Hawaiian professional surfer Garrett McNamara broke the world record, riding a 90-foot wave off Portugal’s coastline during the “ZON North Canyon Project 2011.”
Monster wave hunters prize the coastline; a deep-water canyon that funnels large swells from the Atlantic Ocean.
“I feel so blessed and honored to have been invited to explore this canyon and its special town. The waves here are such a mystery,” said McNamara to Surfer Today.
According to his website, McNamara hunted the “biggest, best waves on the planet” for the past decade.
He had been riding with fellow surfers Andrew Cotton and Al Mennie when he finally got the chance of a lifetime
"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,” said Mennie. “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 controlling everything in the critical part of the wave," Mennie added. “It was an inspiring ride by an inspiring surfer.”
The biggest wave ever recorded by scientists, according to Surfer Today, measured 1,710 feet in height and occurred on July 9, 1958 in Lituya Bay, a fjord off the Alaska coast. The wave killed two anglers.
The Guinness World Book of Records record for Highest Wave Surfed had previously been held in 2001 by Mike Parsons after he topped a 77 foot feet in Cortes Bank, a dangerously shallow chain of underwater mountains in the Pacific Ocean about 50 miles south-west of San Clemente Island.
Ken Bradshaw, who reportedly rode an 85-footer in Hawaii’s Waimea Bay in 1998, held the previous unofficial record.
The 25-second video clip of McNamara’s record-shattering surf has become a viral video on YouTube, quickly accumulating in excess of 2.8 million views after being uploaded by ESPM on Nov. 8.