Controversy-generating sand-bottomed big-wave spot located in the middle of Portugal’s swell-lashed Atlantic coast, 75 miles north of Lisbon; named for the adjacent fishing-resort town of Nazaré. As of mid-2014, the break was the site of what are thought to be the four largest waves ever ridden.

Winter swells aimed at Nazaré are turbocharged after sweeping through an offshore canyon that runs as deep as 16,000 feet. (For comparison, Arizona's Grand Canyon is about 6,000 feet deep at its lowe...