Garrett McNamara made history by breaking the current record of the biggest wave ever surfed.  The wave came during the two month period of the ZON North Canyon Show 2011, with a height of around 90 feet.

One of his friends, Al Mennie, who was out with Garrett at the time explains the incredible moment:

“Everything seemed to be perfect, the weather, the waves. Both Cotty and I rode two big ones in the 60ft + range and then when Garrett got on the rope a wave, maybe 30 feet bigger came out of the canyon, it was meant to be. I had the best seat in the house as I was doing water safety on the ski as he dropped down the face of the biggest wave I’ve ever seen. It was incredible. Most people would look scared but Garrett looked in control as he went down the most critical part of the wave. It was an inspirational ride by an inspirational surfer. After the ride it was as if the sea calmed down. We sat out there and just absorbed both what had just happened and the surroundings. What a day!”

[youtube width=”640″ height=”390″][/youtube]

via Drift Surfing

H/T The Big Lead

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  • Fred Emrich

    Very impressive . . . but I’m more impressed with the camera man!

    • Krys

      dude – the camera is attached to the front of the board – think about it how could a camera man be on the tip of his board

      • Jason

        dude – perhaps he means “man, I’m impressed with the camera”, not “I’m impressed with the camera man”.

        • Joe

          DUDES – Maybe it was a very tina camera man that was duct tapedto the tip of the board with a 5 MP camera taped to his shoulder?

          • JOE, that’s some funny s*#!.

          • Joe Pa


      • Dick Nuggets

        No way that’s 90 feet…..looks like footage of one of the 60 footers…..

        • snicbehr

          Do you think that makes it any less impressive? Especially considering what can happen to ANY surfer?! I do not… hope all of you, even the nattering nabobbing naysayers! stay well, & safe! & Keep adventures alive. My days of those got cut short with a MVA in ’82. But love to see others make it!

          • drewwewe

            it does make it les impressive, because it’s not a record breaker. DERP

          • dr of many things

            Too cool, Snicbehr. I was a champion surfer in the 1960s and still have knots on my knees from paddling the long boards. I don’t care what anyone says, this is a monster wave! Kowabunga, baby! As to that “nattering nabobing” wasn’t that a quote by Vice President Spiro Agnew in the Nixon years? Classic words, Dudemeister. How about this: “I heard a wave breaking far outside.” Can anyone name the classic surfing story with those words as the last sentence? The doctor is waiting for a reply…

      • Brett

        dude – he’s more impressed with the camera, man. why would someone think a camera man was on the tip of his board? get real.

    • Dude-The Camera man is a Navy Diver with Seal Team 2 that can honestly swim like a Dolphin! Koodos for the camerman and surfer!

    • Jut

      AHAHAHAHAH, dumbass

    • shawn

      lol nice troll, looks like u snagged a bunch with that one

    • army sergeant

      who cares how you calculate the height of the wave or the sound or the tons of pressure hitting you when you crash. it was an awe inspiring ride and to all those who can even stand on the board……..RIDE ON !!!!! great ride no matter what you net surfers say. i wish i could stand on the board for a 1 foot wave i keeping falling off.

  • Kev57

    GMac, awesome balls out Hawaiian style …

  • Now that’s what I call SIZE! Surfers around the world salute you, sir! Glad you worked it and you didn’t get worked!

  • Man of Mysterie . (Or BOB)

    Impressed with the camera man …. ? You cant be that dumb! THE CAMERA WAS ATTACHED TO THE SURFBOARD .. Any Camera man that at these big wave riding events are usually sitting on the beach …

  • Kathy

    Where was this?

    • Mike

      Praia do Norte off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.

    • Ed Dred

      Acabacca Beach

      • Captain Obvius

        You sir, are a retarded ignorant!

  • david p

    That wave is a big mush-ball. It doesn’t break top to bottom…….who cares if it’s 90’……just a 90′ mush ball.

    Not much balls needed for that. I could do it on my first attempt.

    • Murph

      Sure ya could! LOL

    • Bob

      Yeah right. You are the mush ball/

    • Axe

      Catch a lot of 90 footers in your mama’s basement do ya!

    • virginia

      then do it…

    • Negative Nancy

      Says the fatty sitting on the couch.

    • jimh

      I’m with you. I could do it too. So when I’m ready to get ground into the bottom of the ocean and drowned, I will join you on that wave.

  • Beck Sternik

    Ummm…nice try, david p. It’s easy to ride big waves from behind your keyboard – you’d more than likely be crying for your mommy if you were even sitting on the beach.

  • Aquaman


  • piko

    Hawaiians would call that 50 foot.

  • Bluleo70

    I could ride that too!…then I could wake up.

  • Bluleo70

    I actually enjoy a good bowl of mush.

  • Awaha Manaku

    david p – I grew up on the north shore of Oahu and got my first short board at the age of 9.
    Like many surfers it was about the ride and not the size of the wave. Any size wave gave me a thrill. Of course as my skills grew so did the ability to ride bigger more gnarly waves. I’m here to tell you that a 25 -30 foot wave can be a terrifying adrenaline rush from hell no matter if it is the perfect wave or a mush ball as you put it. Have that ball of mush fall on your head sometime and you will gain mad respect for Garretts accomplishment. I could not imagine riding a wave that size nor would i profess to have near the skill or mindset it takes to even attempt such a feat. Mush ball my ass. Great wave Garrett! Aloha nui!

    • jaymie

      Mana is power Kukailimoku is the Hawaiian god of war. So, Mana Ku = the power of Kukailimoku, unless Ku by itself gives the last part of your last name another meaning. Pretty Ku I mean cool.

  • BigDogInTexas

    Horsefeathers. I will admit the ride was good, although the cutaway video did not show more than riding down and out of the face, and that the wave was impressive in size – however NOT 90 feet. This estimation is like all those who claim to have caught a fish thiiiiisssssssss big, right. Or getting a shot at a deer 400 yards away, give me a break, unless your across a clearing I beg you to show me a forest where you can see that far unobstructed. And wave height has two ways of measurment, honest method is from the back, a bit of a spin on that is to tak the face (crest to trough) and divide by 2. NOT a 90footer boys and girls, NOT a 90footer.

    • TuckieFried

      Hahahaha! WTF does the “BigDogInTexas” know about surfing? Go back to “riding” some sheep, dude.

    • Kingeorge

      We all know that a wave is measured from the backside. Anyone who has spent any time around the ocean anyways. I guess you know all about those “BIG” waves being from Texas. Everybody knows every thing’s bigger in Texas, especially ego’s and waves. heheheh. If you can measure that wave from just looking at that video, which NEVER does show the back of it, nor do you ever see the trough, then you must be The Great Poseidon huh? You guys are too much……..hell of a ride, once in a lifetime to even see this wave, once in a lifetime for one to have rode it in. That’s what we used to call “Boss”, “Bitchen”, “Stoked” “Tubeular”! Garret………… were all that Brother! Anyone who even tries to make this less than it is, doesn’t know shite from shinola!!!!

      • Kingeorge

        Oh yea, you don’t know shite about deer hunting outside your FLAT land of Texass!

  • Eddie G.

    And the Blowhard Award goes to david p for never showing us his ride on a 90 footer. That’s a true “mushball” for ya!

  • It USED to be that trying to ride a 90-foot wave was simply a hard-core surfer’s way of ending it all before he got too old to surf any more. Go out with a BANG!

    • mudwump

      Yeah, they don’t do that anymore. No guts, I guess.

    • Wildjoe

      yeah Jockmama, they don’t do that anymore. No guts, I guess.

  • gatorjoe2

    Hey! Quit talking s–t about the camera man! He gets paid big bucks for doing that! You aren’t able to see him because he’s soooo professional! What? Is this your first rodeo?

  • Treehound

    I could do that

  • Flatwater Paddleboarder

    That is crazy awesome on the ocean waves….. I’m happy enough just to be able to paddleboard across the local harbor and ride the small boat wakes and dream. And nooo, I ain’t surfing the wii game in Mom’s basement either.

  • DC

    wow- people talking shite about the size of that monster – I have surfed over 30 years now so I think iam at least qualified to comment. During my peak when i hunted bigger waves traveling and crap- anything around 16 -20 foot faces was all you wanted. Waves surfers are riding since the tow -in are absolutely insane. its a whole different realm. how loud is a 90 foot wave when it cracks?? damn – 9 feet is more than most ever surf, or at least surf well!!! 90 feet. I’m in awe of the elite tow guys- they are a different breed. sign em up- they are nuts!! McNamara doesn’t care what we write, he surfs mountains~ keyboard surfers its nothing you could ever imagine.

  • hogan

    This is the full video of that guys and it’s looking death right in the eyes and I got a funny feeling he never actually meant to ride anything that big. I’ve watched Garrett for many years and he likes to carve a little and play on his waves, but he took a straight line with the thought, “concentrate will everything you’ve got and just try to survive”. He’s lucky that one didn’t take his life and I think he knows it.

  • Jaymie

    My friend/ co-worker loves big waves. One day he ate it off a 20 ft. the wave crashed his board on the bone between his wrist and elbow and split into 10 shards and came the top right through the meat and skin with ligaments and tendons dangling in all directions. Uh, yeah 20, 30, 40, etc… is gnarly gnarly gnarly. Thank you!!

  • SoCalSurfer

    that is at most 60 feet. if you wanna see a big wave, look up jaws surfing. those r 60+ waves. trust me ive been surfeing for 13 years and that is not at all 90 feet

  • Jeff Staeger

    Great wave, but Parson’s wave at Jaws looked bigger – just an observation from a non-surfer dude!

  • Klaus Spicoli

    We have much bigger waves in Switzerland.

  • gordo

    its the height of the wave, not the sheer difficulty, that is impressive. There are scarier waves to ride, but this was way cool, from any angle.

  • Pura Vida

    Pura Vida,, Mr Hogan

  • Yeah I can do that here in Jersey (the waves are 3 feet and choppy) mushball canyon,crazy dude and the alarm clock strapped to my surfboard went and I pressed snooze button twice, you guys who talk shit make me laugh,if you saw a wave of that magitude, you woulda made plans for evacuation, hahaha

  • Jack The Sandman

    You’re all a bunch of idiots, I’ve surfed for over 50 years and traveled the world. I’ve experienced a 2 wave hold down in 12 ft Sunset (20 ft faces). Still try to get to the islands twice a winter. It take years and years to be able to do what he did, and even then there are only about maybe 100 surfers in the world that could legitimately think about doing it. Hats off to Garrett. All of you would crap your pants just sitting in the channel on a big day anywhere in the world. As Clint says, A man’s gotta know his limitations. Watch Riding Giants, FYI. God Bless!

  • army sergeant

    dude i road a 60 footer not 3 months ago then i woke up. any wave that is more than twice your hight is a dam fine ride i dont care who ya are. dudes a winner in my book…… the by i cant even stand up on them boards so kuddos to all who ride

  • Dave B

    I am only a novice surfer … but … by assuming the surfer in the video is around 6 feet tall, I used this perspective to measure the wave and it is! approximately 90′ high! 15 times the surfer’s height. I think the guy broke the record.

  • MLB

    Where was this wave ridden?

  • LivinLivid

    Well I watched the vid….I will admit, I have NEVER surfed in my life (although i’ve always wanted too, but where i live we’re lucky if we even get 1ft waves) I know NOTHING about surfing other than the objective, which is to stand up on a surf board, go down a wave and try to survive (there mey be more to it, but like I said I know nothing but i do wish to learn). With that being said, i’d like to point out that wave did not look like 90ft. For 90ft, i expected it to be….idk higher? But all in all what Garret did was EPIC DUDE!!!. i mean i know I would have been terrified for my life going down a wave that HUGE (then again I’d be afraid of even going down a 5ft wave lol). but I know this requires TREMENDOUS skill and a lot of courage. Kudos to you Garret.

  • gcoff5

    Are you sure thats Garret? Looks like Patrick Swazee to me. lol
    Several of you are showing your lack understanding for this sport, lived in Hawaii and spent time watching these guys do the most amazing things on a board! Its not about the size to these guys, it’s about the ride and soul of the wave, and I disagree that 100 people could ride that wave, maybe 25 in the world at the most….What Garret did is simply one in a lifetime….