Entries in Garrett McNamara (1)


Daredevil Surfer Not Fazed by 90-Foot Wave

ABC(NAZARE, Portugal) -- The daredevil surfer who shattered a world record by riding a 90-foot-high wall of water says the monster wave "just popped out of nowhere" but that he was never afraid.

"This wave was very different," Garrett McNamara said. "This one just jacked up, broke, actually kind of barreled, and went to run me over, and somehow by the grace of God, I made it.

"When I rode the wave I didn't know how big it was and then it landed on me at the very end. It was like a ton of bricks on my shoulders and that's when I realized if I had fallen it could have been really bad."

McNamara, 44, of Hawaii, is part of an elite fraternity of extreme surfers who travel the world seeking gigantic waves.

He claimed the record this week while surfing off the coast of Portugal, where an underwater canyon magnifies wave energy, producing eye-popping crests. The record wave's 90-foot height still must be verified through videos and photos to officially eclipse the old "big wave" surfing record of 77 feet.

Two other big-wave enthusiasts with McNamara had just ridden 60-foot waves when the 90-foot crest began forming as McNamara was being towed into position. He released the tow-line and then began the ride of his life.

McNamara described the sensation as like skiing on the steepest, iciest trail on a big mountain "and then all of a sudden this avalanche starts coming after you and you're turning to get away from the avalanche but you're actually staying as close as you can to it."

McNamara's website says that in the past 10 years he has been "on a mission to catch the biggest, best waves on the planet."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio