We were spending time here like two months. Everything, the storms, the good days, the bad days. The contact with the fishermen, when they start to tell us that, okay, there is something out there that you didn't see before. It was one of those bets that you do that you've got like, one chance in ten thousand. Sometimes I don’t believe that it was me, that I was there. Obviously it’s training. You can increase the capacity of your lungs but to your body it’s a traumatic experience. The impact is huge. You go deep, deep... and you don’t know if you are going to survive or not. It still is a place that it seems that time stops. It's kind of like a spiritual thing. The power of the cliff, the lighthouse. The history of Nazaré has been made by believers. As fishermen, as people that believe in gods, in religion and nowadays surfers that believe they’re gonna get the biggest wave of their lives. Because I feel alive that’s why I decided to ride these waves. Because I really feel alive. The first big, big wave that I ever surfed, it was here in 2011. And the thing that impressed me the most, it was the shadow of the wave. A normal wave, yeah... you see the little shadow in the afternoon but it’s going like five feet away from you, or six. That one, it was more than 100 feet away from me. I thought, this is really huge, what’s coming behind me. The power of the wave is so big, the explosion is so big, that if you don’t respect it or ride it for the right reasons, you don’t wanna be out there, because you know that it’s easy to die. David, actually I met him randomly. He has some really good techniques to meditate, to visualize. Try to make noise when you’re breathing. Most people and most athletes they have shallow breathing. They only use the top part of their lungs, especially when they’re under stress. A little smile. If your mind doesn’t stop. Comfort within your discomfort. Relaxed. Trust in your training. There is like no lung capacity that is going to be enough. Alex is a brother. The best example that you can have of a surfer. Positive vibe, mellow, super athlete. It’s very important to expose the body progressively in a secure and safe environment. to try to reproduce the kind of environment they have in a wave. You come from the light to the darkness like, "Zoom!" Like that. It’s quick. You just embrace, and you accept. Those trainings in the pool are special to get me like confidence. To realise that I can spend loads of time underwater. And it’s such happiness. It’s strange, I really feel good underwater. The importance of the skis like an annoying machine that is so useful to save our lives out there so... That day. That wave. It was the biggest, biggest wave that I've ever seen in my life. I surfed that wave with just instinct, no technique, no kind of strategy, just feeling. Wipe out in big wave surfing, the impact is huge. It’s water, but it feels like concrete, that you hit, you don’t even penetrate the water. It’s like to be in the hands of a giant. It takes everything from you. Squeezes you, twists you, like, break you in the middle. If I do have any fears the biggest fears that I got, they are not in the ocean. It’s just loneliness. Outside. But in the ocean, I like to be lonely.

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The Record-Breaking Surfer with Superhuman Lungs

This is a sample from our ‘Quit Cigarettes’ mission, which is currently live in the UK. Our goal is to increase the amount of people in the UK who quit cigarettes. Read more about our first mission here.

January 2018. Hugo Vau surfs the largest ever wave in Nazaré, Portugal. But before the wave, came the preparation. Watch as the pro-surfer learns to maximise his lung capacity and pushes his body to the limit. What could you achieve if you weren’t smoking cigarettes?