German surfer Sebastian Steudtner has set a world record for the highest wave ever surfed. The giant wave that the 37-year-old took in Nazaré, Portugal, in October 2020 was 26.21 meters long. For this, Steudtner was awarded an entry in the Guinness Book of Records on Tuesday in the coastal town north of Lisbon.
“All mountains have been scaled, all deserts have been crossed. The only element that is still largely unexplored is water,” said Steudtner. “Being able to perform in this element makes me proud.”
It took the jury around a year and a half to measure the exact height of the wave on October 29, 2020 using a complex calculation method. Steudtner has broken the previous record of the Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa. Koxa also surfed a 24.4 meter high wave in Nazaré in 2017. “It shows that anything is possible in life,” said Steudtner. “That’s not the world record for eating the most hot dogs or having the most piercings. But for surfing a wave created by nature.”
Steudtner was already aware of the extreme extent of the wave while surfing, as he said in an interview with “Bild”: “You can tell by how dark the wave is. The darker, the more power the wave has. So I knew immediately that it was going to be something blatant.” But the record shouldn’t last forever. Steudtner already has higher goals: “I firmly believe that it is possible (to surf even higher waves, ed.). As soon as we have the equipment ready, we get the confidence that we can really tackle it.”
Steudtner has long been one of the best big wave surfers in the world. He has already won the most important award in his sport three times. Now the world record followed. At the age of 16, Steudtner had moved from Nuremberg to Hawaii to learn to surf. He has Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp at his side as his most prominent fan and friend: “He already congratulated. In his words, we are both surfing the wave of success,” Steudtner revealed to “Bild”.