44-year old Garrett McNamara says the massive wave that got him into the Guinness Book of World Records almost didn’t have a rider.
The pro-surfer from Haleiwa, Hawaii said he came close to staying in bed that day in November after battling harsh waves the day before and wiping out, which left him a bit worse for the wear. But something was calling him to the ocean, and he couldn’t ignore it.
“Everything came together,” McNamara said. “Everything felt right.”
After his friends pestered him to come out anyway, McNamara grabbed his board and hit the beach, which was off the coast of Portugal. Luckily, someone had the camera rolling as he caught the record-breaking wave, and the video below shows a rare view from the board as a huge wall of water comes rolling over McNamara.
The people over at Guinness teamed up with the coordinators of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards–which gave McNamara a $15,000 check last week for the feat–to try and guess the exact height of the wave. Using McNamara’s height, the length of his legs, and his height while crouched, they determined that the wave was at least 78 feet high.