Nic Lamb delivers his thoughts on that crazy day at Nazaré
Nic Lamb, former event winner at the Punta Galea Basque Country Big Wave Event as well as a winner at the somewhat controversial Titans Of Mavericks contest, had an action-packed day at the Nazaré Challenge last month to top off a good season. If you can call suffering two of the biggest and worst wipeouts of your life in a five-minute period action packed, that is.
For those of us watching, his performance and tenacity was a rousing combination. There was nothing going to hold him back, and even when he wasn’t able to see straight or count his fingers (it was confirmed later that he had a mild concussion) he was ready to get back out there, to catch another bomb, to win the event. His ferocity in the water has yet to be tempered by negative experience, and his relentless approach of clawing into anything possible supersedes any sort of personal apprehension that might arise on the sudden arrival of a monster set. It’s the sort of approach that results in either a decisive win or a severe caning. Like this –
Which is incredible entertainment for those that want to be entertained.
It was time to sit down with the lad, and understand what fuels these wild flights.
CJ: There have been some mixed reactions to the Nazaré Challenge. Your feedback on the whole has been extremely positive. It can be accepted that you’re good for another event at Nazaré?
NL: Absolutely. I'm ready to go again next week. Nazaré is now internationally established as a Triple Black Diamond event. It's here to stay, so sit back and enjoy the show!
From all accounts, as well as from the feed, it was a wild day. What to you were the biggest dramas and dangers of the event?
Look, our sport is dangerous. That's precisely what makes it exciting to watch for the viewers. A few of the athletes left with some bumps and bruises, including myself, but that's the game. It's not for everyone.
What was the heaviest thing that you saw out there?
It was without a doubt the waves that poured through for the event. You'll never see a wedge that big in your life, and a stunning cliff-side to match it. I absolutely love that wave.
You took a heavy over-the-falls wipeout on a right-hander, then a massive pitch from the lip on a left! They looked like two of the heaviest wipeouts of the day back-to-back. Talk us through them.
I was fresh entering the final. Then we had to wait for about twenty minutes for the 6th competitor to enter the water. It was freezing out there and the wind simultaneously kicked up a notch. Quite simply I got cold.
My positioning and momentum could have been better on my entries, and I subsequently sustained two of the worst wipeouts of my life within a five-minute period. I suffered concussion, and could not, for the life of me, see straight. That was it. Bell rung. I was ambulanced out to the fire station. Having said that, I love the ocean and my job, and I can't wait to return and do it again.
On the whole you must be totally pumped with your performance and your season thus far. No holding back!
Well, I suffered an injury during summer from an air that went wrong at Lowers. So I haven’t been competing at 100%. I work with the best people in the world though, and from that perspective I'm blessed. I'll bounce back stronger than ever.
The big wave tour is in a hella place right now. Events are running all the time. You’re in the midst of a cool sport that is rapidly picking up pace. You must be happy with your lot.
I'm absolutely obsessed with the ocean and love my sport of big wave surfing and the Big Wave Tour. I'm excited and optimistic about the future of the tour. What Gary Linden has done for our sport as a visionary is truly incredible. I feel the sport of big wave surfing can be the future of live-streamed sports. We have some areas we can improve like any sport. I feel the prize money needs to exponentially increase. Purses for waves like Mavs, Jaws and Nazaré should be seven figures. Pay Per View? I'm a fan I'd happily pay a couple bucks to watch. Additionally it would great to see a well know public figure commentating alongside the surf desk panel to bridge the gap to the new fan.
Next event up on the Big Wave Tour is possibly the Billabong Pico Alto event in Peru. It gets pretty big down there. Good luck for that.
Thanks. I can’t wait.