Surfer conquers giant 43.6ft wave in Hawaii

The Australian surfer achieved the feat at WSL's Big Wave Record Chase

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Photo: lauraenever/Instagram
Photo: lauraenever/Instagram

Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 11:09 AM

Australian surfer Laura Enever conquered a giant wave of 43.6ft (13.3 meters) in Hawaii during the WSL Big Wave Record Chase.

She achieved the feat earlier in January, and it was confirmed on Wednesday, November 8, by both WSL and the Guinness World Records after they used a range of wave-measuring techniques to verify the record.

The surfer has broken the world record for the "largest wave ever paddled into by a woman", the World Surf League (WSL) has announced.

Talking to the WSL about her achievement, the 31-year-old recalled the moment when she surfed the massive wave on the North Shore of Oahu and said, “I knew it was the wave of my life, the whole way it all came together and the way I committed, backed myself, told myself to go, and trusted I could do it. The ride was such a breakthrough for me and a moment that will be really special and monumental in my surf career. To get awarded this month later is really cool, I can't believe it.”

Enever broke the previous record of pioneering Brazilian surfer Andrea Moller by less than a meter. In January 2016, Moller caught a 41.9ft (12.8 meters) wave at Pe'ahi, Maui.

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Enever credited Moller and other women surfers for helping her break into the competitive world of big-wave surfing. "I would never be in this position if it wasn't for all the big wave surfers who have come before me and paved the way, especially the really brave, courageous females who have always inspired me and made me feel like I could get out there and give it a crack."

"So thank you to all the amazing women and I'm just constantly in awe. Andrea Moller held this record before me and it's an honour to hold that record and keep pushing big wave surfing. And I know that the next girls, the next generation of female big wave surfers are going to do the same," she said.

Previously, in 2008, Enever became the SA Junior World Champion and Triple Crown Rookie. The following year, she got the title of World Junior Champion. In 2011, Enever qualified for the WSL Championship Tour. For the next seven years, she consistently came in the top 10. She now competes in big wave surfing events.

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