The Inertia

Big wave surfing is not for everybody. But, hunters of the big blue are a special breed and personalities like Garrett McNamara make for a fascinating story — one that even the land-locked masses can get on board with.

I tuned in to the latest episode of “60 Minutes” to catch McNamara in the spotlight, beaming about what drives him to take on the impossible. The perfect backdrop for his story: Nazaré.

During the segment led by reporter Anderson Cooper, the viewer is easily drawn into the spectacle via gonzo GoPro POV film footage and other awe-inspiring wide angles of McNamara’s exploits at Portugal’s deep-water colossus and some other big wave magnets where he’s made his mark. However, most striking about the interview is simply listening to McNamara and watching his eyes light up when chronicling what it feels like getting tossed about by Mother Nature during his wildest wipeouts. He describes the out-of-control feeling with glee, much to Cooper’s disbelief. To some degree, those who surf know exactly what he’s talking about — no matter the size waves they ride (or don’t ride). We all have things that challenge, inspire and make us “feel alive.”

On a separate note, watching CBS’ Cooper trying to outrun a 30-foot Nazaré dribbler on a jet ski with McNamara at the helm was pretty entertaining, too. Thanks for the ride, guys.


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