Surfer Garrett McNamara sets Guinness World Record for riding 78-foot wave

It's official: 44-year-old Hawaiian pro surfer Garrett McNamara surfed the "gnarliest wave ever," a 78-foot record-high wave off the coast in Portugal.

Guinness World Records recently confirmed that November's massive wave was, in fact, the highest to be surfed on record.

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"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.