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

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

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.

"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.