I will never forget the surfboard that got me into surfing. It was not a board like the ones I see today in fancy surf shops. It was the most important object I owned in my life. I was born in Porto, the city that gave the name to the oldest country in Europe – Portugal. Today, Porto is a trendy town blessed by the iconic Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean. It has always been a great place to live with all its history, food and wine tradition, and cultural splendor. It’s a city with its own charisma and only a two-hour flight from London and Paris.
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The memory of my first surfboard
A beautiful chaos, the ultimate surfing wave, a freak of nature, the advanced surfer’s testing ground, a specialty wave, the premier tube riding arena, and, ultimately, the Mecca of surfing. A lot has been said and written about Banzai Pipeline. The steep, fast Hawaiian barreling wave breaks almost all year round on the North Shore of Oahu, south of Sunset Beach, north of Log Cabins, and right in front of Kamehameha Highway. Banzai Pipeline is one of the biggest, heaviest waves on the planet. Despite only lasting around seven seconds, a ferocious Pipe left will always spit its spray.
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Why is Banzai Pipeline the ultimate surfing wave?
The surf break is the zone – or lineup – where waves start to break. Take a look at the five main types of surf breaks and their characteristics. Every surfer has a dream wave, an idyllic warm water location where waves form and peel perfectly down the line as if they were sent from heaven just for us. In the real world, however, things can be a little bit underwhelming. Even perfect surf spots have their bad days with closeouts, long flat spells, and ultra crowded lineups.
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The different types of surf breaks
Learn how to avoid obliteration in the waves. Master the duck diving technique, and get out-the-back faster and effortlessly. When the waves are small is relatively easy getting outside. All you need is to get the nose of your surfboard over the crumbling wave. But when the surf gets rough, you must know how to survive the impact zone. Duck diving is the most efficient way of not getting pummeled and pushed back by a crashing wave.
How to duck dive
Andrew Cotton suffered a serious back injury at Nazaré’s Praia do Norte, in Portugal. Local surfers believe Nazaré fired some of the biggest waves of the decade, as side-shore winds and a powerful NW swell channeled energy into Praia do Norte’s underwater canyon. Waves in the 35-foot range worked like a magnet, and the lineup was quickly invaded by big wave surfers and their support teams.
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Andrew Cotton breaks back at Nazaré