After recently having won the Pacifico Paddle Award and XXL Biggest Wave Award at the 2013 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards ceremony May 3rd at The Grove Theater in Anaheim, Guinness has certified Shawn Dollar’s 61-foot wave as the World Record for largest wave ever paddled into.
Dollar caught and surfed the wave without the assistance of jet skis on December 21, 2012 at Cortes Bank, an offshore reef in international waters 100 miles west of San Diego, California. The height of this giant surpassed all those caught within the last year. The wave’s face height measured 61 feet from trough to crest surpassing previous record holder Shane Dorian’s 57-foot ride at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii in 2011.
This is not Dollar’s first run in with the Guinness World Records. In 2010 caught and rode a 55-foot wave at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, California, which held the record until surpassed by Dorian’s.
Although Dollar once again holds the record for largest wave surfed using only human paddle power, Garret McNamara holds the Guinness World Record for surfing the largest (unlimited) by a tow-in from a jet ski.
In this video featuring his history-making ride, the Santa Cruz, California resident comments about Cortes Bank: “It’s the sketchiest wave I can think of. It’s huge, it’s in the middle of the ocean and it’s just not safe.” Although his first thought upon arriving at Cortes Bank and seeing the waves break was, “What am I doing?”, he recalls his thoughts step-by-step as he turned around to catch the biggest wave he had ever seen.