Surfer Catches 78-foot Wave, Sets Record

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He didn't want to get out of bed that November day in Portugal, let alone surf, Garrett McNamara told the Associated Press. The 44-year-old Hawaiian pro surfer had already been hammered by the area's massive waves, and he was hurting.

Nevertheless, McNamara got in the water and ended up catching the biggest wave ever ridden, according to an announcement today by Guinness World Records. Despite original estimates that the wave peaked at up to 90 feet high, the latest calculations put it at 78 feet. That's about a foot higher than the previously held record, set in 2008.

VIDEO: How Big Waves Are Measured

A Jet Ski towed McNamara into the wave off the coast of Nazaré. Most of the waves pouring in that day were 50 to 60 feet high. When McNamara caught the big one, he flew down its face in rapid flight from the crashing crest. "It kind of crumbled and landed on me — just landed right on my shoulder," McNamara told Outside magazine. "It felt like a ton of bricks."

Photo: YouTube screengrab

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