It’s a given that people will push the physical boundaries and limits of what this world has to offer. Surfing is no exception.
As the start of the big wave season approaches we thought now would be a good time to check out the current world record holders and the colossal waves they rode.
Male record holder for largest wave surfed (Unlimited) - 80 feet (24.3 meters)
Rodrigo Koxa - Nazare, Portugal.
Rodrigo ‘Koxa’ Augusto’s is the current world record holder, after a record-breaking ride at Nazare, Portugal. On November 8th, 2017, Koxa, a Brazilian big wave surfer who grew up on the beaches of Guaruja, was towed into the largest wave ever surfed. Topping out at 80 feet, which is like surfing down an 8-story building. This ride saw Koxa take out the world record.
Female record holder for largest wave surfed (Unlimited) - 68 feet (20.7 meters)
Maya Gabeira - Nazare, Portugal
Brazilians and big wave surfing seem to go hand in hand; Maya Gabeira, who hails from Rio De Janeiro, also conquered a titanic wave at Nazare. Nazare has great significance for Gabeira, after a near death experience in 2013 during a wipe out. Gabeira didn't let this set her back and on January 18th, 2018 Gabeira was towed into the 68-foot moving mountain, which remains the largest wave ever surfed by a female. She continues to tackle colossal swells around the world which is a testament to her courage.
Male record holder for largest wave paddled into and surfed - 63 feet (19.2 meters)
Aaron Gold - Jaws, Maui, Hawaii
Aaron Gold is another big wave surfer who’s had a serious brush with death. He was pulled from the water and revived at Cloudbreak in Fiji, after wiping out in May 2015. However, that certainly hasn’t daunted Gold, as he conquered a 63-foot wave at Jaws in his native Hawaii, in January 2016. This remains the largest wave ever paddled into. An impressive comeback.
Female record holder for largest wave paddled into and surfed - 42 feet (12.8 meters)
Andrea Moller - Jaws, Maui, Hawaii
Again, in January 2016, Andrea Moller (the third Brazilian record holder on this list… I’m noticing a theme here) set the record for the largest wave ever paddled into by a female, also at Jaws, Hawaii. She paddled and dropped into a 42-foot monster. Her record still stands and is yet to be topped.
We will have to wait to see if this list of current world record holders still hold their big wave records after the coming big wave season... who knows maybe we could see that elusive 100ft wave conquered.