Biggest wave ever surfed: 80 feet!

You might have heard that a Brazilian man set the world’s record for surfing on the biggest wave yet.  Have a gander at this video, which the Guinness World Record folk have certified as being the biggest wave successfully surfed. Their information:

Riding the waves is something millions of people love to do, but nobody has ridden a wave as big as Brazil’s Rodrigo Koxa.

The 38-year-old is now the official Guinness World Records title holder for the Largest wave surfed (unlimited) which measured 24.38 m (80 ft).

Koza rode the wave at Nazaré, Portugal, on 8 November 2017 but was awarded the Quiksilver XXL Biggest Wave award by the World Surf League (WSL) at an event in California, US, on Saturday 28 April.

Look at that monster! It must have been the ride of a lifetime!

The record-setter!

Rodrigo Koxa with his Quiksilver award. Copyright: World Surf League


  1. Robert Covey
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Have the Democrats worked on getting rights for using the video for their upcoming campaign materials?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I was going to ask, is this bigger than the blue wave coming?

  2. freiner
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m humming an Antonio Carlos Jobim song. Any guesses which one?

    • W.Benson
      Posted May 3, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink


      • freiner
        Posted May 3, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        No, that just describes my general way of being. Just as “Desifinado” describes my humming. I was more catching the “Wave.”

    • darrelle
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Have you ever listened to the album Elaine Elias Plays Jobim? Lovely album. She has some real heavy hitters playing with her.

      It was this album that she first sang on (just two of the tracks).

      • freiner
        Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Yes! And lovely it is the perfect description. I’m also great on Elis & Tom (Elis Regina and Jobim)from the early 70s. Goodness, that “Aguas de Marco”!

  3. Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Must be Cortez Bank, off San Diego.

    • simonchicago
      Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Read the caption: Nazaré, Portugal.

      • Posted May 4, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Yes, didn’t read closely! Just watched the video! I suppose all Yuge waves look pretty similar.

        The amazing thing to me is this (at Nazaré) is basically/nearly a shore break. Usually nothing this kind of size gets anywhere near shore.

  4. Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    The (excellent) movie Step Into Liquid has excellent footage of surfing Cortes Bank.

  5. simonchicago
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Not every ride is so smooth.

    (Seems it is less risky to ride a wave than to film someone riding a wave.)

  6. Posted May 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


  7. Craw
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    This is quite alarming. Is he Polynesian? He doesn’t look Polynesian. Does he identify as Polynesian? The cultural appropriation here is stark and terrible.

  8. Darren Garrison
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    (Keanu Reeves voice)He’s not coming back!(/Keanu Reeves voice)

  9. grasshopper
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Spot the surfer!

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    From a Guinness Records POV…

    How is the height of the wave measured?
    Or is it the surfer’s altitude that counts?

    How is a zero height wave established [tidal range is about 10 feet at the latitude of Portugal]

    • Posted May 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure which method these folks used to measure a wave (we used to questimate based on the size of the dude – or dudess), but back in the day some people measured wave height from the back (it’s still done this way in Hawaii, I think) while some measured from the front – top of crest to trough.

      If they method they used on that wave was the way they do in HI, that wave was gigantic! So I’m quite sure it’s the crest to trough method.

  11. KD33
    Posted May 3, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Koxa’s record is amazing. But big wave surfers generally acknowledge that bigger waves have been ridden. Garrett MacNamara has ridden a wave estimated at close to 100 feet in 2013. YT here:

    It was at the same location as the “official” WR, but it was not officially recognized since the video footage and other measures could not establish the size precisely enough. Those that were there say was little doubt though that that wave was the largest ridden to date.

    But not actually the most dangerous. Teahupoo in Tahiti is said to be the heaviest wave. I’d rather be eaten by the wave in Portugal than this one:

    It doesn’t crumble down the face; it drops several tons of water straight on your head, in water 3 feet deep right on the reef.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 4, 2018 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      According to Wikipedia a bigger wave has been claimed in January of this year, also at Nazare, of 35m (116 feet by my mental reckoning). Either way, it’s huge.

      But I agree, that Teahupoo footage looks even more scary. ‘Several’ tons of water is an understatement.


  12. Joe
    Posted May 4, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    No one has commented on the incredible innumerancy in this Guiness BoR report: a wave height of 2438 cm, four significant digits, “to the nearest cm” (about a third of an inch). Ridiculous. Perhaps the original estimate was 80 ft, a little odd for Portugal. Unless qualified (error bars?), 80 means closer to 80 than to 70 or 90, one s.d., and translates to 20 m. There are ways to say, “measured to the nearest foot”, now translating to 24 m.

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