As you may know, Maya Gabeira is back in Portugal to test one of the toughest surfspots in Portugal, at Nazaré, where waves reach record-breaking heights. But Maya is also helping to test the Big Wave Triangulation System, that aims to more accurately measure wave size. And she"s not the only one.
On October 23rd, a team centred around Sebastian Steudtner (XXL Big Wave Awards 2015 champion) and comprised of the staff of the All in Surf startup, undertook the first field tests of a new system that aims to monitor and evaluate in loco a surfer"s performance and at the same time accurately study the maritime flow around the surfboard.
All in Surf, incubated at the UPTEC, Porto University, partnered with the German TV network ZDF, which will make a documentary about the German athlete.
The system developed by All in Surf is very broad in what it does, and will be capable of providing real time metrics about a surfer's performances, while also investigating the direction of the water flow under the surfboard. To do all of that, the system combines GPS data, 3D board cinematics, sensors, and a high precision watch that can properly synchronise the taking of images.
As part of the testing, Steudtner will be at the Porto bio-mechanics laboratory to undertake dynamic balance tests, electrical muscular activity measurements, and also register feet position on the board and posture. All of this will hopefully not only have ample applications in learning, but may also give interesting contributions to surf technology, providing athletes with metrics and tools to make their performances evermore impressive.
The Nazaré surfspots in Portugal is the place to go for big wave surfing, particularly with the might of the Nazaré Canyon, creating waves that frequently go above 20 meters. Nazaré was a big topic in this year's XXL Big Wave Awards, the first under the umbrella of the WSL. Not only did Sebastian Steudtner take home the award for the biggest wave of the year, which he surfed precisely at Nazaré on December 11th. Shane Dorian was the big winner of the awards, taking two home, including Ride of the Year, and although it didn"t take place in Nazaré, Dorian is well accustomed to the surfspots in Portugal.
With over 1000Km of available coastlines, surfspots in Portugal are not all about giant waves. Surfers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the sport in Portugal, where schools and institutions are keenly aware of the social and environmental impact of surf. Surfspots in Portugal have become increasingly attractive to surfers from around the world who are now based in this small country of western Europe.