A reason why most big-wave surfers at Nazaré don’t go right is because you end up being put right towards the rocks on the iconic cliff face. While the right at Nazaré is a bit more of a wall, unlike the left which is a little more slopey, most avoid it for the reason of not being thrust into a serious life-or-death situation.
But at 51, big-wave legend Ross Clarke-Jones is not like most big-wave surfers. On Sunday at decently-sized Nazaré, he took off on a right and ended up directly on the rocks, in a very serious ordeal.
This rocky area that Clarke-Jones gets swept into is known as the “death zone,” and for apt reasons. The video uploaded to Instagram is edited, so it’s only part of his terrifying struggle. Clarke-Jones can be seen attempting to grip rocks, get swept back out to sea and all sorts of other tactics to avoid being battered into the cliff.
Eventually, Clarke-Jones somehow escapes and climbs his way up the rocks. He grabs onto the land once he’s safe and exerts the face of someone who just escaped being seriously injured.
“It swept me into the rocks, into this death zone,” Clarke-Jones tells the camera. “I think I’m done for Nazare’s season. I’m gonna call it a day — just look at castles or something.”
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