Praia do Norte: small waves, some say

The controversy over Garrett McNamara's 2013 wave in Nazaré has reached new heights, as an oceanographer with NOAA says it is "clearly well under 100 feet" and spectators confirm it was bigger that the one surfed in 2011.


On the 28th January 2013, Garrett McNamara was towed into a giant massive wall of water. Again. The picture taken by Tó Mané ran the world and was featured in the world's largest newspapers.

SurferToday.com raised the question. Has Garrett McNamara ridden the 100-foot wave in Nazaré? In America, the most relevant surf media institutions were quiet. Nothing had happened in the small Portuguese town of Nazaré. It was just another wave.

Now, the Garrett McNamara's latest wave is getting bigger attention because it may not be the 100-foot everyone dreamed of. Why? The ultimate giant wave shall be scored in America.

Other sources have direct and straight analysis. Pat Caldwell, a friend of McNamara's and an oceanographer with NOAA, believes "the breaker is clearly well under 100 feet. The wave behind him is bigger".

"If that wave was a 'clean-up', a rare roughly 90-foot breaker could have formed given the offshore swell characteristics that day. It would have taken lots of luck to be at the right spot at the right moment", Pat Caldwell adds in an email sent to US News.

Local surfers, surf fans, photographers, videographers and surf specialists who watched the wave ridden on the 28th January 2013, at Praia do Norte, still considered it to be a bigger wave than the one ridden in 2011, even having in consideration the cliff angle. The heat is on.

What is really interesting is that those who defended the Guinness World Record held by Mike Parsons, at Cortes Bank, are the ones who now say that wave height analysis should be made by surfers. Surfing sells, indeed.

Discover how waves tend to be measured in surfing.