Monster ride: Surfer catches 'world's biggest wave'
January 30, 2013 -- Updated 0739 GMT (1539 HKT)
- Garret McNamara's wave believed to be 100 feet high
- Small Portuguese fishing village has some of the world's most dangerous surf
- Giant swells generated by unique deep water canyons
(CNN) -- He is but a dot in the ocean, gathering speed and rapidly rising as a mammoth wall of water expands below and behind him.
Simultaneously fearsome and awesome, this may be the moment Hawaiian rider Garret McNamara on Monday broke his own record for the largest wave ever surfed.
Caught off the coast of the small fishing village of Nazaré, Portugal, the monster wave was reported to be more than 100 feet high, or 30.5 meters.
Anderson Cooper interviews McNamara
"It was just this endless drop and my feet were popping out of the straps," McNamara told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It was like my whole body was shattering. It was really difficult."
If accurate, the wave towers over his 2011 surf of a 78-footer (24 meter) at the same location. Nazaré officials have requested an impartial verification of a possible new world record.
Thanks to one of the only deep water canyons in the world that connects to shore, Praia do Norte -- the north beach of Nazaré -- sees abnormally large waves.
McNamara: "One of the hardest, longest drops."
A group of extreme surfers descended on the Portugal coast this past week, providing some amazing experiences for onshore observers and some very social media-friendly video and photos.
McNamara was first invited by the Nazaré Town Hall in 2010 as part of a three-year project to explore the local coast's unique geomorphic phenomenon and to bring more awareness to the area as a destination for big-wave enthusiasts.
Though onlookers were spellbound by McNamara's ride, the surfer said he didn't get that much of a rush.
"I don't know what's wrong with me. There's definitely something wrong," McNamara said in his interview with Cooper.
Part of complete coverage on
April 13, 2014 -- Updated 2209 GMT (0609 HKT)
What's New York's most popular attraction? Which world city gets photographed the most? Answers are revealed by a new photo-tagging ranking.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
The lessons we learned and changes we made as a result of previous airline accidents.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Bontá mia! An Australian chef takes home top honors at the Pizza World Championships in Italy.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
Easter break packing tip: pants with elastic waistbands.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
Thailand is now celebrating Songkran, the Thai new year. But along with the watery revelry come deadly roads.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1223 GMT (2023 HKT)
Inspired by the Masters? Playing these courses will make you feel like a pro, even if you don't swing like one.
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 0730 GMT (1530 HKT)
A mother-of-two explains how to fly with kids without making everyone else on the plane hate you.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 0049 GMT (0849 HKT)
As the new season of "Game of Thrones" approaches, we pick out 20 stunning spots in one of its most oft-used locations.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
They're hot, they're popular, they're stylish. Now they're your tour guides to Italy's fashion capital.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
A quarter of the year's flown by, it's time to plan a vacation. TripAdvisor's list of Top Destinations should help.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0523 GMT (1323 HKT)
You may not have those $10 Heinekens and $6 bags of M&M's to kick around anymore. Happy now?
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 0725 GMT (1525 HKT)
Japan isn't a country to which you just show up and wing it. Here's how to arrive prepared.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
The Economist is latest to dogpile on the reputation of U.S. airports; one industry leader says he knows why.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 0623 GMT (1423 HKT)
Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve gave out bags of mountain air to Chinese residents. After seeing these photos, you'll want some too.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
Forget space. Our very own planet is ripe for investigation. Here are some of the spots we know least about.
Today's five most popular stories