World record big wave surfer Garrett McNamara

Workouts Nick Hutchings
28 Nov 2011
Garret McNamara | Men's Fitness UK

McNamara recently set a new world record for the biggest wave surfed (90ft). Check out our interview with him.

How different did this wave feel from the other big waves you’ve ridden?
It pretty much felt the same. The only difference was it took a little longer to get down the face. I usually don’t look back and on this wave I had time to look back twice.
 
Did it feel 90ft?
All I know is towards the end of the wave some white water landed on my shoulders and it felt like a tonne of bricks, there was so much power. That’s when I knew the wave was big.
 
Did you have any hairy moments during the ride?
Nothing out of the ordinary! I am definitely glad I made it.

What’s the biggest wave you’d ridden before this?

Probably somewhere between 60 and 70 feet.
 
What’s the biggest you’ve paddled into?
Around 50ft.
 
How much bigger do you think man can go and waves can get?
Maybe around 140ft.
 
What kind of off-board training do you do to prepare yourself for big wave riding?
Bikram yoga, running, breath-holding exercises and [stand up paddle] SUP surfing.
 
What kit essentials do you take with you on every surf?
A tube of the best sunscreen, Raw Elements, Donjoy knee brace and my GoPro cameras.

What’s the worst slam you’ve taken while surfing?

I would have to say Tahiti for physical damage, it pretty much ripped all the skin off my leg, and maybe my last session in Fiji for oxygen deprivation.
 
How scared did you get while riding this specific wave and big waves in general?
I haven’t really been scared since I went to Alaska and sat 50ft from a 300ft tall glacier waiting for pieces to break off and create a wave. I will never do that again!
 
How do you deal with that fear?
Some people say Fear Everything And Run, I like to say Feel Everything And Resolve.
 
Now check out this sick video of McNamara riding 90 feet of extremely angry water. And for more extreme sports stories, subscribe to Men's Fitness.

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