Nazaré & Skateistan

National Geographic recently had a cover story about a man who surfed an 80 foot wave at Nazaré, Portugal, breaking the world’s record as largest wave ever to be surfed. From what I understand, this record has already been broken, but I still wanted to see the spot where it happened. And I did (maybe not as thoroughly as I would have had I discovered the way to the actual beach a little earlier in the day, but still, I saw it and I’m happy).
I knew I was not at Nazaré at the time of year when the waves are biggest – that’s in and around December. But like I said, I just wanted to see the home of some of the largest waves in the world and where one of the biggest waves was ever surfed.
You see, I’m a surfer wannabe. I’ve wanted to learn to surf my whole life… and I still intend to. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter that I’m 61. I’m a good swimmer and I can still ride a skateboard. I know, riding a skateboard and surfing are two very different experiences, but I figure it’s a good start. These first few pictures are from the calmer side of the point. The last three pictures in this post are from the ‘big wave’ side.


I’ve been a fan of surf and skateboarding movies forever. Endless Summer is one of my all-time favorites. Dogtown and Z-Boys is another. I saw this ad along the boardwalk. It looks like a good new movie coming down the pike.


Speaking of skateboarding, I want to use this platform to promote one of my very favorite charities ever: Skateistan. When I first learned of this charity, I jumped on board. Here is a link to the “Our Story” page of their website:

It tells the story of Skateistan in a much more comprehensive way than I can do here. Go ahead and explore the website and watch some of the videos. Even if you don’t come back to my website, go to theirs! Be sure to read the “What We Do” page.
The thing about Skateistan that most captured my heart is that not only boys, but girls are allowed and encouraged to skate. In so many countries, due to social norms, girls are denied this sort of freedom. And I do mean freedom. I loved that sense of pure bliss from riding a skateboard as a young girl (and I still do!). Just floating along on a board a couple of inches above a sidewalk provides an indescribable sort of joy and independence and, indeed, freedom. Skateistan is very inclusive – people with disabilities are given all the same opportunities.
But Skateistan is not just about skateboarding. It’s about schooling and friendships and providing a safe place for kids. It’s about building self-confidence and the joys of helping each other. It’s an intensely bright spot in a lot of kids’ lives.
To quote Diego Fiorese (an amazing Brazilian skater), “I support Skateistan because when we skateboard, we are neither in the past nor the future – we are in the very present moment.”
On the back of my computer I have a couple stickers I received when I first joined up.
I promote and advertise it whenever I can! I could go on and on in praise of Skateistan. What are you still doing here? Go to their website (and please share a donation if you are able. Thank you!)! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Nazaré & Skateistan

  1. I remember visiting the Pipeline beach in Hawaii where the beginning of the old Hawaii 5-0 was filmed. I was there in August and the waves were almost flat! Maybe a foot. The tour guide said, just like there, you had to be there in December to see the big ones. (I personally am skipping the attempt to surf as my left knee is damaged from, guess what?: roller skating! A long stupid story, but don’t go drunk roller skating!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Other than your screwed up knee, that’s hilarious, Rick! Well, there’s no chance of me roller skating drunk or sober – I can’t roller skate to save my life. But, I’ll try to keep the advice in mind while skateboarding! Thanks, dear cousin! ❤


  2. That’s a great blog with some stunning photographs. Amazing. I think you have to keep trying new things and surfing will be a walk in the park for you! If you are out and about travelling all around the World ( ON YOUR OWN) then learning to surf wont be anything hard. In fact I am 62 and I bought a paddle board this summer and was out on it every day. I intend to buy a wet suit so I can continue into the winter… well, that’s the plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I checked out some big wave surf vids after your post. Inspirational.

    And hey! Thanks for the AirBnB tip – I scored a SWEET pad by the opera house.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are so happy to have you on board as a long term citizen Janice – thank you so much for writing such a fantastic piece about our work! Loved the photography too.

    Liked by 1 person

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