Up until this week the biggest wave ever surfed was right here in Southern California, believe it or not.
While SoCal beaches don't exactly comprise a big-wave Mecca, sometimes the spot known as Cortes Bank, 105 miles from San Diego, produces monsters. San Clemente's Mike Parsons set the biggest-wave-ever-surfed record there in 2008.
Now that benchmark was surpassed by only a foot or so:
Guinness World Records this week confirmed that a wave ridden by Hawaii's Garrett McNamara in November qualifies him as the new record-holder.
That ride also nabbed him the Biggest Wave trophy at last week's Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards in Orange County.
One caveat, however:
Garrett's was a tow-in wave, meaning that he was pulled into the wave via jet ski; he didn't paddle into it. Paddling into big waves is a whole notha story. But giants of this size are nearly impossible to catch via human power.
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The record-breaker, unfortunately for us, was in Nazaré, Portugal.
Guinness calls it 78 feet.
We think Cortes Bank has the potential to take the record back for the West Coast. Maybe next winter.