The Biggest Waves Ever Surfed

The Empire State Building is 448 metres high (1,470 ft), if you include the antenna spire. Now, imagine a wave that goes up to the 1,720ft (520 metres) and simply destroys all the trees high up in Lituya Bay, a fjord located on the coast of Alaska.

That day, on the 9th July 1958, scientists registered the biggest wave ever observed. It is considered a “splash wave”. The natural phenomenon stripped the soil down to the bedrock around the entire bay. Two fishermen standing in a boat were killed and other boats were able to ride the waves.

Adam Gray, William A. Swanson and Howard G. Ulrich survived this mega tsunami that travelled at around 600 miles/hour. As you can see in the picture above, the splash wave destroyed forest along the shorelines as clearly recognizable in the light areas rimming the bay.

Big waves that were actually surfed are a parallel dossier. On the 28th July 1998, big rider Ken Bradshaw rode an 85-foot wave, at Outside Log Cabins reef, in Waimea Bay, Oahu’s North Shore. It was unofficially seen as the biggest wave ever ridden, until Garrett McNamara caught the famous 30-metre wave at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, Portugal, in November 2011.

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