Shawn Dollar: big wave warrior

Shawn Dollar's history-making wave at Cortes Bank was estimated by experts to be 61 feet in height, a new paddle world record.

The surfer from Santa Cruz scored an incredible wave ride at Cortes Bank, the legendary seamount and mega-wave magnet located 100 miles southwest of Los Angeles.

Dollar previously set the world paddle-in record of 57 feet at Mavericks, in Northern California, in 2010, only to have Dorian snatch the spot in the record books in 2011 with a 58 footer at Jaws.

"Is this really happening? Are we really paddling into waves bigger than what we used to tow? It's surreal, it's such an honor. This is what I'm passionate about, I'm as big a fan as anyone - to be the guy that set the record?", asks Dollar.

"Phenomenal. Stoked. Over the moon. 61 feet? It's hard to put numbers on those things, but it was the biggest wave I've ever seen in my life", he added.

Shawn Dollar says he was "absolutely scared to death. I thought I was toasted, I thought it was going to break on my head. 100 miles out to sea... It was worst case scenario type stuff".

The record breaker dedicated his wave to fallen big wave surfer and friend, Sion Milosky, who drowned at Mavericks in March 2011.

"Death and drowning are absolutely prevalent. I've seen people die out there with me. It's the real deal out there. I've kissed the ground when I've come in".

Nazaré probably is the most powerful beach break. The Portuguese big wave surfing spot is as exciting as it will test your limits - as a surfer and as a human being.

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