Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle catches 100-foot wave off Portugal

A screen grab shows Carlos Burle potentially riding the biggest wave in the history of tow-in...

A screen grab shows Carlos Burle potentially riding the biggest wave in the history of tow-in surfing.

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

The waves off the coast of Navare, Portugal, are among the biggest in the world.

Like, dangerously big – and with enough force to knock surfers unconscious if they happen to take a wrong step, or turn at the wrong moment.

Less than a year after American surfer Garrett McNamara unofficially caught a 100-foot wave off the Portuguese coast, Brazilian Carlos Burle looks to have shattered McNamara’s official record of 78 ft., a mark McNamara set in 2011.

At a competition Monday, initial estimates put Burle’s wave at more than 100 ft., a mark that would set a new world record for tow-in surfing.

“It was a mix of good timing, fate and all that stuff together. I caught the last wave of the day,” Burle told Stab Magazine after arriving back on shore.

“(The wave) went on forever. I didn’t just race for the shoulder you know, I wanted to surf the wave properly,” Burle continued. “I didn’t go left because that goes to the shorebreak and I was finished with the shorebreak for the day, so I went right. I surfed the wave, and it broke. Some of the really big ones on that side of the canyon don’t break.

In big-wave surfing, if a wave doesn’t break, the ride doesn’t count.

“If you do that test, when you get a whole bunch of surfers stacked one on top of another, it looks like it might be one of the biggest (surfed waves) ever,” Burle said. “I don’t want to be the one who calls it. It’s hard to tell. Someone else can tell me how big it was.”

Typically, an independent panel of wave enthusiasts and photography professionals examine the evidence, which includes video, to confirm the height of the swell.

The waves off the central Iberian coast build to extreme heights due to an underwater canyon located near Nazaré.

As if that wasn’t enough of a rush for one day, Burle may have saved a fellow surfer’s life. According to the report, his friend, fellow Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira, fell off her board and was knocked out prior to Burle’s possible record-breaking ride.


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