The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

VIDEO: Could It Be? American Claims To Have Surfed 100-Foot Wave

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:46 pm

An amazing headline, video and picture have been sailing across the Internet today: The American Garrett McNamara has surfed a 100-foot wave, breaking his previous world record.

The pictures and video are certainly impressive. Amazing, really:

As the Boston Globe reports, McNamara claims to have caught the wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal, the same place he caught a wave the Guinness World Record measured at 78-feet in 2011.

But as with all these things, the website Magic Seaweed, a surf forecasting site, urges caution.

First of all, about that 78-foot wave in 2011: McNamara claimed it was 90-feet.

Also, the website explains, measuring waves is really hard:

"This issue of wave height is a problem of perspective, angle and distance the judges at the XXL have to address every year when awarding the tallest wave gong. Bill Sharp, director of the XXL Awards told Grind 'The hard part isn't locating the top of the wave, it's finding the bottom of it, because that's the point where you start measuring from.

"'The challenge is photos and video can both be deceiving depending on the angle of the shot, the size of the lens used, and even stuff like mist and water color. We should be seeing video of it in the next week or so, and that will be a lot more revealing because it allows us to see where and when the surfer reaches the bottom.'"

But two things are certain, says Magic Seaweed: This was a huge wave. And if a 100-foot wave is ever going to be ridden, Nazaré is the place to do it.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.