Some say the final step of a BASE jump feels like suicide. Paddling into a wave at Europe’s premiere big-wave location—Nazaré—probably evokes something similar. Last week Bruno Valente, one of the few people to have experienced both, told The Inertia he wants to combine the two.
“Someday, he plans to jump with a bodyboard, land on a wave, and finish it all off surfing back to shore.”
If it were anyone else it would be easy to dismiss. However Bruno has done almost 300 BASE jumps from the Nazaré cliffs already, and has driven a jetski in some of the iconic surf-spot’s most dangerous conditions. Also, he jumps from the other side of the cliff, landing either on the beach or where the waves are substantially smaller—so technically, it’s possible.
And this wouldn’t be the first time he’s done an unconventional jump: as reported by The Inertia; “Valente always searches for new places for his jumps, but Nazaré and the Lisbon Aqueduct have a special taste for him. He was so intrigued by the story of serial killer Diogo Alves, who pushed nearly 70 people from the aqueduct, that Bruno promised to do a jump for each victim. His first jumps were during the day, carrying a simple backpack into the site. Once the staff started to recognize him, he began making making clandestine visits during the night”.
Bruno’s friend doubles as a getaway driver, feeding him information from the ground about wind and the imminent arrival of security guards.
“In one instance, Bruno landed directly in front of a police car and was taken in, only to be released after a short stay and soon sentenced to community service. While BASE jumping itself isn’t illegal, practitioners often have to enter private property in order to jump.”
At Nazaré’s clifftop amphitheatre, it seems the crowd, normally there to watch the waves, are all too happy to watch his antics while security do their best to prevent it—a death wouldn’t look great on the Faro (lighthouse) museum’s record.