Back in July 2021, HBO premiered six-part docuseries 100 Foot Wave. That series covered a decade of big-wave surfing in Nazaré, Portugal, and how Garrett McNamara’s quest to surf giant waves there led to highs, lows, records, injuries, and a whole transformation of the town and its surfing scene. But it was clear there was more to be told even after those six episodes, and HBO announced a renewal for the series that August.
The subsequent popular and critical acclaim the show has received (including Emmy nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program; they won the latter category) has further added to the anticipation for Season 2. And it’s been a while coming. But on Monday, HBO announced a premiere date for the second season: Sunday, April 16. The first episode will air on linear HBO at 8 p.m. ET/PT that day, with five further episodes following at that time over the next five Sundays. The series will also be available to stream on HBO Max. Here’s a newly-released trailer for its second season:
That trailer has some elements that will be familiar to those who watched the first season (massive waves, injuries and water searches), but it also shows off how much Nazaré has changed. This was a pretty quiet town at the start of the first season, and it was mostly just the surfers and their support teams out around these waves, with the main observation of them coming from director Chris Smith and his film crew.
That was changing with the prominent big wave competition featured near the end of the first season , though. And Nazaré’s surfing has now clearly transformed even further, with the trailer showing off giant crowds watching the surfing from the lighthouse area that was mostly just used by surfer-associated spotter teams early on. There’s a line in there of “There’s 30,000 people on the cliff.” And it should be interesting to see how the change to that whole surfing scene shows up in this second season. There are going to be plenty of other interesting angles too, though, as this second season covers the 2020-21 and 2021-22 big wave seasons (October-March), and there are pandemic impacts and more to consider with those years too. Here’s more on what to expect in this sophomore season from a release:
100 FOOT WAVE returns to Nazaré, Portugal — with stops in Hawaii and California — for a heart-pounding and adrenaline-filled second season following big wave legend Garrett McNamara, his world-class surfing peers, and some surprising newcomers as they continue to push the boundaries of their sport and the limits of their minds and bodies. As much a story of personal relationships, longing, fear, and love, the series spans the ‘20/‘21 and ‘21/‘22 big wave seasons which began with the uncertainties of life under COVID-19 and ended with some of the largest swells of the surfers’ careers. The one constant for these extreme athletes is contending with the highs and lows of their perilous and unpredictable lifestyle in which every big wave has the potential to write a dramatic new chapter in their personal stories. With a mix of intimate interviews, verité scenes and personal archive, as well as stunning aerial, water-based and underwater footage from the Emmy®-winning cinematography team, the series captures a world unlike any other.
A decade after McNamara conquered his first record-breaking wave in 2011, the small coastal town of Nazaré, with its dramatic cliffs and epic offshore breaks, continues to attract the best big wave surfers in the world, who rely on the powerful but indifferent ocean to help them realize their dreams while avoiding mortal injury. McNamara, expecting the birth of his third child with wife Nicole — which proves to be its own unexpected challenge — embraces a new direction in his career while still heeding the pull of the ocean. The season reunites us with the charismatic surfers we’ve come to know from season one, including Andrew “Cotty” Cotton, Justine Dupont, and CJ Macias, and introduces us to dynamic new players, such as local teenager Tony Laureano who tries to break into the upper echelons of the sport. United in their passion to push past near-death experiences and self-doubt in pursuit of the elusive transcendence, the surfers feel at the height of their achievement.
Back in August 2021, I called the first season of 100 Foot Wave “the best sports documentary series I’ve seen in some time,” and I haven’t seen a better one since. So there’s a lot of anticipation here for the second season. If it’s anything like the first, it will be a great watch for those particularly interested in surfing or other outdoor sports, but also a great watch for those who like good stories regardless of sport. And those interested in checking it out can catch the first season on HBO Max now before this April 16 debut of the new one.
[HBO on YouTube]