Underground Portuguese shredder Francisco Horta stole the show in front of some of the best riders in the world, including Antonio Cardoso and Pierre-Louis Costes, when he paddled into one of the biggest waves of the day at a renowned slab.

Local photographer Pedro Miranda gives us the story on 25-year-old charger and that wave.

Words by Pedro Miranda.

This guy is Francisco Horta, 25 years old, here from Portugal, he’s a really nice guy, good vibes and he only gets in the water when it’s freaking epic, he just doesn’t surf anything rather than the best gems here or abroad, he can stay months out of the water. This guy represents what I think it’s the real soul of the sport, no trophies, no need for glory, he does it just for pure pleasure as it should be.

Francisco Horta ignores sleep and takes a bomb. Photo by Pedro Miranda

Francisco works on TAP (Portuguese Airlines), and in the span of 24 hours this happened: The first morning a (very) special spot here delivered big time and the forecast showed that the following day it would be just as good. Francisco was there on the first morning and totally killed it, then he had to rush real quick and drive 100 miles to Lisbon, got on an airplane and flew to Dakar in Senegal / West Africa, he had dinner there, quickly flew back to Lisbon where he landed at around 6am, drove the car back to this spot, no sleep, and started the session with this massive air drop!

These two sessions were probably the best sessions of the year, in the water there was Tó Cardoso, Pierre Louis-Costes, Bernardo Jerónimo and many of the best riders in Portuguese waters.  

There were some awesome moves that went down but this drop by Francisco was the moment of the day for me.

A water angle of the air drop by Daniel Fernandes