Guinness World Records can confirm that Garrett McNamara has entered the record books for surfing the largest ever wave.

The extreme waterman and ocean explorer's managed to surf a mammoth 78-foot wave last November at Nazaré, Portugal, a feat which has now been ratified by GWR after examining evidence.

The Hawaiian 44-year-old's epic ride, which required him to be towed into the wave from a jetski, beats a record set by Mike Parsons at Cortes Bank in southern California, in 2008 by over a foot.

Garrett, a professional big wave surfer for the Body Glove International team, is part of an elite group that travels the world chasing storms and tracking swells in an effort to surf the largest waves.

In the past he has ridden breaks such as Waimea in Oahu, Mavericks in California and Todos Santos in Mexico.

Describing the record breaking wave ride, Garrett said: "It's the most challenging, dangerous wave I've ever surfed - it's the only place in the world in which a giant canyon reaches all the way to the beach".

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Among those to congratulate Garrett on his achievement was Jorge Barroso, mayor of the town of Nazaré. In a personal e-mail to Garrett he said, " It's an honour to work with you, for your determination, strength and courage that you put in your quest for perfection!!! A little bit like Nazare, your home away from home, and our people that have you as an example."

The record for largest wave surfed (paddle-in) remains held by Shane Dorian, who managed to successfully ride a wave measured at measured 57ft (17.4 m) in height without a tow at a break known as 'Jaws' off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, USA in March last year.

To learn more about Garrett and his other missions visit