Riding a monster

At least one daredevil surfer seems to have been unfazed by this wave off the coast of Praia do Norte in Portugal on Monday .

The area has been a major attraction for big wave surfers since American surfer Garrett McNamara broke the world record off this coast in 2011 - a record he would again smash in 2013 when he took on a 30m wave.

One of Europe's most westerly points, Praia do Norte receives winds that have swept unobstructed across the Atlantic. The winds are stronger in autumn and winter, creating huge waves that attract surfers from all around the world.

Another cause underlying the formidable waves is a 4.9km-wide, 225km-long underwater canyon, the largest in Europe.

Big wave surfing is not for the faint of body or heart: the powerful waves can push and sometimes hold surfers deep underwater. Even big-name surfers have lost their lives to the waves.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2016, with the headline 'Riding a monster'. Print Edition | Subscribe