Rodrigo Koxa riding the biggest wave ever surfed, on Nov. 8, 2017, off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal
© Pedro Cruz/AP Phot
Big wave hunters watch Nazaré. Big wave hunters watch Nazaré
Today's image captures Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa in action, surfing a record 80-foot wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal. Nazaré began attracting surfers to the area in the 1960s and has since become a major destination for men and women who want to surf some of the world's biggest waves. Nazaré's Praia do Norte (North Beach) is the site of the two latest records for largest wave ever surfed. The previous record was set by American Garrett McNamara on Nov. 1, 2011, when he rode a 78-foot wave here. Then, on Nov. 8, 2017, Koxa set a new record with this ride.
Surfers' ability to catch these giant waves is a relatively new accomplishment that's made possible by using a watercraft, usually a Jet Ski or a helicopter, to tow a surfer into the wave. This time of year, with the return of the big-wave season, surfers from around the world are descending on this seaside town with their support teams. Together, they anxiously await the optimal conditions required to create these monster waves, hoping for an opportunity to test their skills and see their names added to the record book.