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All About Portugal | March 3, 2021

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McNamara wave on Nazare, measured 111.5 feet (34m)!

Biggest surfed wave in the world with 111 feet, in Nazare, Portugal
Clara Campos

McNamara wave on Nazare, measured 111.5 feet according to the measurements of the wave made by Portuguese experts from Lisbon’s Faculty of Human Motricity.

McNamara wave on Nazare, measured 111.5 feet (34m)reported Portuguese press, namely the TV station SIC Notícias and the Diário de Notícias newspaper.

Both sources based the information on a computer measurement made by Portuguese specialists from Faculdade de Motricidade de Lisboa (Lisbon’s Faculty of Human Motricity).

If American experts confirm this result after analyzing the wave, then last Monday, Jan. 28th, Garret McNamara has achieved a new world record for surfing the biggest wave ever ridden. Let me just remind you that he already held the previous record which he was at 78ft (24m). The 2011 record was also established at Praia do Norte, the famed beach of Nazaré Canyon.

The North Canyon Project

Garrett McNamara was invited by the Town Hall of Nazaré, to know and explore its waves. The project was called The North Canyon Project and one of its goal was to understand Nazaré sea potentialities, which are unique for being under the influence of the Canyon of Nazaré, a geomorphological undersea phenomenon that allows such outstanding waves.

North Canyon Project presentation video

Garret McNamara

Garret McNamara was born in Pittsfield, Massachusets in 1967, far away from the ocean. However, in 1978 he moved to Hawaii where surf charmed his entire family. He started at the age of eleven following the footsteps of his older brother Liam McNamara.

In the early 1990’s McNamara was one of the first surfers to join Tow surfing. It was then he started chasing down and catching giant waves all over the world.

And since then McNamara has achieve incredible deeds. In 2007, along with his partner Keali’I Mamala he was the first to surf tidal waves formed by 300 ft (91m). calving glaciers in South-Central Alaska.

A few years before, in 2003 he almost died in Jaws when he caught a 20 ft. wave.

Yet his most famed achievement – at least until last Monday – happened in November 2011 at Nazaré, when he entered the Guiness World Records after catching a 78 ft (24m). wave.


Nazaré is fishing town located about an hour and a half from Lisbon, in the Oeste region. It is worldwide famed for the surf conditions it offers. Surfers came here in search of high breaking waves formed due to the underwater Nazaré North Canyon.

Where is Nazare?

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Praia do Norte, Nazaré: 39.616667, -9.083333

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