Surfing the Tallest Wave in the World

Nazare Beach
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vidadevidro/

With its yellow sand and rocky cliffs, the Nazaré beach, more precisely Praia do Norte on the Western Coast of Portugal, about 120 km from Lisbon, seems like your typical postcard-material Portuguese landscape, like most of the wild beaches of the country. That is, if you don’t account for the undersea canyon facing the beach, said to be at least 5,000 meters deep. While the swells on that area of the coast are known to be big, the Nazaré canyon amplifies the already huge waves to create some of the largest surf in the world. This phenomenon peaks in the winter, with waves over 30 meters tall. These waves are so big that a surfer needs to be towed into them by a jet ski – they are impossible to catch otherwise. In these extreme conditions, the slightest loss of balance can be fatal…

Gigantic Waves in Nazare
Credit: Carlota Caldeira

Garrett McNamara surfs the tallest wave in the word

In January 2013, US surfer Garrett McNamara, who currently resides in Hawaii, is said to have surfed the largest wave in the world, about 30 meters tall. McNamara had already set a record in 2011, with a 27 meter wave.

Featured image credit: Carlota Caldeira

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