Mega Swell Slams European Coastline

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

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
Triple Play
Belharra
Triple Play Shane Dorian and Jamie Mitchell try to scrape over a mutant while Peio Lizarazu drops in. © Alex Laurel
More Madness
Belharra
More Madness This is what happens when tow meets paddle. © Alex Laurel
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
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
The Reality
Belharra
The Reality When you play with fire, you're gonna get burnt. © Alex Laurel
And The Inevitble
Belharra
And The Inevitble Only good big wave boards die young. © Alex Laurel
Lone Wolf
Belharra
Lone Wolf Enough to give you high blood pressure. © Alex Laurel
Jamie Mitchell
Belharra
Jamie Mitchell And your nominees for XXL Paddle Wave of the Year are... © Alex Laurel
The One That Got Away
Belharra
The One That Got Away See that ant? That's Shane Dorian. © Alex Laurel
Dorian Strokes In
Belharra
Dorian Strokes In And the one that didn't get away. © Alex Laurel
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
Post Surf
Belharra
Post Surf Everybody's alive and everybody's smiling. © Alex Laurel