A Brazilian surfer has secured a sensational Guinness World Record after conquering an 80-foot wave in truly astonishing circumstances.
Rodrigo Koxa bagged the World Surf League’s Biggest Wave Award and a $25,000 cash prize after taking on the mother of all swells at Portugal’s Nazare break.
The record-breaking ride took place in November of last year but has resurfaced in the wake of the award win. Footage of Koxa’s triumph was even uploaded to YouTube and makes for an jaw-dropping watch.
“The award goes to the surfer who, by any means available, catches the biggest wave of the year,” a statement read. “Not only did Koxa win this year’s honor, but he now holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed.”
Koxa beat the record previously set by Garrett McNamara, who tackled a big wave coming in at 78 feet back in 2011 at Nazare. But that only tells half the story. As it turns out, Koxa was almost killed at that very same spot in Nazare, back in 2014.
A popular spot for thrill-seeking surfers, the region has very high breaking waves as a result of the underwater Nazare Canyon, which creates constructive interference between incoming swell waves which tends to make the waves much larger
“I try to surf big waves all my life and I had a huge experience in 2014 where I almost died at Nazaré,” Koxa revealed to The Inertia. “For months later, I had bad dreams, I didn’t travel, I got scared, and my wife helped me psychologically. Now, I’m just so happy and this is the best day of my life.”
The other notable winner of the night was British surfer Andrew Cotton – though it wasn’t necessarily for the reasons he would have hoped. Cotton took home the award for Wipeout of the Year, following this astonishing effort, which also came at Nazare just a day after Koxa set the new record.
Both he and Koxa will be back on their boards, aiming to set new records, soon enough though.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.