Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle may have surfed the biggest wave in history on Monday at Praia do Norte off the coast of Portugal, breaking the 2011 record of 78-feet set by American Garrett McNamara. Unimpressed? He also saved fellow surfer Maya Gabeira from drowning just prior to catching that wave. Gabeira, also from Brazil, was knocked unconscious in the surf zone and Burle helped bring her out to shore after her jet ski partner couldn’t get to her in time (a gentleman and an athlete!).
The exact height of Burle’s wave still has to be reviewed by the Guinness World Records, but it’s hard not to get excited when you watch the actual footage.
Current record-holder McNamara was actually also out at Praia do Norte yesterday but decided not ride. “The wave was too big for me. I didn’t feel safe,” he told SurferToday.com.
Not that he has anything prove. McNamara actually rode his own monster wave at the same location in January and, at the time, was believed to have set a new record as well. (The exact height of the wave was never actually verified.)
And if this post has left you feeling particularly inspired or competitive, go ahead and read the advice McNamara gave Maxim for prospective 100-foot surfers earlier this year...although we very much do not recommend trying it out anywhere near Praia do Norte, just in case Burle isn’t around to save you.
From Maxim's July/August 2013 Issue:
How To Ride a 100-Foot Wave
Record-breaking surfer Garrett McNamara takes you on a ride.
1. Stalk Storms
You have to find a spot where waves can reach their full potential and you have good offshore winds. Nazaré, Portugal is the holy grail of monster waves, so we’ll get on the Internet and track storms as they are approaching the coast.
2. Get the Right Gear
Equipment is essential for survival. For towing into giant waves, you want a small board, about 20 pounds. Your wet suit is key, too. Body Glove made me the most amazing survival suit for riding the 100-foot wave, so I knew I was coming home.
3. Learn to Inhale
Right before you fall, take a full breath from your belly to your chest and then tilt your head back to open your lungs and get more air. Once you’re underwater, completely relax your entire body until the pounding is over and swim to the top.
4. Buddy Up
Heading out with a surfer who’s better than you will bring your level up a lot faster. I generally recommend going out with at least one friend, but you know, if you get to the beach and the waves are perfect and there isn’t a soul around, just go for it.
5. Get a Ride
I love to stand up and paddle out, but if there’s a lot of wind it can cast you off the board and throw you into the wave. When you’re going for an 80-foot monster, paddling gets dangerous, so towing out is a safer choice. That’s what I did for the big one.
Get to the right spot and paddle as hard as you can to get the wave before it breaks, throw yourself over the ledge, and stand up. You’ve got to commit. Every aspect of it is exhilarating, but the goal for every surfer is to get in the barrel—time stands still in there.
Photos by Bancroft Media / Landov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013