check on me since I was in the impact zone with the kite down, but luckily a gust helped the kite launch again. In Nazaré you can have 40 knots above the wave level but absolutely nothing below that… Anyway I headed upwind while the wind increased exponentially. I was mega overpowered so decided to go back to the beach, which took me about 15 minutes! The wind was insane and the waves were being ruined by it, so we decided to go to Peniche looking for side-off conditions. 

Supertubos 4 - Threescore Supertubos 2 - Threescore Supertubos 5 - Threescore unknown - Threescore

Breakfast was eaten in Nazaré then there was lunch in Consolação and after lunch Supertubos was waiting for us… Consolação is a reef break at the southerly end of Supertubos bay that at first sight can seem easy, but there is an issue – if you go downwind there is no exit spot, there are rocks everywhere and there is a wind shadow. Anyway I gave it a go; the wind was nice and strong, and steady for my 5m. This spot can hold big swell and it’s very easy to read because of its natural channel. After a good session the tide started coming in so it was time to check the queen, Supertubos, and put on my third dry wetsuit of the day. Supertubos was pumping like I hadn´t seen for a long time. I am always surprised how well it holds barrels with so much wind. It was a barrel fest with some crazy wipeouts, such as a kite release from James Carew that I picked up for him. In Supertubos if you let go of the kite you will never see it again… In the end all turned out well and everybody had a big smile on their face. Three sessions in one day… the 19th of February was one to remember…

This feature originally appeared in TheKiteMag #47. To read the full issue, subscribe here.

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