What does slab mean in surfing terms? Simple, it’s a wave that breaks on a very shallow bottom, making the lip of the wave thicker than usual, even if the wave itself is not big by most standards. Portugal has many slabs, but one of them stands out as the best and most threatening.
Located between Ribeira D’Ilhas and Crazy Left, in Ericeira, Cave is a right-hander that, for many years, was considered impossible to be surfed. Bodyboarders were the first to challenge it and by seeing their success some surfers followed. The wave has been known in Portugal for a long time but it wasn’t until when local hero, Tiago Pires, started charging it, in the early 2000’s, that it became a worldwide phenomenon.
When he was still on the QS tour Tiago started getting a solid reputation as a tube rider and big wave rider. He used his experience to “tame” the spot and when he launched a video with some of his waves at Cave and other heavy spots in Portugal it became a viral sensation on the biggest websites in surfing. Other portuguese rippers also surfed it regularly as well, guys like Ruben Gonzalez, João Macedo, Alex Botelho, David Luís, António Silva, João Guedes, Nic Von Rupp and more made their mark over the often exposed reef spot.
Soon, many “internationals” were also surfing it. From free surfers like Dave Rastovich, Noa Deane and Albee Layer to former and current WSL World champions, Kelly Slater and John John Florence, many of the biggest names in surfing made sure to visit the infamous Cave and were not disappointed.
To this day, Cave maintains her reputation as one of the heaviest waves on the Portugal coast and the world.
What should you do after surfing? An excellent choice would be to visit the magnificent palace, convent and basilica of Mafra, just a short drive away. Find out all about it and how to get there – HERE.