Pedro Levi: the Portuguese is chasing a Guinness World Record for the largest bodyboarding wave ever ridden.

Pedro Levi is on a mission to ride the biggest wave of all time on a bodyboard.

He's been doing it for over a decade, and it seems he will only stop once he's been awarded the Guinness World Record (GWR).

Pedro Levi is a veteran bodyboarder from Portugal who competed in the national circuit.

But his passion for huge waves has taken over his drive to the point that, a few years ago, he had to develop his own air chamber-style life vest.

Garrett McNamara started calling me "Patagonia Boy."

The truth is that no investment has been made in big wave bodyboarding equipment, and the requirements are specific compared to traditional surfing.

For instance, the bodyboard used in extreme conditions differs from regular boards.

Due to the bumps that cause bodyboarders to jump, lose control, and wipe out, the rider found that heavier boards with shock absorption and memory characteristics can better withstand high speeds.

While Pedro Levi tests the equipment that works and doesn't work in both paddle-in and tow-in mode, he's chasing the largest waves he can find.

Pre-2011 Nazaré: The Bodyboarders' Kingdom

Let's not forget that the mammoth waves of Nazaré were first tamed by bodyboarders way before the stand-up surfing euphoria.

In 2005, local boogie rider Dino Casimiro sent Garrett McNamara a series of emails showcasing the quiet fishing town's potential.

They included words and photos of some unridden beasts detonating at Praia do Norte.

The first ever wave-riding big wave competition held at Praia do Norte was the 2003 Sumol Nazaré Special Edition.

The invitational bodyboarding contest ran for over ten years, with Mike Stewart, for instance, winning the event in 2009.

Despite the waves' size, the exploration of Nazaré's big wave surfing only took off after McNamara's 2011 Guinness World Record.

Since then, bodyboarders have been somehow sidelined and never quite got the media exposition and recognition they deserve.

Pedro Levi: a big wave bodyboarder with a vivid dream | Photo: Above Creators

The Big Wave Bodyboarding Guinness World Record

Bodyboarders were the Nazaré pioneers, and Pedro Levi wants everyone to remember it.

The Portuguese is close to getting his name etched in the Guinness World Records book for the biggest wave ever ridden on a bodyboard.

The proof is in "Nazaré vs. Bodyboard," a video featuring Levi's daring runs at the world's biggest wave.

The Above Creators online production is part of a broader series titled "Orgulhosamente Rastejante" ("Proudly a Crawler").

The third episode showcases one of Pedro's largest rides at Nazaré.

"In 2021, I caught a 14,87-meter wave acclaimed by the bodyboarding community as the biggest in the world so far," Levi wrote.

"However, GWR defined the minimum of 18 meters to be official in this application."

"Probably, they don't know how much harder it is to ride a giant wave, bigger than 10 meters, for example, on a bodyboard."

"Bodyboarders ride prone, so they cannot use the legs and knees to absorb the speed impacts while riding at high speed like surfers do."

Pedro Levi, who has bipolar disorder, is also raising awareness for mental health issues.

The goal is to show that it is possible to do great things, even if you live with a mental health condition, and to encourage people to talk
about it, seek help, and embrace treatment.

Levi served as a lifeguard for nine years.

He is a surfing instructor and guide. He has a local skipper's license, a jet ski piloting course, and tow-in and surf rescue training.

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