Billabong gave Garrett McNamara props for his wave last week, and now the Guinness World Records acknowledges it, too. The Guinness World Record Agency has just credited the 44-year old Hawaiian pro surfer’s wave caught in Nazare, Portugal, Nov 1, 2011 as the largest ever, beating the 2008 record by more than 1 foot.
McNamara was already awarded the Biggest Wave Award last Friday (also snagging a $15,000 prize) at the Grove in Anaheim during the 2012 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards (in addition to Wipeout of the Year). But, now his ride (at 78 feet) is official in the books as the largest wave ever ridden.
McNamara caught the monster wave in Praia do Norte off the coast of Nazaré. The Nazaré Canyon, a deepwater canyon that measures 170 kilometers long and 5 kilometers deep, is home to one of the only deepwater canyons that run all the way to shore. McNamara performed this feat during the ZON North Canyon Show 201.
McNamara told The Associated Press that the ride of his life was a fluke. “I knew it was big, but I didn’t know how big,” he said.
McNamara said he didn’t care at first about whether the wave was a record, but was urged by the townspeople in Nazare, Portugal, to get some kind of confirmation. He said he sent the footage and pictures to surfing legend and Billabong judge Sean Collins, who guessed the wave was 85 to 90 feet tall. Collins died in December.
Judges for the Billabong XXL awards, considered the official arbiters of big-wave surfing, pored over footage and high-resolution still images from several angles to calculate a more accurate estimate, event director Bill Sharp told the AP. They used McNamara’s height in a crouch and the length of his shin bone to help compare it to the wave’s top and bottom, Sharp said.
McNamara, who began surfing at age 11 and went pro at 17, said the achievement became more important to him when he realized it could help him urge more people to follow their passions.
The world’s best surfers on the ASP World Tour arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil today for the Billabong Rio Pro, the 3rd men’s event of 10 in this year’s quest for the best in surfing. This event runs from May 9-20.
This latest stop on the ASP World Tour also sees the men’s and women’s tours aligning for the first time since the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on April 3-14. Last year, Adriano de Souza beat Taj Burrow in the final, while Carissa Moore beat Sally Fitzgibbons on her way to winning the women’s world title.
Yesterday, Kelly Slater, who is currently sitting at the top of the overall standings, withdrew from the Billabong Pro Rio due to a heel injury sustained in Java. With Slater’s withdrawal, the current frontrunner spot on the ASP WCT ratings is up for grabs in Rio de Janeiro. At this time, Slater is followed by Adriano de Souza and Billabong’s own Taj Burrow is currently in third. Mick Fanning (fourth) and Jordy Smith (fifth) are both well placed to take advantage in Brazil.
The women, meanwhile, will be competing in their fifth event. Stephanie Gilmore is still out in front after two wins and a second place, but Sally Fitzgibbons (second) and reigning world champion Carissa Moore (fifth) are close behind.
We’re looking forward to watching the action… in hot and sexy Brazil. The LIVE webcast will be available at www.billabongpro.com.
Surfing Magazine puts out a surfing rule book in their magazine (almost) every month, and have even turned it into a Twitter account (@SURFINGRulebook). They’re loaded with both funny and actual rules all surfers should live by, so we thought we’d share 15 of our favorites here:
Rule No. 629: Inside the car, your surfboard is a projectile.
Rule No. 411: If you’ve already put on sunscreen, a wetsuit or a leash, you’re paddling out.
Rule No. 323: Have a favorite surf photo, and be able to find it quickly.
Rule No. 115: If you didn’t surf all winter, get to the back of the line.
Rule No. 483: Every great surfer is secretly expert at one of the following: fishing, pool skating, lifesaving, bodysurfing.
The nominees for the 2012 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, which recognizes the biggest waves and the best rides of the last year, were announced last week. Winners will be announced at the invitation-only Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards party at the Grove Theater in Anaheim, California on May 4, 2012. The show will be webcast that night on YouTube’s Network A, and will be broadcast as a one-hour program on FUEL TV on Sunday, May 20 at 3 P.M. PT.
This year’s event marks the 12th-annual edition of the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards, an event open to every qualified surfer at every break on every day of the year, and eligible if the action is captured by a video or still camera and submitted for judging by the XXL’s voting academy of expert surfers and lensmen. Over 1,000 images were entered into the event before being filtered down to the best five stills and single definitive video clip of each nominated ride.
This year’s swells have been widely regarded as the most spectacular ever seen in the sport of big wave riding. There are top five nominees in each of the XXL’s seven divisions, all worthy of being named an XXL champion and each with a shot at a share of the $120,000 in prize money at stake.
For the Billabong XXL Ride of the Year category, there are five very different waves for consideration, all ridden in very different regions around the planet: 1) SoCal native Nathan Fletcher for his earth-shattering barrel at Teahupoo, Tahiti, 2) SoCal native Greg Long for his paddle-in tube at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, 3) Australian Ryan Hipwood for his long, spitting pipe of a wave at Cloudbreak, Fiji, 4) Australian Jeff Rowley for a hair-raising late paddle drop and pocket ride at Jaws on Maui, and 5) Hawaiian Garrett McNamara, for his plunge into a massive face off the coast of Portugal, a feat that earned the big wave veteran global headlines in November.
Here are the nominees in three other categories, including Monster Paddle, Billabong XXL Biggest Wave, and Monster Tube. The nominees in the remaining three other categories will be announced on April 9, including Surfline Best Overall Performance Award (male), the Billabong Girls Best Performance Award (female) and the ever-popular Verizon Wipeout Award.
The nominees for 2012, in alphabetical order:
FIVE BILLABONG XXL RIDE OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $50,000 – Video prize $5,000) Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Video by Simon Saffigna.) Ryan Hipwood (Gold Coast, Australia) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011. (Video by Nimai Strickland.) Greg Long (San Clemente, California, USA) at Puerto Escondido, Mexico on May 19, 2011.
(Video by Alejandro Berger.) Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Video by Jorge Leal.) Jeff Rowley (Torquay, Victoria, Australia) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 30, 2012. (Video by Wangdu Hovey.)
FIVE MONSTER PADDLE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000) Ken “Skindog” Collins (Santa Cruz, California, USA) at Maverick’s, California on February 8, 2012. (Photos by Robert Brown and Frank Quirarte. Video by The Go Big Project.) Danilo Couto (Bahia, Brazil) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photo by Fred Pompermayer. Video by Greg Browning.) Shane Dorian (Kona, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Hawaii, on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Bidu, Tracy Kraft, Bruno Lemos, Jason Murray and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Elliot Leboe.) Jamie Mitchell (Gold Coast, Australia) at Todos Santos, Mexico on January 6, 2012. (Photo by Jason Murray. Video by Graham Nash.) Dave Wassel (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii on January 4, 2012. (Photos by Eric Aeder, Frank Berthuot, Bruno Lemos, Mike Neal and Fred Pompermayer. Video by Bruno Lemos.)
FIVE BILLABONG XXL BIGGEST WAVE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $15,000 – Photo/video prize $4,000) Andrew Cotton (Croyde, Devon, United Kingdom) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Andrew Kilfeather, Conn Osbourne and David Olsthoorn. Video by Jamie Russell.) Garrett McNamara (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Priaia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011. (Photo by Wilson Ribeiro. Video by Jorge Leal.) Axi Muniain (Zarautz, Basque Country) at Agiti, Spain on December 15, 2011. (Photo by Eric Chauche. Video by Walter Lang.) Ollie O’Flaherty (Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland) at Mullaghmore Head, Ireland on March 8, 2012. (Photos by Christian McLeod and Matt Strathern. Video by Mark Waters.) Damien “Taco” Warr (Yallingup, Western Australia) at Cow Bombie, Western Australia on October 16, 2011. (Photo by Jamie Scott. Video by Rick Jakovich.)
FIVE MONSTER TUBE AWARD NOMINEES
(Surfer prize $5,000 – Still photography prize $2,000) Kohl Christensen (Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA) at Cloudbreak, Fiji on July 12, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann and Bruno Lemos.) Nathan Fletcher (San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011. (Photos by Brian Bielmann, Pete Frieden, Bruno Lemos, Tim McKenna and Benjamin Thouard.) Tyler Hollmer-Cross (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) at Shipstern Bluff, Tasmania on May 17, 2011. (Photo by Andrew Chisholm.) Bruce Irons (Hanalei, Hawaii, USA) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Brian Bielmann, Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer, Pat Stacy and Benjamin Thouard.)
Everaldo “Pato” Teixeira (Florianopolis, Brazil) at Teahupoo, Tahiti on August 27, 2011.
(Photos by Tim McKenna, Fred Pompermayer and Benjamin Thouard.)
Is the time of inland surfing here? That’s what Wavegarden hopes to accomplish with its man-made wave prototype located just outside of Zarautz, deep in the Basque Country of Spain.
After seven years of trial and error, this 30 yard pond lined in black plastic now offers waist high rip-able freshwater wave surges, and has captured the attention of the surf world, including Owen Wright, Mick Fanning, and Bobby Martinez. The reality for people of all ages and surfing levels to enjoy a “real” surfing experience beyond the oceans of the world is almost here.
The idea for Wavegarden started when engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to combine their expertise in designing and building sport facilities with their passion for surfing. Their goal was to create the most realistic surfing experience in perfect waves. In fact, their entire team is composed of passionate surfers, whose aim is to share the amazing sport and healthy lifestyle of surfing with others not fortunate enough to live near natural waves.
The wave itself will provide rides up to 30 seconds in a “Pointbreak” style of wave, both right and left simultaneously. It will allow most surfers two decent turns (four if you’re Jordy). The wave size, speed, and shape can be altered at any time, even during a ride. The maximum height of the wave will be roughly 5.2 feet on the face. But, with enough skill a rider can achieve a tuberide of unheard of length. Moreover, it uses a low environmental impact and an energy consumption average of only 350kwh.
If all goes to plan, the technology will be pumping man-made waves down a river for the public to surf by the Spring of 2012. Wavegarden already has commitments for facilities in the Middle East, Europe and America, including WaveGardenHawaii, a 6 acre pool in Oahu.