Mega Swell Slams European Coastline

Several spots on the European coastline see's XXL surf with the latest storm to hit the Atlantic.

If you had looked at a swell chart of the Atlantic Ocean three days ago, you would have known something wild was about to happen -- even if you had no idea what you were looking at.

Way up in that cold Northern Atlantic, a ferocious blob of colors swirled towards Europe. It was a deep, dark and scary creature of a swell, the kind that only a hellman would find attractive.

Given the unique angle of the swell, most crews chose not to put all of their eggs in the Nazare basket. Instead, waves like Belharra in France proved to be the best call. That’s where Jamie and Shane went, as well as some of the best and most psychotic surfers in all of Europe.

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Saint Jean de Luz
Belharra

Saint Jean de Luz

The town that harbors the French giant known as Belharra.

© Alex Laurel
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Triple Play
Belharra

Triple Play

Shane Dorian and Jamie Mitchell try to scrape over a mutant while Peio Lizarazu drops in.

© Alex Laurel
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More Madness
Belharra

More Madness

This is what happens when tow meets paddle.

© Alex Laurel
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Justine Dupont
Belharra

Justine Dupont

As the sole female out there, Justine got her fair share of both waves and beatings. Here, fate hands her the latter.

© Alex Laurel
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Grant Baker, Benjamin Sanchis and Shane Dorian
Belharra

Grant Baker, Benjamin Sanchis and Shane Dorian

Is there an XXL award for party wave of the year?

© Alex Laurel
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The Reality
Belharra

The Reality

When you play with fire, you're gonna get burnt.

© Alex Laurel
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And The Inevitble
Belharra

And The Inevitble

Only good big wave boards die young.

© Alex Laurel
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Lone Wolf
Belharra

Lone Wolf

Enough to give you high blood pressure.

© Alex Laurel
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Jamie Mitchell
Belharra

Jamie Mitchell

And your nominees for XXL Paddle Wave of the Year are...

© Alex Laurel
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The One That Got Away
Belharra

The One That Got Away

See that ant? That's Shane Dorian.

© Alex Laurel
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Dorian Strokes In
Belharra

Dorian Strokes In

And the one that didn't get away.

© Alex Laurel
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Rescue Team Assemble!
Belharra

Rescue Team Assemble!

There was one Ski for each paddle surfer out there — the art of big-wave surfing has finally reached a new level in safety.

© Alex Laurel
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Post Surf
Belharra

Post Surf

Everybody's alive and everybody's smiling.

© Alex Laurel
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