Extreme surfer Garret McNamara has just grabbed the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed, after riding a 78-foot swell near Nazare, Portugal last November. Here’s a clip of the surfing feat:
Experts representing the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards confirmed McNamara’s wave equated a world record on Friday, beating out previous world-record holder Mike Parson, who rode a 77-foot wave off the coast of Southern California in 2008. No word on how one, expert or not, can accurately discern a difference of 12″ between two walls of water.
McNamara states, “It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn’t mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazaré and Portugal and for all my family and friends there.” The new world-record holder was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1967, and for the past decade has made it a life-mission to ride the largest waves on the planet.
McNamara adds, “To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them… I didn’t want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year.”