Garrett McNamara Talks About His World Record Breaking 90 ft Wave Ride (Exclusive Video)
It’s looking like Garrett McNamara broke a world record when he rode a ninety foot wave in Portugal two days ago. He called in to talk to Ron Bennington about it today on the Ron and Fez Show on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Ron Bennington: Garrett how are you buddy?
Garrett McNamara: I’m good. Luckily I’m still here on earth!
Ron Bennington: In hindsight, was this a really bad idea now that you think about it?
Garrett McNamara: No, it was pretty comfortable for me. That’s where I feel like I belong, in the ocean with giant waves.
Ron Bennington: How does one work their way up to a ninety foot wave. When did you say I can ride the big ones?
Garrett McNamara: I was about 17 when I first got the passion to ride big waves, and then at about 22 it evolved into giant waves. And I’m 44 now so …it took awhile.
Ron Bennington: But even after 20 years, you see a ninety foot wave, and you’re scared to death…
Garrett McNamara: I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t afraid at all. Not one single bit on that wave…because I didn’t realize it was ninety feet.
Ron Bennington: Dude, I’m scared looking at the YouTube of this. It’s frightening.
Garrett McNamara: Yea I think its more frightening looking at it than it was riding it.
Ron Bennington: Now did you have to be towed into that wave? How did you get out there?
Garrett McNamara: We got towed from a jet ski.
Ron Bennington: And then, that has to be precision right?
Garrett McNamara: Yes, you’ve got to be working like a well oiled machine when the ocean’s that ferocious. I mean, it can be heaven or it can quickly be hell.
Ron Bennington: And that guy, that jet skier, where is he once you take off on the wave?
Garrett McNamara: He turns out the back, and then you go down and he follows you. If you make it, then he’s right there to get you. If you eat it, then he’s got to try to find you, and hope that he can find you before it’s too late.
Ron Bennington: That’s just frightening, this is madness. Now to break the record by..what was it thirteen feet?
Garrett McNamara: Whew I don’t know. They’re calling it that big.
Ron Bennington: They’re saying its a ninety foot wave. Now, at a certain point, we’ve got to say this is as big as anyone can possibly ride. You can’t get much bigger than this.
Garrett McNamara: Only mother nature can produce a bigger one– but the conditions aren’t really ideal once it gets so big. Usually you have a storm with it so it’s kind of an impossible ride. But if everything comes together, and its glassy and giant, I don’t know if there’s a limit.
Ron Bennington: And you’re saying, you were feeling calm the whole time this happening?
Garrett McNamara: On that wave, all the way till it hit me on my shoulders at the end. It hit me pretty hard. And that’s when it kind of brought me to reality that woah, this is a powerful monster behind me.
Ron Bennington: And this is just the spray coming off that hits you.
Garrett McNamara: Yea, a really minor small part of the wave.
Ron Bennington: And it just feels like you got drilled?
Garrett McNamara: Ton of bricks on my shoulder.
Ron Bennington: So this isn’t it for you. You’re still going to be looking for those big waves.
Garrett McNamara: Yea, I wasn’t really looking for a ninety footer. There’s all these guys looking for this hundred footer, and I don’t have any interest in a hundred footer either. I’m looking for a hundred twenty that way there’s no doubt about it. (laughs)
Ron Bennington: Hey Garrett, I understand you’re involved with some charity stuff you’d like to talk about.
Garrett McNamara: Oh wow, awesome, yea, we’ve been working with Surfer’s Healing, it’s a foundation that takes autistic children surfing. We take a day and go to these remote locations around the United States. We actually have one in Cabo, but mostly Virginia, New York, California. And we dedicate the day to autistic children and their families. We take the kids surfing. And some of them…it changes them. There are kids that have never smiled, that are all of a sudden smiling. There’s kids who have never even spoken a word– they’re speaking. It’s so overwhelming the joy that we get, from seeing the family so happy to see their child surf, and actually changing a child’s life. It’s amazing. If there’s anyone out there that has an autistic child, or a family or a friend, please tell them to look up Surfer’s Healing and come to our event. It’s free, and it’s for them and their families and friends.
Ron Bennington: Now what do you think it is about the wave that they’re reacting to?
Garrett McNamara: Autism is kind of…there’s a sensory overload. And once they are on the surfboard, they’re confined to that. Their parameters are just the board. So they can’t get off the board, they don’t have anywhere to go. And all of a sudden, the salt water, and the smells and it’s all so beautiful. Somehow it changes them. I don’t know why or how but it changes them.
Ron Bennington: That’s amazing stuff. Well Garrett again, congratulations buddy. It’s just phenomenal.
Garrett McNamara: Alright thank you. We’ll be in Montauk and Rhode Island, and Long Beach this summer so maybe I’ll come check you guys out if I get a chance.
Ron Bennington: Congratulations.
Thank you to Jennifer and everyone at www.rawelementsusa.com for sending us this new incredible HD footage video of the his record breaking ride. Check it out.