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The Go Big Project braves the waves of Nazáre with the “Red Chargers”

Portugal put itself on the map braving the waters of the world. Though its days as a naval power are long gone, the focus is now on its shores, specifically, the mind-blowing waves of Nazáre. The irresistible call of the sea, though, hasn’t changed. The North Canyon of Nazáre may have taken millions of years to form, but the thrills sought by big wave surfers from around the world take mere minutes to execute.

Award-winning filmmakers and television producers, Rocky Romano and Miranda Winters, bring the audience right into the action with their deft use of state of the art cameras and aerial cinema drones, not to mention storytelling skills honed in their documentaries, scripted narratives, and multiple television series.

Garrett McNamara broke the world record in 2011 for riding a 78-foot wave at Nazáre. McNamara wasn’t satisfied reveling in his own glory. He came to build a community.  In 2015, he returned to start a big wave movement to bring attention to this incredible sport. Professors, students, entrepreneurs, carpenters, and fishermen from Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Hawaii; all heeded the call. This film from The Go Big Project goes beyond thrilling surfing footage to go deep into the lives of the surfers known as the Red Chargers.

When the right conditions call, the Red Chargers drop everything and fly in from around the world for what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to live their wildest dream. Many have spent decades following their passion alone, supporting themselves in odd jobs. Now, they have the support to go pro thanks to the Red Charger community.

The waves of Nazáre present a unique challenge with their ever-shifting barrels and immense size. It’s easy to see the allure of the spot as the film follows surfer after surfer in what seems to be an endless array of nail-biting swells. Despite first impressions, though, this big wave surfing movement is all about becoming a team sport where everyone is concerned first and foremost with safety and keeping an eye out for one’s fellow surfers. This is why the Red Chargers come together to talk through their worst experiences, find ways to improve, and move past those points of terror as a team. The rocks and immense amounts of foam generated make death a distinct possibility, one each and every one of them recognizes, particularly when waving goodbye to a partner, a child.

Of course, as one of these renegades noted, “If you let fear overpower you, then you’re never going to do anything.”

More than anything, McNamara sought to show the world our wildest dreams are worth pursuing, but it never hurts to have company along for the ride.

Red Chargers will be showing at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Saturday, April 22nd. Tickets are available for $15 here.

Full story at Red Chargers.

Surfing filmmaking at its finest.

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