How Are The Biggest Waves on Earth? Garrett McNamara Rides 90 Foot Wave

giant wave garrett mcnamara
Garrett McNamara – Photograph: Tó Mané/Barcroft Media

Are you a sea lover? What exactly do you like most? Someone goes for the beach or for the nightlife and pretty encounters, others for the water. What’s your main attraction instead?

Whatever is your aim, it’s undoubted that water is attractive to anyone. You may wish to swim, fish, ride a watercraft or surf. That’s in this last case that waves play the biggest and most essential role. How big was the last wave you saw in your life? In this video you will see the biggest wave you may have ever seen in the world, but it’s not an Apocalypse scene from the last expensive Hollywood movie. This is a real massive wall of water in front to which humans are just defenceless ants.

In a previous article, we explained how humans can take advantage of waves and exploit them to produce energy. Today we will show you how humans can use them as a source of entertainment and what a man is capable of with the biggest one.

Would you like a little background about sea waves? They are formed due to continuous motion of water combined with the gravitational forces of the sun and the moon, and the blowing winds. But they are not all the same and we can distinguish up to 11 kinds of waves.

garret mcnamara and big wave
Garrett McNamara – photo: YouTube
  • Breaking Waves
  • Deep Water Waves/Swell Waves
  • Destructive/Plunging Waves
  • Inshore Waves
  • Internal Waves
  • Kelvin Waves
  • Progressive Waves
  • Refracted Waves
  • Shallow Water Waves
  • Spilling Waves/Constructive Waves
  • Swell Waves/Surging Waves

You can know more reading this Comprehensive List of Different Types of Sea Waves.

Among all of them there is the “Queen”, the “Big Mama”, described as the largest wave ever surfed. It’s been spotted in Nazaré, Portugal in 2013: a 90-foot monster wave nobody would dare to surf…except the Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara.

garrett mcnamara surfer
Garrett McNamara – Courtesy Portugal Press

Nazaré is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Silver Coast/Costa de Prata, Portugal. Its giant waves are generated by factors peculiar to that part of the European coast. “You get big storms in the North Atlantic in the wintertime that push swells toward Europe” says Sklut, who is himself a surfer. But the real booster is a deep canyon that points like an arrow toward the town, creating the ideal conditions for the biggest waves. In 2013 McNamara set a new world record there – surpassing himself and his previous record in 2011 – by riding a supposed 90-foot giant wave. See him in action on this amazing video.

Would you like to learn what’s a good surfing wave? This article may help you understand better what’s the ideal wave for any surfer.

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