I knew when it picked me up that it was a massive wave. But then when I looked over the edge and saw how far I had to go down and how big the drop was, I was like, ‘Okay, this is the biggest wave you ever caught.’Australian surfer Laura Enever, who broke the world record for the “Largest Wave Surfed (Paddle)” by a female.
Why It Matters: Enever caught the 43.6-foot wave in January at Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii. A team of engineers and scientists spent the subsequent months analyzing video and photos of the wave to determine its height and whether Enever broke the previous record (held by surfer Andrea Moller who surfed a 42-foot wave in 2016). On November 8, the World Surf League certified the record.
Enever broke a paddle record, meaning she rode a smaller wave that did not require being towed into using a jet ski (unlike other massive waves that professional surfers reach via jet ski). Considering this, she said, “At the end of the day, paddle surfing is just you in the ocean and being out there. You don’t have that assistance from a jet ski and all that speed and power to tow you into the wave. It’s just all on you and your ocean knowledge. Obviously, there can be a bit of luck to it, but it’s just about connecting with the ocean that day and that time.”
She caught a ‘monster’ wave. Months later, she’s in the record books. (The Washington Post)
by Emily Hooker, based in Texas