Next time you’re thinking about a nice little beach vacation, you might want to rule out Nazaré, Portugal as a possible destination.
Last November at that very location, a surfer named Garrett McNamara (who has been described as “legendary” several times) rode what was unofficially called the largest wave ever surfed. Last week that claim was substantiated, and McNamara now holds the Guinness World Record after riding the wave that was measured at 78 feet by the Totally Tubular Big Wave Surfing Division at Guinness, supervised by esteemed professor Jeff Spicoli.
Despite the connection, I’m sure that Guinness discourages the consumption of alcoholic beverages before engaging in potentially fatal big wave surfing. Probably.
As you can see if you go to the YouTube page, they originally estimated the wave at 90 feet. Psssssh! I mean, come on, that’s just ridiculous. Sensationalism at it’s best…
The actual height of the wave was just a single foot taller than the previous record. Don’t ask me how the geeks at Guinness came to this determination, but I’m sure they had a tough time after their sixth pint. “I’m bloody pissed, mate! Let’s just call it 78 and hit the pub!” (Please excuse the blatantly stereotypical and possibly racist depiction of Irish dialogue)
I made a feeble attempt to start surfing about five years ago after watching the enthralling documentary, Riding Giants. As it turns out, I had a hard enough time riding dwarfs. After a whopping three sessions I decided to hang up my surfboard, and it now resides securely in the northeast corner of my parents’ garage.
The point of this story: Garrett McNamara is what we in the industry call, “legit”.