Another winter, other media storm about the biggest wave ever surfed. On Monday the 28th the brazilian Carlos Burlé was towed into a behemoth in the sleepy little town of Nazaré Portugal. By Tuesday morning my time, Helio Valtentim and the magazine SURFportugal had already taken the footage and set it to O Fortuna, which you will recognize as that really dramatic classical music song that filmmakers always use when they want you to know that you are watching something that is going to change life as we know it. By next Monday, we will have forgotten about it and moved on to the next clip
But let's give credit where it's due. Burlé's wave was straight out of Revelations. It's one of those waves that is so big and so mean looking you actually breath a sigh of relief when the lip finally reaches it's apex and pitches into the trough. You know all the waves that you paddle over with your heart in your colon during the biggest swell of the year at you local spot? Burle's wave was actually as big as you imagine those waves to be. Bigger even.
Now the discussion begins: was it the biggest wave ever? Honestly I don't want to go there again. Nine months ago we were in this exact same spot when Garrett MacNamara caught the last biggest wave ever surfed at Nazaré. He never got the credit he deserved much less for pioneering nazaré as a spot because of the supposably mushy way the wave breaks, and, let's be honest: the fact that Gmac has a knack for bombast that tends to rub some in the surf community the wrong way. After snubbing the XXL big wave awards, perhaps the most genius surf-business move of the year -- he applied to Guinness and put himself in the record books with a wave that was "officially" measured at 78 feet.
So let's get right down to it. We all take wave height far too seriously. In the grand scheme of things, it matters not one iota if Burle's wave is 50 feet or 150 feet. It was huge, I'm impressed, that's all I need to know The only people who really care about arbitrary measurements like wave height are ones who have created an entire industry based on, well, Arbitrary measurements. Here I'm referring to Guiness, the XXL awards, and anyone else who tries to convince yuou that world records are important things
I mean, when was the last time you read a guiness book of world records? Can't remember? That's because most of their records are less than arbitrary, like having the world's largest drum set, or selling the world's largest hot dog. In fact, you can make up your own record and then set it yourself. No joke.
So while you are thinking of a way to ink your name into global tablets of abitrariness, here's my suggestion. Forget about height, and wave shape and silly dick-measuring awards, and just appreciate a great athlete riding a truly apocalyptic lump of atlantic ocean. There is no number high enough to put on a moment like that.
Footage Courtesy of:
Carlos Burle Surfs Record Breaking Wave, Nazaré | EpicTV Surf Report, Ep. 80
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