Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed on Saturday, as judges at the World Surf League's Big Wave Awards in Santa Monica said that the wave Koxa surfed at Nazare, Portugal in November was 80 feet high.
Nazare is between major cities Lisbon and Porto and is known for its large waves off Portugal's Atlantic coast.
The previous record was 78 feet, set by American Garrett McNamara in 2011.
“I try to surf big waves all my life, and I had a huge experience in 2014 where I almost died at Nazaré,” Koxa said at the awards show. “Four months later, I had bad dreams, I didn’t travel, I got scared, and my wife helped me psychologically. Now, I’m just so happy, and this is the best day of my life. Thank you to WSL, it’s a dream come true.”
The group said it awards "the surfer who, by any means available, catches the biggest wave of the year. ... Not only did Koxa win this year's honor, but he now holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest wave surfed."