Patri McLaughlin: the kiteboarder rode a 72'4'' Guinness World Record wave at Jaws, Maui | Photo: Daniel Sullivan

Patri McLaughlin set a new Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever kitesurfed.

On January 22, 2023, the Hawaiian took his kite out at Jaws/Peahi in Maui and rode a wave measured at 72 feet and four inches (22.04 meters).

McLaughlin broke a record that belonged to the Portuguese rider Nuno "Stru" Figueiredo with a 62-foot (19-meter) wave ridden in 2018 at Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal.

The International Kitesurfing Association (IKA) officially measured and certified the wave, and the Guinness World Records approved the new mark.

"It was the biggest swell I've seen since I started kiting and surfing jaws 14 years ago," expressed Patri McLaughlin.

About four weeks before the swell, Patri ruptured his appendix and had emergency surgery in Canada.

"I spent two nights in the hospital, and I was supposed to take it easy. But when that swell popped up, it was such a rare swell that I couldn't miss it."

"There's a good chance that if I fell on a wave like that while recovering from a major operation, I could've been in serious trouble."

Patri McLaughlin: the Hawaiian broke the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever kitesurfed after rupturing his appendix | Photo: David Sullivan

Swell Chaser

McLaughlin rode a custom big-wave surfboard with a six-meter kite.

In his youth, the kiteboarder from Haiku, Maui, was obsessed with snowboarding, but his mother opted to spend the money a ski trip would cost to get him into a sport he could do at home.

Patri learned to ride a kite in 2002, aged 12, and soon he was already competing in the world kiteboarding tour.

Big waves got into his life in the mid-2010s with the help of kiteboarding judge Brad Price, who took him to Peahi for the first time.

The Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever kitesurfed was set on the last run of the day at Jaws.

McLaughlin shared the historical session with his friend Jesse Richman.

In the future, his dream is to chase big waves around the world and kite them.

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