Justine Dupont surfed "the greatest wave of her life" in Nazaré

November 15, 2019 | Surfing
Justine Dupont: riding the wave of her life at Praia do Norte | Photo: Riancho/Red Bull

French big wave surfer Justine Dupont is seen surfing a potentially record-breaking wave in Nazaré, Portugal.

On Wednesday, November 13, Dupont, 28, had spent the day in the cold water, surfing for hours on end. Seeing others heading back, she decided to try it one last time.

"We'd already been in the water for four hours. We were freezing and wanted to leave. Our mate Andre, who was on the cliff with the radio, told us a big set was coming," explains Dupont.

"We saw it and decided to stay a bit longer. As soon as Fred [her boyfriend Fred David, who was on a jet ski towing her] told me to go in the water, I saw the wave. It looked huge!"

"When I let go of the rope, I felt that I was going faster than usual. The GoPro flashed me at 66 kilometers per hour [41 miles per hour]. I was flying. My board felt amazing. The feeling of having something so huge behind my back was so weird."

"The shadow of the lip was far in front of me. I wanted to make it down the wave and ride it until the end so bad. I'm so stoked I made it. A mad, intense wave. The greatest wave of my life."

While this wave isn't officially measured yet, Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira still holds the record for the highest wave ever surfed by a woman with a 68-foot (20.72 meters) wave, which she surfed in October 2018.

Justine Dupont: is this the biggest wave of all time by a female surfer | Photo: Riancho/Red Bull

Big or the Biggest?

Surfing legend Garrett McNamara took to social media to ask the question.

"Looks like it might be the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman? The biggest wave of the day by everyone? The biggest wave of the year?" wrote the Hawaiian.

The official wave height is currently being determined to be a contender for a new world record for Dupont for the largest wave surfed by a female athlete.

Nevertheless, it is estimated to measure between 65 and 68 feet.

An experienced big wave surfer, Dupont admits that this type of wave is "hard to deal with." In fact, she's spent the last three winters in Nazaré, Portugal, to train specifically for it.

A special mention goes to her friend, Clément Nantes, who took care of her safety on the second jet ski. Nantes' presence enabled Dupont to feel more confident and ready to perform.

"The bigger the wave, the faster it goes, the more perturbations you face, the more time you spend in the air," she said.

"I'm so proud of our team and our evolution here in Nazaré. I can't wait to keep pushing our limits together. I don't know if it was a record, but it's definitely my personal record, and I'm really proud of it."

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