"I knew it was big, but I didn't know how big," McNamara said, admitting that he didn't even want to get out of bed that morning and that the record was just a fluke.
"Anything great in my life has been by mistake," he said.
Last week, 5-foot-10 McNamara, who has been surfing since the age of 11, was awarded $15,000 for the record ride at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in California. He was also awarded the $50,000 Sony Xperia Ride of the Year Award, the $5,000 Monster Tube, and the $5,000 Surfline Best Performance Award.
Ironically, the surfer also won the Verizon Wipeout of the Year Award.
"Martin Potter once said, 'If you can't have a great ride might as well have a good wipeout,'" McNamara said as he accepted the award. "I guess I'm good at wiping out."
"The world would be a much better place if everyone was doing what they wanted to do," the surfer told the Associated Press.