August feels like a great time to dive into some big wave stories. After all, surfing and movies go together like sunscreen and sand, articulating summer in all it’s fast-moving, aspirational glory. Who doesn’t love Point Break or Endless Summer for the classics of the genre? My kids were also big fans of Chasing Mavericks, Riding Giants, and Step Into Liquid. All of these are worth watching again, by the way, as a way to cool off this month.
Or you can watch the latest surf doc about the biggest wave ridden to date. HBO’s new six-chapter series 100 Foot Wave tells the story about a huge surf break in Nazare, Portugal and the man who conquered it, Garrett McNamara. You’ll feel you’ve really gotten away to Portugal’s coastline as you get to know the town, as well as the man who helped put it on the map. The doc is long, weaving back and forth in time and investing the viewer in all the main characters of the story.
Through interviews with surf legends and historians, it’s clear that Nazare is different from other popular big wave spots around the globe; it has a Grand Canyon-sized trough right off shore that makes the break highly variable and… dangerous. It’s not a place that many thought was tamable, but McNamara’s investment of time and passion paid off; he put Nazare on the surfing map for good.