Lucas Chianca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lucas ‘Chumbo' Chianca does not have a rating on the Big Wave Tour. His exploits have been outside of the Tour, and they are quite extraordinary thus far.
Chumbo has made a real name for himself for his fearless approach to the set-up at Nazaré, and although the playing field is so vast and varied, he shows nerves of steel in placement, as well as in staying calm in front of approaching sets.
One of the broader errors that is common enough in big wave surfing venues without a fixed take-off spot is for surfers to paddle too far out on approaching sets and then miss them altogether. Approaching sets do not faze Chumbo, even if they are fifty-foot walls of death at Nazaré.
He is already a nominee in the Billabong Ride Of The Year category as well as in the Biggest Paddle Awards category, both for incredible rides at Nazaré and he does seem to be the man dominating at this this spot. He has been around for a while here and was one of the pioneers of the spot, so he has his line-ups set and knows what needs to be done, but it's still a terrifying and thankless job to be out there in shifting forty-foot wedges.
There is much to be said about Chumbo's attitude and approach to big wave surfing, and despite eating gas a few times he is always ready to get back out there and to have another go, to try again.
When most wipeout victims at Nazaré are getting air back into their lungs and thanking their personal gods for letting them make landfall safely, Chumbo is resetting, fixing vests, getting a new board and desperately jumping on the back of the first ski available.