Garrett McNamara is one of those legendary surfing badasses, like Laird Hamilton, Jeff Rowley, and just a few select others, who can say he's looked a 50-foot-plus wave in the face and not only succeeded in NOT dying, but actually riding the bad motherfucker. According to his Wikipedia page, McNamara was one of the first to hop on the tow-surfing trend—a method of riding in which the surfer is towed by jet ski and dropped into massive waves that would have previously killed guys who tried to paddle out to them—and back in 2011 he rode, in Nazaré, Portugal, a 90-foot-high canyon wave that's the largest ever conquered. (Although this exact height was disputed by some kill-joys.)
McNamara was back in Nazaré yesterday to try to top his 2011 record. It's a unique surfing spot. Not only does it probably contain the largest waves in the world, meaning you're dealing with the ever-present danger of wiping out and being sucked 50 feet under and drowning, the it's situated right next to these huge, rocky 300-foot cliffs. Yes, the waves break into the cliffs, and yes, if you come off the wave you're screwed and you're going to hit the cliffs. As McNamara told the Observer in 2011: "There is an underwater canyon 1,000ft deep that runs from the ocean right up to the cliffs. It's like a funnel. At its ocean end it's three miles wide but narrows as it gets closer to the shore and when there is a big swell it acts like an amplifier.... The harbour where the jetskis are kept is about five minutes' ride away. I can see it from my hotel window. You go out and it can be almost flat as you leave and ride along the coast. You start seeing the waves after about half a mile when you pass some rocks and turn a point. Then you are in the break. It's unique. The waves break into cliffs 300ft in height. You can't contemplate coming off because it would kill you."
Well, McNamara didn't die yesterday. And while details are very, very slim, early reports indicate that McNamara beat his own record and surfed a 100-FOOT wave in Nazaré. At least, that's what the guys on the scene and photographer Tó Mané (who took the amazing shot above) say.
McNamara's crew promises full footage of the event soon, but below is a (shitty) trailer that shows the ride. I think the 100-foot wave comes around the 50-second mark.
Damn. Badass stuff.