PWCs Take a Rare Spotlight in Forbes Magazine, with Garrett McNamara at the Helm

While it certainly isn’t every day that we see PWCs as a topic in Forbes magazine, it’s no surprise that world-class Big Wave Surfer Garrett McNamara would be at the center of such a story. 

In a recent piece for the magazine, McNamara takes Forbes contributor Jim Clash out on jet skis at the notorious wave at Nazaré, Portugal, to bring the adventure writer up close and personal with this legendary wave.

In fact, Garrett McNamara is widely acknowledged for bringing about Nazaré’s recognition as a premier destination for world-class big wave surfing, when, on November 1, 2011, he set the world record for the largest wave ever surfed at 78 feet. The Hawaiian surfer has since dedicated much of his time to fostering the surfing community in Nazaré, an otherwise quiet fishing village just north of Lisbon. His accomplishment – which would later be turned into the HBO Docuseries 100 Foot Wave – set the stage for subsequent world-record breakers Rodrigo Koxa (80 feet) and Sebastian Steudtner (86 feet) at the same site.

In the Forbes piece, Clash recounts his time out on the PWC with McNamara, riding on waves of over 60 feet at times. 

McNamara tells Forbes, “…we rode horizontally across the top of a 60- to 70-foot wave and watched it break under us. You could see how far down the face was, with the [Praia do Norte] lighthouse in the background. It gives a great perspective of what we, as surfers, deal with. From where you were, you could totally understand what it would look like to drop into a big wave [without doing so].”

The drama didn’t end there either, as Clash writes of the nearly disastrous flip of their Jet Ski among the waves. While everything turned out safely without casualties, that kind of accident could be catastrophic if another wave had hit at the wrong time.

To read the full story, check out Clash’s write-up for Forbes here.

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