If you’re a surfer, there are a lot of reasons to love Portugal. The waves are amazing and they come in all shapes and sizes, for all levels of surfers. The crowds are minimal if you search a little, the standard of living is great and it turns out to also be a good location to be at if you are a pro surfer.

Find out the story of 6 pro surfers who moved to Portugal:

#5 – Garrett McNamara– 51 years old – From the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

When Garrett first arrived in Nazaré, in 2010, he didn’t know much about the place. He’d been told he would find some of the biggest ridable waves in the world and, to his surprise, it was exactly what he found. While he can’t be credited to having discovered this big wave spot, or even for having ridden it for the first time, he was the first to surf the waves of Praia do Norte on one of the biggest days. Not long after he started surfing these huge waves the world started noticing what was going on this forgotten fishing village and when he took the record for the biggest wave ever ridden there was no way not to take notice of this amazing feat.

Garrett kept spending most of the year in either in Portugal or away promoting the country and it’s products but now he has company since many of the most well known big wave riders also spend the winter in Nazaré, surfing the most consistent big wave spot in the world and waiting for an opportunity to make history.

McNamara has since received multiple awards, including the prestigious Vasco de Gama Medal of Honor from the Portuguese Navy.