20m high waves - Kitesurfed by Jesse Richman!

Jesse Richman charging down the face of a Nazare monster.
Thanks to the unique Nazare Canyon that runs straight into the lighthouse at Nazare, Portugal, the pressure from the Atlantic pushed up waves this high around once a year. But this weeks effort is the stuff legends are made of, because not only was there huuuuuuuge waves, there was wind too! Naish’s Jesse Richman was there to ride it, and scored some of the best big wave kitesurfing conditions we’ve ever seen.

So how big were these puppies? Put it this way, the swell was reported at 5.2m with a period of 21 seconds. Funnel that up a 5km deep channel with a giant wall at the end, and you’ve got small waves at 40ft. The big ones? We don’t know, and nobody was going to stand around with a measuring tape to work it out. These waves were monsters, munching jetski’s, surfers, and anyone else that got in their path.

Richman is no stranger to waves this size, having ridden places like Jaws and Teahupo’o with a kite before, but Nazare is a special kind of wave. They’re fast, and bumpy, plus the wind is never quite in the right direction, which makes it very difficult to ride!
“Kitesurfing Nazare was a dream come true and complete chaos.” Told Richman after the session. “Never have I seen such crazy waves!”

There’s video footage to come, so stay tuned to see some of the most incredible waves every ridden with a kite. Until now, we’ve got one picture. That’s it!