We often see footage of surfers gliding down the monstrous waves off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.
What we don't often see are the inevitable falls that precede the successes. And when the wave in question ranges from 40-100 feet high, those tumbles are truly epic — and truly terrifying.
Yet you can’t help but sit and gawk at the video above, a supercut from videographer Alex Laurel that features a raft of pro surfers wiping out during last year’s swell season. Some falls look like they’re “only” from about 20 feet, while in others, the surface tension sends riders skipping down a wall of water like an errant pole down a ski slope. It’s mesmerizing carnage, leaving you wondering why anyone in their right mind would attempt this.
But as Jamie Mitchell said after winning the Nazaré Challenge at end of last season, “I might just take a day to recover from today and try my luck again out there.”