Australian surfer Laura Enever has secured a world record by paddling into the largest wave ever surfed by a woman, reaching a height of 43.6 feet (13.3 meters) at a break known as the Himalayas in Oahu, Hawaii.
This accomplishment surpasses the previous seven-year record by a foot. Enever’s feat, which involves entering waves unassisted rather than using a tow-in, was officially certified by Guinness World Records at a ceremony in Narrabeen, Sydney.
Growing up in Narrabeen, Enever began her surfing career at the age of 11, winning several junior competitions before spending seven years on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour. She later transitioned to chasing big waves.
Guinness World Records authenticated Enever’s achievement using video footage of her ride, along with detailed information about the site, the videographers’ locations, and the wave’s location. The WSL chief of sport, Jessi Miley-Dyer, commended Enever’s incredible achievement, describing her as fearless, committed, and an inspiration.
Enever, reflecting on the experience, expressed that while she has encountered substantial swells before, this wave was unparalleled. She recognised it as the “wave of her life.” Layne Beachley, a seven-time world surfing champion, acknowledged Enever’s accomplishment, highlighting the extraordinary nature of paddling into a wave of such magnitude.
The men’s record for paddle-in waves was set by Hawaii’s Aaron Gold in 2016 with a 63-foot wave. However, the record for the biggest wave ever surfed is held by German surfer Sebastian Steudtner, who was towed into an 86-foot monster in 2020. Enever’s achievement adds to the remarkable history of surfers pushing the boundaries of wave riding.