There was a story on 60 Minutes Sports last night that featured surfer Garrett McNamara‘s ride in late January of a wave outside of a small fishing village in Portugal that may have been 100 feet tall, a world record when and if it is certified by the Guinness people. McNamara already held the world record for riding the largest wave, a mere 78 footer. But this is a one of a kind monster. If you’ve never seen the ocean or seen much more than a small swell, it may be hard to imagine how big a wave we’re talking about here. It is awe inspiring and to think that someone would look out at this moving mountain of mayhem that is breaking so close to the shore and think that they might want to put themselves out in it seems like madness.
And maybe it is. But I have to admit to being envious of the guts and ability of the big wave riders, the guys who take on the challenge of these wave behemoths that other world class surfers would run from. To put yourself at the mercy of nature’s fury on such a grand scale is truly elemental. I could sit and watch these guys all day, captivated by the way they dart across the waves.
Here’s a video that I showed about four years ago that feature the penultimate surf song, Pipeline, from the Chantays. The setting for the video is a bit odd, however. It’s hard to imagine this music that symbolizes the wildness of the surf culture on The Lawrence Welk Show but here it is. It adds to the kitsch factor.