Will Skudin: paddling into fear at Nazaré | Photo: Pedro Constantino/WSL

Will Skudin may have paddled into the biggest, and most critical wave ever at Praia do Norte, in Nazaré, Portugal.

Wave measuring is not a science. You can never accurately tell how big an ocean wave is, but you can definitely make comparisons. And the surfer from Long Beach, New York, has reasons to celebrate his latest feat.

With a huge North Atlantic swell hitting the local underwater canyon at the right angle, Will and his brother Cliff teamed up to deliver another winter gem. It's Nazaré at its best.

"It's so mysterious at Nazare. The big days sometimes look small and the small days look big. It's all how the water draws off the bottom. Will Skudin caught one of the biggest paddle waves I have ever seen, if not the biggest! Check out where the bottom of the white water is, and from there measure to the top of the lip," noted Garret McNamara.

"This paddle wave from Will Skudin is enormous! I wish I had the whole clip. He tries to pull out the back, as it's closing out and gets sucked over in the worst spot. Epic ride, Will!" added Shane Dorian.

The epic paddle ride at Nazaré ended up being one of Will's heaviest wipeouts of his life, too. But, apparently, the New Yorker managed to swim to shore and revealed he was as proud of swimming to the beach as he was of catching the wave.

It's understandable. At Nazaré, you've got to pay to play.