Garrett McNamara might have surfed the tallest wave ever off the coast of Portugal, but he says he didn't even get an adrenaline rush from the experience. Uh, what?
McNamara, a pro big wave surfer known for extreme rides, set the Guinness World Record last spring for largest wave ever surfed with a 78-foot-tall wave at Nazaré off the coast of Portugal. In January, McNamara returned to Nazaré and surfed a wave estimated to be about 100 feet tall. He later told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he didn't even get a rush from it (video).
"Dude, you did not get a rush surfing that wave? Are you kidding me?" Cooper responded.
What It's Like to Fall Off a Cliff
"I am not kidding you, Anderson. I don't know what's wrong with me," McNamara said.
McNamara was precipitously close to a deadly cliff, he said his whole body was chattering and he nearly popped out of his straps. Even in the heady world of pro surfing, his utter lack of fear stands out.
Jaimal Yogis is a surfer I know whose recent book The Fear Project explores his own fears around big waves as well as the underlying science of fear. He has some ideas about what might have happened.