Taming An 86-Foot Monster Wave. German Surfer Gets Credit For Guinness World Record 18 Months After Setting It.

Sebastian Steudtner from Germany rides a wave during the Nazare Tow Surfing Challenge at Praia do Norte or North Beach in Nazare, Portugal, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

If you’re going to set the Guinness World Record for surfing the biggest wave ever, it helps to be fearless and patient. 

Sebastian Steudtner is a professional surfer from Germany who took a ride on a monster wave in Nazare, Portugal, back in October of 2020.  He knew it was big, and finally, 18 months later, he learned that it was confirmed as the largest wave ever sued. 

How big?  86 feet. Eclipsing the old record of 80 feet. 

It was a complicated process to determine just how big of a wave it was, and the man in charge of the analysis was an engineer named Adam Fincham. He decided to use Steudtner’s lower leg as a ruler because the lower leg cannot bend and is a fixed height. I guess that makes sense. 

Next, he took a trip to Nazare to meet with photographers who were there that day.  He analyzed their photos, and a year and a half after Steudtner surfed the wave, he found out he had made history. Is it the biggest wave anyone has ever surfed? Maybe, maybe not, according to what Fincham told the Washington Post.

“No one’s saying this is the biggest wave ever surfed in the world. It certainly might be, but this is the biggest certified wave. There may have been a bigger wave surfed; there’s just no photo of it.”

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.