Garret McNamara on the World Record 90-Foot Wave in Portugal

Hawaiian big wave surfer Garret McNamara just surfed a 90-Foot ocean wave off the coast of Praia do Norte (north beach) in Nazaré, Portugal. That’s the world record.  This guy Garret is strong and has legs of steel.  Look at the chop as he come ripping down the wave and check out the beating he takes by the whitewater and stays on his feet.

“Everything was perfect, the weather, the waves. Cotty and I surfed two big waves of about 60 feet and then, when Garrett was ready came a canyon wave of over 90 feet. The jet ski was the best place to see him riding the biggest wave I’ve ever seen. It was amazing. Most people would be scared, but Garrett was controling everything in the critical part of the wave. It was an inspiring ride by an inspiring surfer” – Al Menine, who towed Garret into this wave

From the little bit of info out there, it almost sounds like this was a rouge-ish wave that was a lot bigger than all the other waves that day.  They were in the right place at the right time.

Garret McNamara on the World Record 90-Foot Wave in Portugal

This zone in Portugal has deep underwater canyons that crank wave heights up much higher than would normally be expected.

According to the Portuguese Hydrographic Institute, “the proximity of the ‘Nazaré Canyon’ to Praia do Norte creates a situation that greatly increases the swells intensity. The conditions of the swell and wind direction observed on this day exemplify this phenomenon”. “By 9:00 AM, the monitor on the buoys registered a swell with around 8 m near Nazaré. With a WNW swell direction with favorable wind, it is reasonable to conclude that this wave had a significant swelling effect, which is characteristic of this place.” –

Previous Big Wave Surfing Records:

Ken Bradshaw from Texas surfed a 80-Footer at Outer Log Cabins in Hawaii in 1998. 

Ken Bradshaw on an 60 foot bomb at Outer Log Cabins (not the 80 footer, no good photos of that one)

Mike Parsons from California is credited with surfing an 70-Footer at Cortex Bank way off the coast of San Diego, CA in 2008.

Mike Parsons on a 70 foot bomb at Cortes Bank. photo:


Even ESPN’s Sports Center got a hold of this one and had some fun:


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