‘Surfing The Unsurfable’: World Record Holder Sebastian Steudtner Rides A 93.73-Foot Wave

Not that long ago, I finished watching the “100 Foot Wave” documentary series about Garrett McNamara, who is known for discovering and pioneering the biggest waves in the world at Praia do Norte, Nazaré. This tiny fishermen’s town wasn’t known so well to surfers until McNamara made history in 2011. Soon after, everyone started to hunt the ocean’s Everest, and Sebastian Steudtner was definitely the best of them.

The current world record already belongs to Steudtner after he rode a 26.21-meter (86-feet) wave in Nazaré in 2020. And now he may have broken it after surfing a salty giant that was provisionally measured at 28.57 meters (93.72 feet), but he still needs to wait for the official declaration.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

If confirmed, German surfer Sebastian Steudtner hit the new Guinness World Record by riding a 93.73-foot wave

Image credits: Porsche

Image credits: @drivemetotheocean

Image credits: Sebastian Steudtner

Image credits: Porsche

“The record to me is definitely secondary to actually riding the wave and everything that goes into it,” shared Steudtner. “I think what was special about this last big day in February was that we surfed conditions that never have been surfed before,” he added.

The Nazaré North Canyon (227 km long and 5 km deep) is one of the largest submarine ones on Earth, which makes the tiny Portuguese village a spectacular location for those hoping to surf some of the world’s biggest waves. Besides that, February 24 had truly stormy conditions.

“It was not just the biggest storm and the biggest waves in the past three or four years, but it was also a proper storm. It was kind of 50/50 if we were going to surf or not, but as soon as we were out and in the ocean, and we saw the waves, Eric — my Big Wave partner who was driving the jet ski — and [I] immediately went into hunting mode and it was on,” Steudtner said. “We were, for the first time, surfing the biggest waves in stormy conditions which were considered unsurfable. We made that possible, and that to me is what’s special from that day,” he added.

The height of the giant wave Steudtner had a chance to tame that day was measured using state-of-the-art drone technology developed by Porsche Engineering and Team Steudtner.

The project’s focus has been on the development of a measuring drone that can quickly and precisely determine the height of waves because, until now, such measurements have been carried out by analyzing video footage and still images. The new device can measure all areas of the wave and the surfer within a radius of about 100m.

Image credits: Porsche

“We are very pleased to have created an innovative solution that can advance the sport of surfing. It was a challenge to develop a drone that can measure not only the height of the waves but is also capable of tracking the surfer within the radius throughout the entire wave ride,” shared Marcus Schmelz, who is a project manager at Porsche Engineering.”We are open to sharing our technical insights from the drone[‘s] development with official experts. Our goal is to further increase transparency in big wave surfing and to provide accurate measurement data more quickly,” he added.

Over the past several years, helping to surf the biggest waves possible, Steudtner has also developed surfboard technology in partnership with Porsche Engineering and Schaeffler, which was presented to the public for the first time in Cascais, Portugal.

Since a higher speed is necessary to ride bigger waves, the team was focused on how to improve the surfboard’s handling in the water as well as the aerodynamics of both the board and the surfer. That enabled Steudtner to reach higher speeds on the board: from 70 to 80 km/h in the past to potentially up to 100 km/h now.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

“To reduce drag and stabilise the board, patented attachments known as aero edges were added to the front and back of the board,” Schmelz explained. “We know this principle from automobiles: here, too, tear-off edges are defined, for example through the use of spoilers. They reduce air turbulence, making the car more stable and aerodynamic at high speeds,” he added.

“I am very grateful to Porsche for the cooperative partnership over the past three years. True to ‘Driven by Dreams’ and with Porsche as a partner I have been able to fulfil my dream of contributing to the further development of my sport,” shared the grateful Steudtner.

A new drone can measure not only the height of the waves but also track the surfer within a certain radius throughout the entire wave ride

Image credits: Porsche

Image credits: Sebastian Steudtner

While most of us would probably be terrified only from imagining riding such enormous waves, Steudtner, in these moments, feels no fear. According to the surfer, instead, he reaches a ‘flow state’ where he doesn’t have to think, just perform.

“It’s complete chaos and you would think, as an outsider, it’s terrifying. Almost like a horrific experience, but it’s so peaceful to me. Everything becomes simple. Life in general, you know, you are consistently dealing with a hundred different things and fighting problems and challenges and you’re moving really quick[ly]. Being exposed to this radical, physical, ginormous energy, and being humbled by it makes me [feel] really peaceful,” explained Steudtner.

Being born far from the ocean, in Nuremberg, Germany, didn’t stop him from chasing the dream: “I didn’t grow up by the ocean. I didn’t have rich parents to travel around with me as a kid, I’m not from Hawaii, Australia, the US — I’m not even from France or Portugal. I’m from Germany, and still I managed to set a world record — and I hope that inspires someone,” Steudtner shared.

When Sebastian was only 13, he told his parents he wanted to move to Hawaii to chase his dream of becoming a professional surfer. It took 3 years, but somehow, he managed to convince his parents.

“I found a mentor, a local native Hawaiian who took me into his family, kind of became my mentor. I learned the culture of surfing, the sport of surfing from the peers of the sport, from the people where the sport is from. That kind of started my journey and I just kept going and going,” Steudtner recalled the memories.

In 2010, at only 24 years old, Sebastian took the year’s biggest wave at Pe’ahi, Maui (Jaws), making him the first European ever to win the XXL Biggest Wave Award. Then, in 2014, he surfed a 71-foot wave at Nazaré and won the XXL Biggest Wave Award for the second time, which put him into a class of All-Time Elite Big Wave Surfers.

Steudtner’s Mission Wave Alpha project with Porsche, Porsche Engineering, Schaeffler, O2 Germany, Deutsche Vermögensberatung, and X-BIONIC is trying to level up surfing

Image credits: Sebastian Steudtner

Image credits: Sebastian Steudtner

Image credits: SurferToday

Each time I think of Nazaré, I still remember this place from when I was there for the very first time many years ago. No photographers, no surfers, just wild nature and an endless beach.

At the time, it was possible to go down the stairs next to the lighthouse and see those giant waves breaking just a few meters from you. Who would have thought that in just a few years, everything would change so much, and it would become a crowded Mecca for surfers all around the world?

While Garrett McNamara was the first one who discovered and tamed Nazaré’s giant waves, Sebastian Steudtner, in collaboration with Porsche, is showing that technology, as well as the indomitable will of humans, can bring an entirely different perspective and results, advancing the sport towards new horizons.

People on the internet were not only overwhelmed but also horrified by the new giant wave record

The post ‘Surfing The Unsurfable’: World Record Holder Sebastian Steudtner Rides A 93.73-Foot Wave first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

No votes yet.
Please wait...