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How three surfers made açaí popular globally

How three surfers made açaí popular globally

11/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31859671

Açaí: the superfood has always been one of surfers' favorite snacks | Photo: Sambazon

Açaí is one of the most popular fruits among the 21st-century generations. Believe it or not, three surfers are responsible for making it a global superfood, juice, and ice cream delight.

Açaí is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. In the Tupi language, it means the "fruit that cries."

It is rich in powerful antioxidants, heart-healthy omega fats, amino acids, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Açaí oil has a fatty acid portion reminiscent of olive oil and is rich in healthy omegas, substances that are believed to be beneficial for skin and hair.

The dark purple pigments of açaí are part of a unique class of phenolic plants called anthocyanins, known for their powerful antioxidant capacity, anti-inflammatory potential and ability to combat free radicals (unstable molecules that can lead to premature aging and degenerative diseases).

The fruit, also known in English as acai, has ​​10 to 30 times more antioxidants than red wine.

Açaí: a superfood with owerful antioxidants, heart-healthy omega fats, amino acids, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals | Photo: Shutterstock

The Surf-Açaí Connection

It was based on these assumptions that one day, two recreational surfers decided to launch an açaí venture that would change the world.

The story begins when two young American amateur surfers, Ryan Black and Edmund "Skanda" Nichols, go on a trip to Brazil to enjoy the turn of the Millennium.

During their stay in the country, they were introduced to açaí by surfers from the resort region of Porto de Galinhas on the coast of Pernambuco.

They were fascinated by that purple apple, chilled and served in bowls, which had incredible nutritional value and was very popular among the sportspeople.

Before the end of their vacation, the young people saw a great opportunity that would benefit local communities and preserve the Amazon Rainforest and began to put together a plan to share açaí with Americans.

Together with Ryan's brother, Jeremy Black, who was an American football player and surfer, they founded Sambazon on April 20, 2000, in San Clemente, California.

The company is an abbreviation for "Saving and Managing the Brazilian Amazon." 

Their goal was to introduce the small fruit of the Amazon palm tree in North America and be the first to register açaí with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and legally export it.

In April 2001, after a few visits to Pará, the main producer of açaí in Brazil, Ryan shipped a 20-ton container of frozen pulp to California.

It would be the first of many.

Sambazon: Ryan Black, Ed Nichols, and Jeremy Black (left to right): the original founders of Sambazon | Photo: Sambazon

The American Break-Through

The young Californians, who grew up idolizing surfers like Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, started sharing the açaí pulp in a bowl with friends.

If they liked it, they were asked to promote it using Sambazon t-shirts, putting stickers on their cars, and telling everyone it was the best thing in the world.

While Travis Baumgardner, a co-founder of Sambazon, was busy organizing cooperatives, certificates, and sustainable production in Brazil, Ryan Edmund and Jeremy distributed the açaí pulp/puree in bars and gyms in the United States.

However, the Amazon fruit did not pick up quickly in the American market.

Due to its exotic appearance, dark color, and earthy flavor, few distributors were interested in purchasing the fruit the young surfers brought from Brazil.

Sambazon invested in marketing and getting famous chefs from Los Angeles to create new açaí-based recipes, but the exotic fruit ended up sidelined to juice and smoothie bars.

Sambazon's destiny changed dramatically in 2002 when the company received a call from renowned dermatologist Nicholas Perricone.

The author of best-sellers on anti-aging treatments was looking for more information about açaí to include in his new book.

"The Perricone Promise: Look Younger Live Longer in Three Easy Steps" featured a list of foods rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.

At the top of these ingredients was açaí.

The publication was a best seller, and from then on, açaí rose to stardom, not just among young athletes but also celebrities and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts.

Suddenly, the creamy ice cream from Pará began to outsell protein shakes and became a huge hit.

Sambazon even set up a tent at Sundance, the world's most important independent film festival, to capitalize on the trend and promote the tropical fruit.

From Superfood to Surfer Bowls

Americans liked açaí because it was tasty and valued that it was an organic, certified product from the Amazon.

Furthermore, the product was advertised as slimming and rejuvenating food, thanks to its powerful antioxidants, omega fats, amino acids, fiber, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Soon, the four entrepreneurs were selling açaí like popcorn and launching subproducts containing and mixing it with other tropical fruits.

From then on, açaí went from being a natural product to competing for a place in the competitive ready-to-drink beverage segment.

There were fit girls drinking açaí on the beautiful beaches of San Diego, naturalists from San Francisco back and forth with bowls of açaí in their hands, and Berkeley students smearing themselves with Pará's pulp.

The American company was investing millions of dollars in marketing and new açaí-processing facilities in Brazil, where the fruit is transformed into pulp up to 36 hours after harvest, the maximum period that the superfruit can withstand before rotting.

Sambazon ensured that the production process did not involve the use of pesticides, monoculture, or labor exploitation.

"These efforts have created sustainable employment for thousands of small farmers and continue to help protect the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest, making the forest more valuable standing than deforested," Jeremy Black once stated.

The growth was enormous, with influential TV presenter Oprah Winfrey also helping the cause.

To put things in perspective, sales increased 70 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $62 million to $106 million.

Rob Machado: the free surfer is also a Sambassador | Photo: Sambazon

Increasing Its Sustainability

In the following years, Sambazon launched several drinks containing natural ingredients such as açaí, acerola, yerba mate, and guaraná, opened cafés in California, and introduced its products overseas.

"We review our sales data just like any other company, analyzing our costs against our profits and trying to deliver the best products at the lowest prices to our customers," Black revealed in 2009.

Sambazon's link to surfing reached new heights when the California company sponsored the 2021 WSL Finals at Lower Trestles and the World Junior Championships in subsequent years.

Bethany Hamilton, Coco Ho, Rob Machado, Kassia Meador, and Bob Burnquist were ambassadors and team riders for the American brand.

Açaí is now a global product with multiple uses.

In 2022, the State of Pará produced 17,985,000 pounds (8,158 tonnes) of açaí berries, that is, 90 percent of Brazil's total production of the superfood.

Nevertheless, only between 5 and 15 percent of the Brazilian Amazon berries end up as food or beverage.

The remainder ends up in landfills and waterways, so new ways to transform the residue into bioplastics, wooden products, fertilizers, and ingredients for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries are now being explored.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
The ultimate guide to ferry and tanker surfing

The ultimate guide to ferry and tanker surfing

11/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31858335

Tanker surfing: wakes generated by cargo ships or ferries produce endless-riding waves | Photo: Ira Mowen

Long are the days when surfing was the sport of riding ocean waves. Today, it's more than that - it's about choosing one of the many ways to ride a wave.

Whether in the ocean, river, or inland, there are multiple options to get your surfboard moving on novelty waves.

A new type of surfing emerged in the 1960s for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. It's called ferry or tanker surfing.

It might sound like a post-industrial or post-apocalyptical activity, but it's more real and common than you might think.

In the heart of busy harbors and along the endless waterways where ferries and tankers weave their daily routes, there are exciting opportunities for wave-riding addicts.

When waves generated by the massive vessels that dominate these urban landscapes form, there's a growing number of surfers tracking around their route.

Ferry and tanker surfing take advantage of the substantial wakes created by these vessels, transforming urban waterways into unexpected surfing hotspots.

The alternative surfing niche began as a curiosity, a spontaneous decision by surfers who found themselves near these colossal ships and wondered, "What if?"

Experimental rides quickly turned into a passionate pursuit, with surfers from all over the world seeking out the schedules and routes of ferries and tankers and timing them with tides to catch their artificially created waves.

Tanker surfing: the pioneers rode these novelty waves for the first time in the 1960s in Galveston, Texas | Photo: Tanker Surf Charters

The History of Tanker Surfing

Tanker surfing can be traced back to the late 1960s in Texas, when a few intrepid surfers, who also fished in the bay waters, began riding the waves generated by passing ships.

Unlike today's open-water practices, these early surfers took to the shorelines of Galveston Bay's Redfish Island and Atkinson Island.

Some even caught waves along the western shores of the bay and near the Texas City Dike.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ships were smaller and less frequent, producing modest waves that, while surfable, also contributed to shoreline erosion.

By the late 1970s, this erosion had destroyed Redfish Island and other key surfing spots, causing both interest and waves to wane as the practice had not yet migrated to open waters.

The revival of tanker surfing came with significant dredging operations, which allowed for deeper channels accommodating larger ships.

These operations created new shoals and spoil banks, offering new opportunities for surfing.

Today, much larger container and tanker ships pass through deeper and wider channels, generating substantial waves that break over these submerged shoals and newly formed islands.

The resurgence of tanker surfing gained public attention in 2001 when the story was featured on Surfline.

This coverage stemmed from a fax received by surfer James Fulbright, who, along with friends John Benson and Peter Davis, had been exploring ship waves in the Houston Ship Channel for years.

The fax, sent by John Paul Beegly, producer of what was initially dubbed "The Endless Summer III" and later renamed "Step Into Liquid," sparked broader interest.

Despite an initial missed opportunity to feature tanker surfing in the film "Thicker Than Water" due to timing constraints, the buzz continued.

The release of "Step Into Liquid" in 2003, showcasing this unique surfing niche, propelled Fulbright, Benson, and Davis into the spotlight.

They became the focus of numerous media features, including appearances on CBS Evening News, ABC News, and Good Morning America, where Fulbright was famously shown surfing with dolphins.

Tanker surfing: these waves are generated by vessels' water displacement | Photo: Creative Commons

The Mechanics of the Wake

The waves created by ferries and tankers directly result from their size and speed.

As these massive vessels cut through the water, they displace a significant amount of it, creating a rolling wake that, under the right conditions, can rival some of the natural waves found on beaches.

These waves are typically more uniform and predictable, allowing surfers to anticipate and position themselves perfectly to catch the ride.

Ferry wakes tend to be smaller but more frequent, providing continuous practice and improvement opportunities.

Tanker wakes, on the other hand, can be much larger and more powerful, offering a more challenging and thrilling experience.

Longboards and funboards are usually the best equipment, as these waves tend to be fatter and mellower than, for instance, beach break waves.

Nevertheless, you might be able to ride a shortboard in some cases.

Ferry and tanker surfing is not without its challenges and dangers.

The proximity to large, moving vessels requires a heightened awareness and respect for the power of these ships.

Safety is paramount, with surfers needing to stay vigilant and maintain a safe distance to avoid the dangers of collision or getting caught in a ship's path.

Also, having a jet ski or speedboat around for support is recommended in case of an emergency.

The Best Ship-Generated Wave Spots

Picture surfers carving through waves with skyscrapers looming in the background or gliding past piers bustling with activity.

It's a juxtaposition that captures the spirit of modern adventure - finding nature's rhythms within the man-made world.

Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Sydney, with their extensive waterways and heavy ship traffic, have become prime locations for this burgeoning sport.

Enthusiasts share tips on the best spots and times to catch the ideal wake, fostering a community of urban surfers who are redefining what it means to ride a wave.


The United States has one of the most active ferry and tanker surfing scenes on the planet.

The East Coast is well known for its quality vessel-generated waves.

The Nantucket Express ferry in Massachusetts is a great way to start.

The traditional, fast, and high-speed boats sail on regular schedules, allowing surfers to plan their sessions.

In Atlantic City and Cape May, New Jersey, there are many ferries and cargo ships making their way in and out of Delaware Bay.

It's actually one of the most ridden regions for these types of waves.

In the Pamlico Sound and Savannah area, in North Carolina and South Carolina, there are also many large vessels and shipping activity generating massive, endless riding wakes.

In Galveston, Texas, there's even a business, Tanker Surf Charters, taking surfers on expeditions to the best spots.

On the West Coast, Puget Sound, Seattle, there's a community chasing tug and freighter waves in Ballard and Salmon Bay.

In the San Francisco Bay area, look for the ferry-generated wakes near Mare Island and Larkspur.

Gasoline: the wave generated by the catamaran that connects Barreiro and Lisbon in Portugal | Photo: Associação Gasoline


The Old Continent also has a few popular spots for riding these novelty waves.

In Portugal, "Gasoline" is a famous surf spot at Tejo River's Praia do Bico Mexilhoeiro, with artificial waves generated by the ferry that connects Barreiro and Lisbon.

In Dublin, the ferry connecting Ireland to the United Kingdom also generates waves that can be ridden at Dollymount Beach, near Bulls Island, near the long rock jetty that extends into Dublin Bay.

In Warnemünde, Germany, there was a ferry coming from Gedser in Denmark and entering the Baltic Sea channel toward Rostock. It produced a wave that was ridden for a while and documented on the movie "Surf Berlin."


There is also at least one ferry wave surfing spot Downunder.

In Cleveland, Queensland, local surfers have been shooting these shark-infested waves at least since 2003, when pro surfer Bede Durbidge unveiled it to the world while making the connection to North Stradbroke Island.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
Surfing through the eyes of Ivanka Trump and Scarlett Johansson

Surfing through the eyes of Ivanka Trump and Scarlett Johansson

09/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31856532

Surfing: some people have different thoughts on what the sport really is | Photo: WSL

It's quite a paradox, but summer in the Northern Hemisphere really is surfing's silly season.

For non-surfers and the mainstream audience, June, July, and August are the months more commonly associated with surfboards and surf equipment moving up and down the beach and back and forth on the road.

And in a way, they're right.

Surfers tend to have more time available to catch some ankle-to-chest-high waves than in any other period of the year.

Over 95 percent of the world's surfing tribe is a beginner or intermediate wave rider, so small, gentle waves are just fine.

Hence the paradox. There are more surfers than ever out there, and simultaneously, nearly nothing is happening in the surfing world.

But let's be honest.

The surf industry and competitive surfing are experiencing some of their hardest moments in history as they fail to listen to fans and adapt accordingly.

Despite the fancy marketing stunts, innovation levels are at their lowest, and not even the wave pool furor can compensate for the lack of creativity and investment in the industry as a whole.

Not even the fact that 2024 is an Olympic year with surfers battling it out at one of the most challenging waves on the planet - Teahupoo - seems to stimulate things a bit.

Gladly, there are some popular celebrities willing to entertain us through this rough period of surfing's life.

"The Hardest Part of Surfing? Paddling Out"

Let's start with Ivanka Trump, former senior advisor to the President of the United States and potential future presidential election candidate.

In one of those in-depth, one-chat-covers-it-all interviews with Russian-American computer scientist and podcaster Lex Fridman, Ivanka discusses her views on nearly everything that matters in life.

For instance, surfing. Have you fastened the cliché seatbelt? Ready, set, take off.

"You feel so much more connected knowing how minuscule you are in the broader sense, and I feel that way when I'm on the ocean on a surfboard," expressed Ivanka Trump.

"It's really humbling to be so small amidst that vast sea, and it feels really beautiful, with no noise, no chatter, and no distractions - just being in the moment."

"And you can't fight it, right? You just have to sort of be in it."

"It feels like a lot of water sports are manipulating the environment, and there's something that can be a little violent about it."

"Like, look at windsurfing."

"Whereas with surfing, you're like in harmony with it, so you're not fighting it, you're flowing with it, and you still have like the agency of choosing which waves you're going to surf, and you sit there, and you read the ocean, and you learn to understand it, but you can't control it."

"I actually had the unique experience of one of my first time surfing."

"I only learned a couple of years ago, so I'm not good. I just love it. I love everything about it. I love the physicality; I love being in the ocean, and I love everything about it."

"The hardest thing with surfing is paddling out because when you're like committing, you catch a wave, obviously sometimes you flip over your board, and that doesn't feel great, but when you're in sort of the line of impact, and you've maybe surfed a good wave in and now you're going out for another set, and you get sort of stuck in that impact line, there's like nothing you can do."

"You just sort of sit there, and you try to dive underneath it, and it will pound you and pound you."

"I've been stuck there while, you know, four, five, six waves just like a crash on top of your head, and the worst thing you can do is get reactive and scared and try and fight against it."

"You kind of just have to flow with it until inevitably there's a break and then paddle like hell back out to the line or the beach - that's to me that's the hardest part, the paddling out."

"Having a Pina Colada On Air Commenting Surf? It's Not Technically Work"

Found Ivanka Trump's surfing analysis fun(ny) and entertaining?

Well, if not, we've got more.

This time, a Hollywood star makes fun of her comedian partner's Olympic surfing participation as a commentator for Paris 2024.

Scarlett Johansson's husband, Colin Jost, will provide live insights for NBC's Olympic coverage at Teahupoo, Tahiti.

While promoting her latest movie, "Fly Me to the Moon," on the TV channel's "Today" show, Johansson commented on Jost's task ahead.

"How did he get this gig? Is this a job?" the actress joked.

"When they announced the Paris Olympics, he immediately found out that they were doing the surf competition in Tahiti, which is so cool."

"He loves to surf. We have a place in Montauk, and he's always out there surfing."

"And somehow the dream became a reality, and now he's going to be in Tahiti for two weeks, and I'm like, 'Poor you.'"

"He's like, 'Poor me, I'm going to be all over the place,' and I'm like, 'Are you?'"

"I think if you can have a pina colada on air while you're working - that's not technically work."

Scarlett Johansson may be right. If pro surfers are paid to have fun, how could surf commentary be an occupation?

What are we doing here? We might all close up shop for good, don't you think?

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
The forgotten tale of Oceana Park, America's wave pool pioneer

The forgotten tale of Oceana Park, America's wave pool pioneer

05/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31850628

Oceana Park, Newbury, Ohio: the first wave pool in America was not designed for surfing

History is a complex puzzle of dates and facts, and sometimes, a small clue or hint can change our solidified perspective of the past.

On October 4, 2023, I penned an article titled "Big Surf: the story of America's first modern wave pool."

It's about the magical waterpark with artificially generated waves that opened on October 24, 1969, in Tempe, Arizona.

Big Surf was a multifaceted surf center developed by Phil Dexter.

It was open for business for 51 years and even welcomed Pope John Paul II. Not for a surf, but surely for a blessing.

Anyway, two months after my article saw the light of day, I received an intriguing email from a US Air Force logistics operations manager.

In his kind message, he told me that the claim that Big Surf was North America's first modern wave pool could not be 100 percent correct.

Apparently, Oceana Park was a facility that opened on Memorial Day, May 29, 1961, in Newbury, Ohio - eight years before the Arizona surf lagoon.

After a quick inspection, I found no evidence that the Ohio was open for surfing, surfboards, or surfers.

In my reply to the gentleman who kindly sent his email, I wrote:

"Wave pools are not new. The first facilities actually opened in the 19th century in Germany."

"In 1939, London's Wembley, England, was equipped with hydraulic technology that created ripples similar to the ocean's flowing motion."

"The thing is that on SurferToday, we're talking about wave pools for surfing, and while we know about previous concepts and patterns, Big Surf is probably the first unit specifically channeled at creating rideable waves."

"There are many types of wave pools and dozens of old and new patents granted."

"Was Oceana Park creating surfing waves or just waves for swimmers mimicking the ocean?"

"Have you got any pictures of it? Where can we know more about it? I cannot find any information about its operating period."

The US Air Force logistics operations manager got back to me.

"Unfortunately, there isn't much readily accessible information about Oceana."

"I had childhood friends that lived in the house right in front of Oceana, in the mid to late 1980s, and we used the [abandoned[ park as a Call Of Duty-style BB gun area."

"I know quite a few people that went to Oceana when it was open."

"Oceana was generating 3.5-4-foot waves. Whether they were suitable for surfing and whether it allowed surfing, I couldn't say."

"Not many people think of Northeast Ohio in regard to surfing."

"So I would believe that the intent of the wave pool was, as stated in Matrai's patent, to simulate the motion of the waves in the ocean without swimming in Lake Erie, which was highly polluted at that period in time."

"I'm biased towards Oceana's claim as the first wave pool in the US."

Fair enough, sir, even though, as a surf-related website, we at SurferToday were obviously referring to a pool with artificial waves that surfers can ride.

US Patent 3005207: the wave pool technology submitted by Miklos Matrai and protected on October 24, 1961

A One-of-a-Kind Water Park

But the story about Ohio's own surf machine stayed in the back of my mind for a while. The tale was too good to fade into oblivion.

And so I got to work. Here's everything I could gather about Ocean Park.

Oceana Park was a water world that opened on May 29, 1961, on Music Road/Street in Newbury, Ohio, just 25 miles southeast of Lake Eerie, one of the five surfable Great Lakes.

It was developed and built by three Hungarian refugee immigrants in record time.

Miklos Matrai, the inventor of the patent used at Oceana Park, and Edward Tibor Bory were two of the three partners involved in the project.

The complex had four water basins: an Olympic-sized pool, a kids' pool, a circular diving pool, and a wave pool, which generated 4.5-foot waves.

The facilities included multi-sports fields, food stands, 200 picnic tables, a snack bar, and grills.

The entertainment park charged $1 for adults and $0.75 for children on weekends and $0.75 and $0.50, respectively, during the week.

All visitors were greeted at the main entrance by a giant arch featuring the word "Oceana."

Oceana Park was a success among families, companies, and church groups.

For many locals, it was a source of some of the best childhood memories.

People who grew up close to the water park still remember the exciting times at the venue and the legendary dock in the middle of one of the pools.

The Olympic pool had two docks, one at each end. With a depth of only 6.5 feet, it was always the warmest of the pools.

The staff allowed boats and inflatable rafts, and those who experienced the amusement space say that, at the time, it was like a dream with no possible comparison.

Oceana Park, Newbury, Ohio: America's first wave pool opened on May 29, 1961, on Music Road/Street | Photo: Vintage Aerial

A Bittersweet End

Eventually, Oceana Park shut down in the late 1970s.

According to some local reports, the Geauga County Health District stressed that Olympic and diving pool filters did not follow the standards and would have to be completely redone.

Also, the diving pool wasn't deep enough for a three-meter board and would have to be dug deeper to remain open.

Last but not least, the 80-acre-plus property had to be fenced in for safety reasons.

Some people believe that America's first wave pool was forced to close after a kid drowned and his body was found at the bottom of one of the pools, resulting in a lawsuit.

But that is not true. The reasons stated above did, in fact, determine the fate of this "swimming paradise."

Nevertheless, it is rumored that influential individuals in the county with political connections aimed to buy the property, demolish the park, and build a housing development.

Their initial step was to close the park, and they succeeded in doing so, but the owner refused to sell the property for development.

The property was eventually sold in 1995, the iconic pools were filled in, and a house was built on the former Oceana Park site.

Gellért Baths, Budapest: one of the world's first surf pools opened in 1927 in Hungary | Photo: Creative Commons

From Hungarian Air Force to Wave Pool America

Hungary is not the first country you think of when the topic is wave pools and their history.

However, as unusual as it may seem, one of the world's first surf pools opened in 1927 at the Gellért Baths in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

The large Art Nouveau complex featured indoor and outdoor pools, thermal baths, and spas.

The wave pool was obviously not designed for surfboards but to provide visitors with a taste of ocean waves without the need to travel to the coast.

Coincidence or maybe not, Oceana Park has a Central European fingerprint, specifically Hungary, the "land of waters."

Edward Tibor Bory was one of the three Hungarian entrepreneurs involved in the development of the Ohio water compound.

Born on April 22, 1929, in Marianostra, Hungary, Bory's early life was marked by the trials of World War II and the Nazi occupation.

Despite these adversities, he pursued technical training in Budapest and became an airplane mechanic and test pilot for the Hungarian Air Force.

Tibor's life took a dramatic turn in 1956 when he joined the ranks of the Hungarian Revolution as a freedom fighter.

The following year, he led his family on a daring escape to the United States, seeking freedom and new opportunities.

Settling in Cleveland, Ohio, Tibor began working at the Ford Motor Company and later in the construction industry before leading the construction of Oceana Park in Newbury, Ohio.

Edward Bory passed away on July 9, 2016, at the age of 87, at his home in Delaware, Ohio, following a battle with cancer.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
How to draw a lifeguard tower

How to draw a lifeguard tower

03/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31849494

Lifeguard towers: a landmark of American beach lifestyle and surf lifesaving | Drawing: SurferToday

The lifeguard tower is an American landmark and an architectural symbol of US beaches and ocean safety. Learn how to draw these classic seaside structures.

They're all over the North American coastline, and they help save lives.

Lifeguard towers provide a privileged, taller view over the ocean and allow trained, certified rescuers to watch and perform surveillance routines in their designated areas.

Whether witnessing a potentially life-threatening drowning event or spotting sharks in the vicinities, lifeguards can better supervise the swimming zone from these open or enclosed wooden structures.

Lifeguard towers have constantly been featured in pop culture and have become the focus of attention in the world of arts and architecture.

The famous 11-season TV series "Baywatch" was shot at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, California, the home of several blue lifeguard towers.

But have you ever thought of drawing one of these beach life structures and hanging it on a wall?

Are you willing to give it a try? We can help.

Follow our simple, step-by-step lifeguard drawing tutorial and impress your family and friends. It's easier than you think.

Drawing Materials

  • Sketchbook or drawing paper;
  • Pencil (preferably HB or lighter);
  • Eraser;
  • Ruler (optional, but try to avoid for a more organic look);

Lifeguard tower: you can always change the perspective and style of your drawing or illustration | Illustration: SurferToday

Drawing Instructions

Follow these instructions to create a beach scene that brings summer vibes to your artwork.

This drawing uses a one-point perspective, meaning that the objects' faces parallel the viewer and converge at a single vanishing point on the horizon line.

Do it. It's simpler than you think - just pay attention to the 20-step guide and, if needed, watch the video below.

  1. Begin by lightly drawing a horizontal line in the middle of your paper. It will be the base of the tower and should be about six inches long if using a 12-inch sketchbook;
  2. Divide this line into thirds and lightly make small marks at each third. These will help guide the placement of different parts of the tower;
  3. Draw a vertical line from the leftmost third mark. It will be the left edge of the lifeguard tower;
  4. Next, draw another vertical line slightly right of the middle third mark. It will form the front face of the tower;
  5. Connect the tops of these vertical lines with a horizontal line. It will be the main railing of the lifeguard tower;
  6. Add two more vertical lines, one to the far right and one slightly right of the middle. These will form the base's back supports;
  7. Connect these vertical lines with horizontal lines to complete the base structure;
  8. Add planks or boards to the base by drawing horizontal lines within the structure;
  9. Draw the vertical support beams under the platform. Remember, these beams may not be perfectly straight to give a freehand, handmade, organic look;
  10. From the top of the left vertical line, draw an upward-sloping line to the right to indicate the roof's edge;
  11. Complete the roof by adding a horizontal line at the top of the right vertical line and connecting it to the slope;
  12. Lightly sketch a rectangle for the window in the tower's front face. Ensure the window aligns with the perspective;
  13. Add any additional details like window frames, small posters, or a door at the bottom of the tower;
  14. Mark the top of the lifeguard's head and the bottom of their feet to determine the height. Use the proportions provided: divide the height into upper body, lower torso, and legs;
  15. Draw the lifeguard with binoculars and casual beach attire, keeping proportions in mind, and add details like sunglasses and hair;
  16. Darken the main lines and add details like nails or bolts on the planks;
  17. Shade areas of the tower to indicate shadows, giving it a three-dimensional look. Consider the direction of sunlight and shade accordingly. Use three tones  to create depth: light, middle, and dark;
  18. Add a flag or antenna on top of the tower;
  19. Draw a shadow under the tower to anchor it to the ground;
  20. Personalize your tower with additional elements like rescue buoys, surfboards, or beach gear;

Extra Tips

Keep your initial lines light to make erasing, adjustments, and other corrections easier.

Focus on the structure's symmetry, but allow some imperfections to create a more realistic and organic, handmade appearance, for instance, by avoiding rulers here and there.

Be patient and remember that practice makes perfect. If something looks off, try redrawing the section until you're satisfied.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
Ka'ana Wave Co: the bathymetry-agnostic wave pool

Ka'ana Wave Co: the bathymetry-agnostic wave pool

03/07/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31848460

Ka'ana Wave Co: the technology features three interchangeable wave-shaping heads | Photo: Ka'ana Wave Co

Ka'ana Wave Co. is an innovative wave pool concept with interchangeable wave-shaping heads.

Created in North Vancouver, Canada, Ka'ana Wave Co. started like many other wave-generation dreams - with trial, error, and improvements.

The artificial standing wave market is highly competitive. Companies like Flowrider and citywave have dominated the scene with several installations worldwide.

Nevertheless, there's always room for groundbreaking innovations and increments of value here and there.

Ka'ana Wave Co. wants a share of this ever-growing market. It took a decade to get from the early tests to the final product.

Around 2022/2023, the Canadian startup launched CM7, a wave machine that can be deployed or integrated into an existing pool, lake, or lagoon.

Also, it does require a specific pool floor, slope, or contour to generate rideable waves.

So, how does Ka'ana Wave Co. create the artificial wave and its shape?

The secret lies in the device that pumps water into the water basin.

Ka'ana Wave Co: the wave pool technology can be deployed or integrated into an existing pool, lake, or lagoon | Photo: Ka'ana Wave Co

The Interchangeable Wave Shaping Heads

According to the patent submitted in 2021 and granted in 2023, Ka'ana Wave Co. provides a method and device for making waves in water by changing the water flow as it moves through an inlet, shaped passage, and outlet.

For example, the main flow of water is changed so that one or more smaller flows are created at different angles to the main flow direction.

The outcome is a stationary, deep-water barreling wave coming out in three different shapes.

Thanks to the three shaping heads, which can be changed quickly and easily.

The first is the river jump wave, the most common type of stationary wave for surfing. It's designed for all ages and experience levels.

Then, there's the classic wake wave, which resembles the ripples generated by wakeboarding boats. It's a left and right wave that is harder to master and can be adjusted while the rider is surfing.

Finally, there's the right-breaking barrel that is challenging enough for advanced surfers and also provides a simple entry for beginners.

Ka'ana Wave Co: the pool or water basin does not require special contours or slopes | Photo: Ka'ana Wave Co

Customize Your Wave and Press "Save"

The wipeouts are low impact and safe and there's even a side channel with a current for a paddle back experience.

The riding times are adjustable, and the waiting times are kept short.

The size of the waves can also be adjusted in real time.

For instance, it's possible to customize a ride by setting different wave face height and pitch preferences.

By controlling the flow volumes across the width of a wave, users can shape asymmetric waves to match a surfer's session choices.

The central computer saves custom wave shapes with timed transitions to create repeatable dynamic waves, control ride duration, guarantee throughput, and reduce power consumption.

Drainage, Laird Hamilton, and Einstein

The history of Ka'ana Wave Co. goes back to 2012 when its founder, James Alexander Watson, noticed water forming a barrel in a dogleg gearbox-like drain in Peru during a rainstorm.

Two years later, the entrepreneur, inspired by Laird Hamilton's Millennium Wave shot by Tim McKenna and a story about Albert Einstein and relativity, wondered whether a continuous, barreling, bathymetry-agnostic, stationary wave could be a reality.

So, in 2016, the first model scale version of CM7 saw the light of day.

By 2019, the theoretical design becomes a reality and is validated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tests.

In 2021, Ka'ana Wave Co. sets up a wave pool for a two-week pilot on its smallest surfable model scale.

One year later, the first pop-up surf park using the Canadian technology is successfully tested over two months at Britannia Beach, British Columbia.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of
Final Five Check-In: What’s Still At Stake In Saquarema?

Final Five Check-In: What’s Still At Stake In Saquarema?

28/06/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31842610

Catch up on the wave-cursed Rio Pro with our comp wraps: Day One here and Day Two here.

“Old age should burn and rave at close of day,” the old poem reads.

To call Jordy Smith “old” would be a mean hyperbole, but the 36-year-old two-time World Title runner-up is the oldest surfer on Tour; if the day to ditch the “runner-up” title isn’t closing, it’s at least well past noon.

We here at Stab are shameless Jordy fans: His candid and wave-rich Stab in the Dark was one of our most engaging iterations of the series, he’s been on Tour for 17 years straight, he’s been a key star in Kai Neville’s landmark surf films, and often times his post-heat interviews are the only true breath of non-platitude air we get all day.

All to say, it would be tender to watch the journeyman CT surfer finally have his DiCaprio moment.

Every single heat Jordy surfs now could decide whether or not he gets into the Final Five for a shot at churning his two Trestles CT wins into a first World Title.

So, what would it take? Since it’s been hard to tune into the broadcast due to the uninspiring wave quality, we though’t we’d examine the numbers and propose a few narratives (including Jordy’s) to watch for during the rest of the Rio Pro to placate your surf fan palate.

I’d be remiss not to acknowledge that @WorldSurfIntrigue was a big help for this piece.


The live-ranked Final Five leaderboard looks like this:
1. John John Florence — 41,465 points
2. Griffin Colapinto — 35, 260
3. Jack Robinson — 34, 045
4. Ethan Ewing — 31, 995
5. Jordy Smith — 29,715
6th/7th/8th: Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira, and Yago Dora

Who has what to gain/lose?

John John: Has already clinched his spot in the Final Five with this win in El Salvador. He will just be proverbially chucking green shells behind his Mario Kart in the hopes of keeping people off his first place position. A 6,000 point advantage going into Rio Finals day certainly helps.

Griffin: Can only clinch a spot in the Final Five in Brazil if he wins this event. If not, he will have to clinch it in Fiji. However, he’s very close to safety — with his performances likely more useful in determining how many heats he’ll surf at Lowers, rather than if he’ll surf them at all.

Robbo: By losing today in the Round of 16, Jack will have to fight to guarantee his Final Five spot in Fiji. Fortunately, Cloudbreak suits the West Australian’s surfing devastatingly well.

Jack’s hopes of clinching a Final Five spot in Brazil are over, but it’s hard to imagine a better chance for redemption than Fiji. Photo: Thiago Diz/WSL

Ethan: Cannot clinch his spot in Brazil alone, must wait until Fiji. He needs to do as well as he can in Brazil and hope that Jordy loses out early. Currently in 4th and 5th, Ethan Ewing and Jordy will surf against each other in the Quarters. If Jordy and another Brazillian (Yago/Italo/Gabe) make the final, Ethan will be in danger of losing his Lowers spot.

Jordy: The past Rio event champion and two-time Lowers event champion needs to finish this event at least two rounds ahead of Ethan to move past him and put space between himself and Gabe, Italo, and Yago, who are all tied right behind the Final Five cut-line, hoping to cut Jordy right out.

Gabe, Italo, and Yago: With their points seperated by a sum of less than 1,000, whichever Screwfoot Musketeer does best will stretch closer towards the Final Five. You’d have to expect atleast one, if not two of them will make the Final on home turf — which would put both Jordy and Ethan in danger.

As Pedro Ramos pointed out in his comp wrap today, only one surfer (Robbo) out of these Hateful Eight was eliminated today. This means that when the quarterfinals run, seven of the top eight ranked surfers will be engaged in a Tarantino-end-scene-esque bloodbath for Final Five contention. The other surfer in the quarterfinals will be none other than Connor O’Leary, who, by beating Robbo in the Round of 16 jumped up four spots in the rankings for World #17. Though Connor is not theoretically out of contention for a Final Five spot clinched in Fiji, he’ll most likely need back to back event wins to make it happen.

Yago, one of three Brazilians tied for 6th spot and a chance at kicking Jordy out of Final Five contention. Photo:Thiago Diz/WSL


The Women didn’t run today and the numbers are a little less juicy in terms of dramatic narratives (next round should yield better tea) but there are a few things to remember thus far — most importantly, nobody has technically clinched a Final Five spot yet.

The live ranked Final Five leaderboard looks like this:
1. Caity Simmers — 42,930 points
2. Caroline Marks — 42,490
3. Brisa Hennessy — 41,630
4. Molly Picklum — 39,390
Tied for 5th: Johanne Defay and Gabriela Bryan — 37,255

Caity, carrying the weight of World #1 into an important Quarterfinal. Photo: Thiago Diz/WSL

Caity: The defending Rio champ has a narrow 440 point lead over Caroline Marks — and the two are on opposite sides of the draw.

Caroline: The defending World Champ has a slightly less narrow 860 point lead over Brisa. Between Caity, Caroline, and Brisa, whoever goes furthest on Finals day will be chugging Kava in the yellow jersey.

Brisa: The Namotu local surfs against World #7 Tatiana Weston-Webb next, who is inching her way toward the Final Five — and is particularly well suited to the large, wobbly lefts of Itauna. Important heat here.

Molly: Heat to watch for sure — faces Gabriela Bryan, who is on a rampage after knocking out her arch rival Johanna Defay in the elim. round.

Gabriela: Faces Molly, who is a little more than 2,000 points ahead of her. If Gab wins this heat, she solidifies herself in the Top 5 heading towards Fiji, ahead of Johanne Defay. If she loses, she remains tied with the Reunion reg-footer.

Johanne: Knocked out of the Final Five line if Gabriela advances, will most definitely need a strong performance in Fiji to clinch her Final Five spot. Fortunately for Defay, she has a habit of winning CT events at barreling lefthand reef breaks.

Gabriela just knocked her tie-buddy Johanne back off the Final Five cut-line. Let’s see if Saquarema will give her the punch she needs to do her signature railwork. Photo: Daniel Smorigo/WSL


In ending, yes the waves are revolting right now, but there are plenty of narratives and drama to watch for on both sides of the Men/Women aisle when they run (presumably tomorrow).

Just please “do not go gentle into that good night”, Jordy.

Catch up on the wave-cursed Rio Pro with our comp wraps: Day One here and Day Two here.

The post Final Five Check-In: What’s Still At Stake In Saquarema? appeared first on Stab Mag.
Final 5 Bloodbath Ensured As 7 Of Top 8 Men Advance To Rio Quarterfinals

Final 5 Bloodbath Ensured As 7 Of Top 8 Men Advance To Rio Quarterfinals

28/06/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31842611

When we changed this article’s category to “news” in our backend it deleted your comments, our apologies!

Today’s ocean looked like that in a World War II period film.

Apart from judges, coaches, and surfers’ next of kin, you’d have to identify as a chronic hardcore surf fiend to sit through day 2 of the Vivo Rio Pro. There’s just no way to sugarcoat it: barely surfable and borderline unwatchable.

But let’s discuss…


  • All-day victory-at-sea conditions
  • Robbo loses an early chance to clinch Final 5
  • Gabe evens the score with Cole Houshmand (barely)
  • Looks like 2019 Italo might be back
  • 7 of top-8 surfers remain in draw

Men’s Elimination Round (remaining four heats)

Whatever these two have going on, it seems to be working. Photo by Thiago Diz/WSL

Jake Marshall was the first surfer to almost complete a ride this morning in what Kaipo called “confused water.” His heat against Connor O’Leary boiled down to whoever could find more inches of undisturbed face on a given wave. In a final attempt to snatch the win from the Australian, Marshall ate it at the bottom of a foam monster, emerging with part of his tail and one fin in hand. Waste of a surfboard.

Cole Houshmand was the only competitor in ER that didn’t freesurf this morning, which is indicative of how diligent the rest of the field is, regardless of the conditions on offer. Houshmand started his heat against Matthew McGillivray by putting up an early 5.83 for a single-turn wave, only to find himself swimming to shore after his surfboard moments later. 

Between riveting discussions about leash strings, “adaptability” was repeatedly touted by Kaipo as the secret to hacking these conditions. A pearl of wisdom not dissimilar to the previous day’s groundbreaking tips on navigating backwash: “The trick to surfing backwashy waves is being aware of the backwash and surfing in between or with the backwash.” Cracked the code!

Crosby Colapinto, big guy doing big things. Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL

Houshmand showed remarkable economy of movement, both in choosing and riding waves. On his third and final wave, he took off on a chunky left, absorbing all its lump and bump before laying into a full-rail carve which he connected into an end-section hack for an 8.83 — the event’s highest score at that point. A display of strength and finesse under the watchful eye of his screwfoot powerhouse coach, Luke Egan.

Crosby Colapinto was another rookie who used his imposing frame to attack whatever section he could find. His highest score of the heat — a 7.33 — came from a single turn. Imaikalani deVault, on the other hand, struggled to find waves with scoring potential and took the L on the chin from the younger Colapinto.

Kanoa Igarashi started strong, securing a mid-range score early and strategically building on it with consistent, if unspectacular, rides. Ryan Callinan took half the heat to find his rhythm, but once he did, he capitalized on a left that allowed for a powerful opening hack followed by a sharp reentry for a 7.17. Callinan quickly followed up with an air on the left for a 6.37 and ultimately, the heat win.

Men’s Round of 16

Medina wasted no time nor waves, regardless of their quality. Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL

Connor O’Leary, surfing for the second time today, faced Jack Robbo, who seemed out of sorts in the unruly lineup. “When I see somebody like Jack Robinson not being able to place a turn out there, let’s just be honest, it’s not very good!” came out of Kaipo’s mouth. Perhaps taking notes from his earlier experience, Connor was able to connect better rides for a couple of mid-range scores to advance into the quarters.

Italo was whippy and, obviously, feeling at home in these conditions. With a positive outlook and liters of  taurine flowing through his veins, Italo not only found 12 waves in about 20 minutes, but also put up a combined total of 17.5 against Rio Waida — who spent a good portion of the heat in a combo. Eventually breaking out of it, the 9.67 Rio needed for the win remained an unfulfilled goal.

After a close heat, Griffin Colapinto now holds a perfect 5-0 record against Liam O’Brien. He moved up to second place in the rankings, overtaking Robbo.

John, adding to the froth. Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL

In the highly-anticipated but extremely underwhelming Bells rematch, Gabriel Medina struggled to find consequential waves but opted to accumulate low-to-mid-range scores as Cole Houshmand bobbed about like a tiger-print buoy. Cole’s opening wave, a “tail-high air reverse,” earned the highest score of the heat: a 5.5. In the dying seconds, needing a 4.1, Cole scraped into a wobbly closeout for a single, completed closeout floater that sucked the air out of the beach. It came in at 3.77, narrowly avoiding Floatergate 2 and the ensuing riot.

This was a crucial victory for Gabriel, who needs a semifinal (minimum) to break into the Top 5, and has the potential to break a lifelong streak by winning a CT on home turf.

John Florence (who has the second-best career win percentage in Brazil at 68%) dispatched fellow North Shore resident Seth Moniz with a solid performance just before Yago Dora (who has the best career win percentage in Brazil) paddled out to light up the crowd with refreshing variety on the open face and a stylish frontside straight air against Crosby Colapinto, earning a 7.83 for his opening ride.

Crosby’s riposte came loaded with brute force, belting any and all sections of worth on the left. But Yago’s flair and finesse kept him closer to his desired back-to-back win and a spot in the Final 5.

Will Yago go b2b? Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL

A certain fatigue was felt in the air by the time last year’s runner-up, Ethan Ewing, faced Ramzi Boukhiam. The production team would pan to beach “brand activations” to fill dead air in the broadcast. Like in magic, misdirection is a form of deception where the attention of the audience is drawn to one thing to distract from another.

In the water, Ewing got both a solid, early lead and the job done with mistake-free surfing on the lefts. Following suit, Jordy Smith put an end to Ryan Callinan’s run to advance to the quarters and hold his Top 5 spot into finals day.

As the sun was about to set, the swell had already dropped considerably, the wind had started to fade, and the lineup looked more defined. It would be hard to fathom running on a day worse than today, but with a decent size swell remaining and favorable winds, we might actually be in for a good show on finals day.

Fingers crossed, they might wrap this whole thing up tomorrow.

Cole Houshmand making a mess look appealing. Photo by Daniel Smorigo/WSL


Peak performance: Italo Ferreira in MR16 H2, 17.50 points
Hit replay: Don’t bother.
Monster maneuver: Italo’s 8.5 in MR16 H2 
One-liner: “…and the claim obviously, (he’s) one of the best in the world at that too!” — Mitch Salazar’s thorough analysis of Italo Ferreira’s 9.

Despite the negativity, quips, and jokes about the conditions, those who surfed today meant business, almost making some waves appealing to regular citizens. Almost.

Tour rookies Cole and Crosby, Brazilian goofs Italo and Yago, and title contenders such as John, Jordy, and Ethan all put up performances worthy of mention.

With only one (Jack Robinson) of the top 8 surfers in the ranking is out of the event, tomorrow will bring consequential shake-ups to the leaderboard before the last event of the regular season at Cloudbreak. While the conditions have been subpar, the best of the best have still managed to excel, perhaps validating not only their ability but the venue as well.

As far as the quarters are concerned, Italo could potentially earn a top-5 spot by beating Connor, same for Gab v Griff, John v Yago is particularly tasty as the Brazilian has ousted JJF from this event in three of the last four times it ran, and whomever wins between Ethan and Jordy will remain in the top-5 while the other will likely fall out.


Did today mark the first time the beach crowd outnumbered online viewers? Photo by Thiago Diz/WSL

Caught behind: Standard air revs being touted as “progressive” in 2024.
Blind mice: For once, I envied the blind.
Say what?: “Probably the best section of the wave was the closeout.” — Jesse Mendes inadvertently summing up most of the day.

In my estimation, the same people who defend the idea that a world champion should excel in all types of conditions also liken high-performance thrusters to Formula 1 vehicles. But would they also argue that one or two Grand Prix events should take place on a dirt road in bogwater as opposed to a racetrack?

Toward the end of a long day of competition, Mitchell Salazar told Kaipo, “The championship tour isn’t necessarily the Dream Tour anymore,” which isn’t necessarily true, but what’s the point of having CTers compete at QS-level venues (at best) they already had to surf to get on tour?

Would the level of surfing at a QS event at this venue look much different from what we saw today?

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C’s been AWOL all event but will reportedly come out swinging on finals day. Which is good, because putting uncomfortable amounts of money on the line is about the only way to get your heart up while watching Saquarema.

Event winners
$80 on Yago Dora at +650 to win $520
$50 on Griffin Cola at +800 to win $400
$40 on Sammy Pupo at +1200 to win $480 LOST
$10 on Ryan Callinan at +3300 to win $330 LOST
$10 on Cole Houshmand at +5000 to win $500 LOST
$80 on Molly Picklum at +550 to win $440
$20 on Sawyer Lindblad at +5000 to win $1000

TBD, watch this space.

The post Final 5 Bloodbath Ensured As 7 Of Top 8 Men Advance To Rio Quarterfinals appeared first on Stab Mag.
Big Wave Grand Prix debuts in Nazaré

Big Wave Grand Prix debuts in Nazaré

27/06/2024, International, Surfing, International Surfing Association, Article # 31840279

Nazaré: the home of the new Big Wave Surfing Grand Prix | Photo: Red Bull

There is a new extreme surfing competition kicking off in Nazaré, Portugal. It's the Big Wave Grand Prix.

November 1, 2011, is a day that the small Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré and its population will never forget.

Garrett McNamara, 44 at the time, rode a 78-foot (23.7-meter) wall of water that was soon making headlines all over the world.

Since then, Nazaré and its infamous Praia do Norte were never the same.

The surf industry landed in the exquisite coastal community, changed its economy, and started all sorts of surf-related businesses.

Big wave riding might be a subdiscipline of surfing, but it is also a gold mine that attracts people from all over the world.

The business is content monetization (publishers) and brand reputation and awareness (companies).

The number of sports events and specialty projects running simultaneously in Nazaré is surprising for a once-peaceful town.

Until 2024, there were at least three entities holding events in the European wave: the World Surf League (WSL), the Big Wave Challenge, and the Gigantes de Nazaré.

Now, there's a fourth contest. It's called the Big Wave Surfing Grand Prix.

Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal: a gold mine for content creators | Photo: Red Bull

Scoring Entertainment Value and Social Impact

The Big Wave Grand Prix is an online platform that highlights and distinguishes big-wave surfers' best yearly performances.

It allows the public to monitor their achievements and vote on their favorites.

Daniel Krattinger and Katarina Patek Ghidirmic created the new event, which will start in the 2024/2025 season.

Krattinger, a 47-year-old with Swiss and Brazilian roots, has a background in water and adventure sports, including mountain biking and paragliding.

He began snowboarding and skating in 1982, and by 1989, he had picked up windsurfing and sailing.

He started kitesurfing in 1997, but his passion for surfing, which began in 1991, ultimately led him to move to Nazaré in 2023 to pursue the largest wave of his life.

Ghidirmic is originally from Bratislava, Slovakia. She is a passionate photographer and videographer who visited Nazaré for the first time in 2021 and was captivated by the town and the big-wave surfing scene.

The duo promises a new paradigm for the new competition - or, as they prefer to call it, an "entertainment award system."

"In recognition that surfers are providing entertainment value, Big Wave Grand Prix evaluates the surfers throughout the season based on several criteria that are unique to our platform," the team notes.

"We look not only at performance in the water but also at the surfer's relationship with nature and the surrounding community."

"​Through this surfer-owned and surfer-operated platform, the community and visitors become engaged in tracking the performances of their favorite surfers."

"Essentially, we score the entertainment value provided by the surfers as well as their impact on the local community. Performance is only one factor that distinguishes the award of final season prizes."

Big Wave Grand Prix features a balanced roster of male and female surfers and equal compensation regardless of gender.

Eric Rebiere, Joana Andrade, Kalani Lattanzi, Michelle des Bouillons, Lucas Fink, Michaela Fregonese, Nic Lamb, Hermine Bonvallet, Rodrigo Koxa, Polly Ralda, Tony Laureano are some of the names lined up for the new competition.

Big Wave Grand Prix runs over a three-month period when waves exceed 20 feet (6 meters).

Nazaré: the winter home of the surf industry | Photo: Red Bull

Nazaré Film Award

Daniel and Katarina are also putting up the Nazaré Film Award, an event that recognizes the most creative filmmakers.

The organization challenges creators to produce three-minute movies that showcase and blend surfers taking on the Nazaré's massive mountains of water with local traditions.

The short surf films will compete for six awards:

  • Outstanding achievement;
  • Exceptional rescue efforts;
  • Culinary excellence;
  • Environmental awareness;
  • Cultural impact;
  • Community involvement;

The winner of the best documentary film will be announced at a ceremony at the end of the season.

Words by Luís MP | Founder of