Australian surfer Laura Enever recently achieved a remarkable feat in the world of big wave surfing. At 31 years old, she paddled into a colossal wave that measured a towering 43.6 feet (13.3 meters) in height. This incredible accomplishment took place in January at a renowned surf spot known as the Himalayas in Oahu, Hawaii. Notably, this wave broke the previous record, which had remained unchallenged for seven years, by just a single foot.
Enever’s remarkable achievement was officially recognized by Guinness World Records during a ceremony held in Narrabeen, Sydney. Interestingly, Narrabeen is where Laura began her surfing journey at the age of 11. She initially won numerous junior competitions before spending seven years competing on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour. However, she eventually transitioned to pursuing the thrill of conquering massive waves.
Laura Enever is no stranger to big swells, having experienced her fair share. Yet, she attested that nothing could compare to the enormity of this particular wave. She recalled her exhilaration, saying, “I knew it was big when I paddled into it, and then when I took off, I looked down and I knew it was definitely the biggest wave I’ve ever caught. I knew it was the wave of my life.”
The height of Enever’s ride was meticulously verified by Guinness World Records, using video footage of her incredible feat, as well as detailed information about the location, the videographers, and the wave’s exact position.
This outstanding accomplishment has garnered well-deserved praise, with Jessi Miley-Dyer, the chief of sport at WSL, commending Laura’s fearlessness, dedication, and inspirational journey in the world of big wave surfing.
Layne Beachley, a seven-time world surfing champion, also paid tribute to Enever’s achievement, highlighting the extraordinary nature of paddling into a wave of such immense magnitude. While Aaron Gold of Hawaii holds the record for the largest paddle-in wave by a man, which he achieved in 2016 with a 63-foot wave, the record for the biggest wave ever surfed belongs to Germany’s Sebastian Steudtner, who was towed into an astounding 86-foot monster wave in 2020.