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Big wave surfing: conquest for excellence

Updated on October 26, 2012

The challenges of big wave surfing

Big wave surfing sports is an adventure for survival every time, as the surf boards are the link between success and failure or rather life and death. Only an experienced surfer can choose a right sized board suitable for the height of the wave he wants to reach. Ever since Laird Hamilton and Darrick Doemer heralded tow in surfing, a new adventure sport of reaching waves higher than 40 feet also developed. There is an advantage of reaching massive waves by jet ski. The board size can be properly chosen as well as lighter boards can be chosen that dramatically increase speed, and safety. Safety aspect is paramount as a breaking wave turns dangerous making the surfers choke underwater for more than a minute some times. Strong undercurrent can bang the surfer to ocean floor. Consecutive waves can be crippling. Many big wave surfers have faced death while struggling under consecutive big waves.

A Hero by the name Garret Mcnamara emerged recently by conquering a wave of 78 feet height in November 2011, at Nazare, Portugal. This record is so far unsurpassed.

wave surfer

wavesurfer Mcnamara breaks world record
wavesurfer Mcnamara breaks world record | Source

The story behind the record creation

Mcnamara has been an experienced surfer as he surfed since the age of 17 years. The previous day, he had an opportunity to create bigger record on waves which were bigger than the record making 78 feet height. Next day, he ventured to use a jet ski for dropping big wave surfers on a breaking wave. Opportunity this time again did not leave him! He rose to the occasion, when friends demanded that he too join them by getting on his board. After he ventured, his wife inspired him to ride a big wave.

Mcnamara though created a record, seems to enjoy big wave surfing as a sport rather than getting records and awards. He is rather happy about the turn of events in his big wave surfing career.

One word of advice for big wave surfing aspirants! One requires extreme mental and physical endurance practices, improvisation of diving techniques, deep breathing practices and extreme alertness to sense and select correct wave with a height that is within his capability! For the sporting enthusiasts, big wave surfing offers adventure and thrill as much as para sailing, scuba diving, river water rafting, mountaineering, etc.

a depiction of big wave surfing


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