One of the most overwhelming sights in sport is the swell in Nazaré, Portugal. The vast waves, whipped up out to sea, roar into the shallows, providing a fearsome spectacle for onlookers, as well as testing conditions for those attempting to conquer the hulking water on a six-foot board. The world-famous break has become synonymous with big wave surfing. Three years ago, American Garrett McNamara set a world record in the Portuguese town, riding atop a 78-foot goliath.
Winds in the Atlantic ensure that the waves during the winter months are far more powerful than those that roll in during summer, however the accompanying high winds make riding the monsters a genuine danger, with local emergency services well-versed in dragging riders out of the water, many knocked unconscious by the maelstrom of the crashing surf.
Related on HuffPost: