Hawaiian Surfer Garrett McNamara's 78-foot Monster Wave Ride Makes Guinness Book of World Records

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Last November we told you about Garrett McNamara, the Hawaiian surfer who caught a gigantic wave off the coast of Praia do Norte, Portugal (at the time, it was believed to be 90-feet, it's since been lowered a bit to 78-feet tall).

Now, the 44-year old has official claim to having surfed the biggest wave ever as he's been immortalized in the Guinness Book of World Records. He beat the previous record by a foot.

BBC Newsreports that the monster wave was located above an underwater canyon that's famous for generating these water titans. McNamara told the Associated Press he didn't even want to surf that day, but his friends persuaded him into catching a few waves.

McNamara has also been awarded $15,000 for his achievement at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in California. The judges for the awards calculated the height of the wave by comparing McNamara's height in a crouch, and the length of his shin bone, with the wave's top and bottom.

ESPN.com details how the video we provided above shows the 5-foot-10 McNamara against the wall of water while he lets go of a tow rope and rides down the face of the wave.

The event director of the Billabong Big Wave Awards, Bill Sharp, told the AP that a surfer getting a chance to catch a wave that big is extremely rare, and put McNamara's pulling it off on the same level as a professional baseball player hitting four home runs in a game--which happened this week for Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"But add to that fact that the stadium could collapse on you at any second," Sharp said.

For our article on the new documentary "Splinters" about the surfers of Papa New Guinea, click here.