Sebastian Steudtner surfing a wave at Praia do Norte in Nazare. File/ AFP
Germany’s Sebastian Steudtner is the new record holder for the biggest wave ever surfed, for an 86-foot (26.2-meter) breaking wave ridden on October 29, 2020 in Nazaré, central Portugal, the World announced on Tuesday.
Steudtner is the new record holder for the biggest wave ever surfed, the World Surf League (WSL) announced on Tuesday.
Certified by Guinness World Records, the feat of the 37-year-old surfer erases that of Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa, who had surfed a wave of 24.4 meters on November 8, 2017.
It was already at the Praia do Norte spot that the previous record was set in November 2011 by the American Garett McNamara, pioneer of XXL surfing in Nazaré.
The site has optimal characteristics for surfing giant waves due to the geological phenomenon called the “canyon of Nazaré” a fault at the bottom of the sea 170 km long and 5 km deep which propels the swell of the Atlantic Ocean towards the coast.
Each season, between autumn and winter, when a major swell hits the coast, extreme surfers converge on this fishing town to offer an extraordinary spectacle to a growing number of amateurs and passing tourists.
This day in October 2020 when Sebastian Steudtner obtained his record, a compact crowd had gathered at the foot of the Nazaré lighthouse and on the sides of the cliff which dominates the place. Due to the health restrictions in force at the time, the local authorities even had to limit spectator access.