Monster Wave: Daredevil Surfer's World Record

A daredevil surfer has set a new world record for the largest wave ever ridden.

Garrett McNamara, 44, rode the 78ft wall of water off the coast of Portugal seven months ago but it has now been officially verified by Guinness World Records .

An independent panel of big wave and photography experts painstakingly measured still and video images of the colossal wave to make sure it was a new record.

Guinness have ruled that the feat eclipses the previous record - set by big-wave surfing giant Mike Parsons in California in 2008 - by more than 1ft.

Mr McNamara , known to fans as 'GMac', said of the surf of his life: "I was totally in the moment. PCP - present, connected and protected."

The 44-year-old, who is originally from Massachusetts, has surfed professionally since age 17. He said he had not planned to go to the beach that day after spending the previous day surfing even bigger waves.

Friends woke him up early and persuaded him to go along, then talked him into getting on his board as well.

"When I got on the board and they pulled me up with tow rope, everything just felt right. It was like magic," he said.

"We saw it coming from way out and my lady Nicole was on the radio saying 'there's a big macker coming on the outside!' and telling us where to go, The guy tried to drive me into the first wave and I'm all 'No, number two, number two. There was just this monster."

Mr McNamara said he was caught up in the moment when he was riding the wave and working to stay in control of his board because he realised "if you fall, there's not much chance of survival".

He was not sure the wave was a record until it was made official last week at the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards in Anaheim, California.

"I really just surf for the love of it and I wasn't looking to get the record. I wasn't looking to get any awards," he said.

"One the main reasons I'm doing this is to hopefully inspire at least one person to do what they love, to do what they are passionate about. I am living proof you can do what you love as a career."