What is the biggest wave ever surfed?
I have less than a week of Daily Doodles left in my calendar year (my calendar starts November 14)!! It's very exciting. Almost as exciting as the biggest wave ever surfed, perhaps!
There’s a Portuguese fishing village called Nazaré where a submarine canyon causes waves to swell to the size of large buildings. The locals never dared to take surfboards out into the deadly water, but an American named Garrett McNamara couldn’t resist the pull of reliable monster waves.
In 2011, McNamara set a world record by riding a wave that measured at 78 feet. The mark stood for seven years, until Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa surfed a wave that was officially measured at 80 feet on November 8, 2017. The size of the wave was verified in April 2018 at World Surf League’s Big Wave Awards.
British surfer Tom Butler rode a wave December 2018 that was being touted as 100 feet tall, 20 feet higher than Koxa’s record ride. Butler told Cornwall Live. “When I was going down I thought, ‘holy f---, this is the fastest I’ve ever been'. Time kind of slows down, it’s instinct really. I was doing everything to hold my balance.”
The tricky part however, was verifying the size of the wave. McNamara surfed a wave in 2013 that was believed to be 100 feet high, but it could not be confirmed, therefore his 2011 record remained until broken by Koxa. The height of Butler’s wave was not verified, so Koxa remains the record holder at 80 feet.