Australian Laura Enever broke the women's record for the biggest wave surfed without the aid of a jet-ski, with a height of 13.3 meters, Guinness World Records announced Thursday. The feat dates back to January 22, when the 31-year-old surfer stood up on the famous record wave off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
The delay is explained by the amount of verification carried out by Guinness Book judges before certifying performance. The previous record was held by Andrea Moller with 12.8 meters. He will have lasted eight years. Other surfers, however, have already descended even higher waves, but with the help of jet skis to get started.
Laura Enever chose to tackle these walls of water using only the strength of her arms, hence this record despite a smaller wave size. In a video published by the World Surf League, we can see the surfer taking up a paddle position then sliding to the base of the wave, before being enveloped by a huge cloud of foam.
“When the wave arrived, I was in the ideal place,” said Laura Enever, interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald. “I turned around and just had to paddle a few times, it was like the wave was taking me with it. I knew it was big when I paddled on it, but it wasn't until I looked at its face (the wall formed by the wave from the top to its base) that I said to myself 'this' is a long descent, it's the biggest wave you've ever caught. I was so happy, there is nothing like this feeling.
It is the German Sebastian Steudtner who holds the absolute record for the biggest wave ever surfed, with 26.21 meters in October 2020 on the famous Nazaré spot in Portugal. He was towed by a jet ski.