The bar may have been raised further on Monday when Brazils Carlos Burle was towed into what might prove to be a new world record wave.
Maya Gabeira, Pedro Scooby, Felipe 'Gordo' Cesarano and Carlos Burle spent several days waiting for the swell.
Maya Gabeira getting ready to surf Nazar.
For the past three years the big-wave break just off the coast of Nazare, Portugal, has continually served up some of the most massive rides in surfing history.
It was a very up-and-down day for Burle as he rode one of the biggest waves ever, but almost lost a longtime friend in the process.
After setting the record at 78 feet with a ride in 2011, Garrett McNamara said he's never seen a wave as big as the one Burle rode.
Gabeira continues to push the boundries of women's big wave surfing. "I don't know if there is another person, man or woman, that could have survived what she did," said McNamara.
Carlos Burle, Maya Gabeira, Pedro Scooby, Felipe Cesarano and Rodrigo Koxa demonstrated that Nazar is not a wave to be taken lightly.
After the accident with Gabeira, Burle went back out into the lineup and shortly thereafter caught what is hands-down the biggest wave of the winter surf season thus far.
Pedro Scooby was stoked to surf waves of this size and power, but he was more stoked to put Burle into the wave of the day.
There are places where you find huge waves every once in a while," Garrett McNamara said. "In Nazare, Portugal, its huge all of the time. Its the eighth wonder of the world."
Anybody could have ridden that wave, I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time, said Burle. The most important part about surfing is that you go out with your friends and you come back with them. Everything else is just extra."
Scooby and Burle have been doing quite a bit of training together, and given how quick they were to respond when the wave of the day rolled in, it seems to have paid off.
The break at Nazare has been pioneered in large part by Garrett McNamara, who rode a record-setting 78-foot wave in 2011.
When they showed up they knew it was going to be big. "But we didn't know how big it was going to be," said Burle.
The After Party
Hospitalized after the accident, Gabeira was out for a lot of the day, but for those that remained out in the water the action continued.
Carlos Burle surfing few days before the swell peaked.
After a wipeout that rendered her unconcious, Gabeira has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering. Besides nearly drowning, she also suffered a broken ankle.