Surfing in Portugal

The ocean is a tremendous, often dangerous force of nature, but it can also be tranquil. Out on Portugal’s beaches, I’ve met amateurs, getting ready to catch their first break; I’ve met experienced surfers rushing for the deep; total maniacs, surfing the hundred foot waves at Nazaare; I’ve also met the pedestrian observers, such as you and I, just coming here to watch. Strolling the surfer spots, photographing all those people, I often wondered about the thoughts that preoccupy their minds. What does a surfer feel just before wading into the water? Does he stop only to ponder whether the conditions are right, the waves not too high, too fierce, or too low perhaps, which way to best head into the water etc.? What exactly does he feel once he gets on that wave? Has he started at the right moment? Or does he think he fucked up choosing to run left over right? Why do some of them pause on dry land at sunset after a strong session and stare back at the waves in absolute awe? Is it just about admiring the view, or are they thanking nature for blessing them with a great day? What does a photographer think after capturing just the right moment? Or worse: after missing one? What does an elderly couple looking at the surfers glide across a turbulent ocean think? And why do they spend so much time watching? Surely, the answers to all those questions must be trivial, but I’d rather see them left unanswered. For me, surfing is not just about swimming on a board, being in touch with nature, or admiring the breathtaking scenery. To me, it’s that look of concentration painted on the faces of all those people actively or passively taking part in surfing; being lost in thought, wondering, momentary transcendence into a higher state of consciousness – this is exactly what I was trying to show on the photographs presented here. It’s all about concentration. 
 
 I’ve been photographing since 2013, focusing mainly on travel photography. Where I come from (Poland), I photograph wake-boarding. In Portugal, I spend every bit of free time at the ocean
 
A.Muszynski.