Former SURFER Editor/Author
Garrett McNamara

Garrett McNamara, on land.

The Inertia

“When Garrett made it back to the harbor everyone was congratulating him and telling him how big it was and through all of this the normally energetic and intense Garrett was rather subdued and quiet. This went on for a couple days and finally I asked what was going on. Simply, he said he didn’t know how big it was and he felt uncomfortable with everyone saying how big they thought it was. I decided on my own to send it to Sean Collins, the most respected Billabong XXL judge and the go to man for anything ocean related. Sean requested a high res photo of the wave. He did me the favor of getting out his digital ruler. He then emailed me stating that he estimated the wave to be 85- 90 feet.”

It was the town of Nazare’s decision to make the estimation public. Sean Collins’ learned estimation was then backed up by the Kinetics Institute for Body Movement, who used state of the art technology to measure the wave at three different times and locations on the face of the wave. They reported back with an average wave height of 28 meters – which pencils out to 91 feet 10.36 inches.”

Nicole Macias continues the story: “Even after Sean’s confirmation Garrett never claimed anything, all Garrett can be accused of is bringing surfing into the homes of hundreds of millions of people. His wave brought more exposure to surfing than any other surfing event or wave.”

However big it was, Garrett’s giant left at Praia do Norte is now a contender for the $50,000 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Award, and also the $15,000 First prize for the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave Award. One former Billabong XXL judge already estimated it to be 85-90 feet and XXL impresario Bill Sharp said: “The hype won’t factor in at all the in the measuring, it’s pretty cut and dried.  But it should add to the interest in the awards night I would imagine.”

We will have to wait and see what the other judges have to say on May 4th.

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