After months of debate it’s official: Garrett McNamara has ridden a larger wave than any other surfer.
The announcement was made during a competition awards ceremony Friday night that a wave McNamara conquered last November off Nazare, Portugal, measured 78 feet from trough to crest. That’s one foot bigger than a wave ridden by Mike Parsons at Cortes Bank off Southern California in 2008. Guinness World Records approved the wave-height determination, which was made based on expert examination of available footage, Tuesday morning.


The competition is the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, which honors surfers for major accomplishments during a 12-month period.

The XXL competition panel also determined the height of the wave Parsons rode, which was approved by Guinness.

Said McNamara of eclipsing the record: “It’s amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn’t mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazare and Portugal and for all my family and friends there. To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them…

“I didn’t want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year.”

Though McNamara was honored for riding the largest wave, Nathan Fletcher earned the prestigious Ride of the Year award. His incredible ride, snagged in Tahiti last August, was immediately hailed as a contender. Fletcher gives Surfer magazine a blow-by-blow account of this incredible ride in the video posted below:

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