“Surfing saved me from the dark side of the night.”
The Portuguese big-wave surfer Joana Andrade, a tiny five-two in Havs, but relentless hunter and slayer of Nazaré rhinos, is the star of a documentary set for cinema release called Big vs Small.
It’s a wild story in a sport that has its fair share of ’em.
Andrade was the first woman to tow Naz’s lethal jack-in-the-box peaks, pre-Maya Gabeira etc, and came to surfing after being drugged, groomed and sexually abused by a family pal when she was twelve.
“Surfing saved me from the dark side of the night,” she says. “We hold many fears inside us from which we cannot free ourselves.”
The film detours into Andrade’s breath-holding training with Finnish freediver Johanna Nordblad.
You might’ve already seen Nordblad in the Netflix documentary “Hold Your Breath, The Ice Dive”where she tries to hit a world record for distance travelled under the ice-pack with one breath.
Two epic women sucking air and disappearing into the inky black, under a ceiling of ice.
A helluva long way from the Ments or the Pacific splendour of Tahiti.
“Do whatever you like to me,” Andrade say. “I surrender. Maybe I will die.”
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