- 10 January 2015 | Surfing
Benjamin Sanchis may have ridden the biggest wave of all time, at Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal. On the 11th December, 2014, the Frenchman surfed a 108-foot wave (33 meters). Did he beat Garrett McNamara's Guinness World Record?
If you want to ride the largest waves on Planet Earth, you've got to travel to and challenge Praia do Norte and its powerful underwater canyon. Sanchis, though, is not new in the Nazare lineup. He's been learning, and he's made it.
"We got out around 10 o'clock with all the crew, and I catch a really nice wave to start. But then I lose my board straight away, and it took me three hours to make it back to the harbour," explains Sanchis.
"When we finally got out again, the spot completely changed. It picked up a lot, the wind got stronger, the rip [current] also, and it was like crazy, tricky conditions."
"I am really happy I'm still alive. In the first bump, I kept going but the wave didn't let me go all the way down, because it was too steep. Then a few seconds later I fell, and I saw that massive wall of water coming around all over me and I realized I was in the craziest, giant tube I've ever seen."
"Sancho" comes from Hossegor, just 20 kilometers away from the French surf town of Biarritz, in the southwest region of Aquitaine. Fear is not his middle name. In the last years, he has been chasing the most important swells of the decade. Nazaré proved to be his ultimate playground. Even if that particular wave almost killed him.
"I went over the falls and kept in the water forever. The wave let me take a short breath before the second one came and destroyed me again. For those moments, I train boxing because I know I am going to get hit," concludes Benjamin Sanchis.
The 100-foot mark may have been broken. What's next? Learn more about the mechanics of the Nazaré Canyon wave.