Garrett McNamara flies into the "No F'ing Way" realm
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 February, 2014 - This past weekend Garrett McNamara was clocked going 62.4 kilometres per hour on a wave at Nazaré. He did it on a specially constructed and weighted board provided by Mercedes Benz. The reason GMac tapped the German auto maker was because his current crop of tow-in boards couldn't outrun the speeds at which those giant most-likely-not-meant-to-be-ridden-by-humans waves travel.
The feat, which a press release claims had never been done before, was possible thanks to the telemetry system developed by Mercedes-Benz in the context of the MBoard Project – which resulted in the construction of four luxury surfboards exclusively for Garrett McNamara.
We talked to Garrett just before he left Portugal for the season to return home to Hawaii. McNamara will return to Portugal in October of this year.
It’s been a phenomenal year. Which swell stands out the most?
They were all so different I can't say one was better than the other. There was one swell in December that definitely stood out from the pictures I saw.
We’re going to put you on the spot: Which wave this year was the biggest one ridden (or “attempted" to ride if you listen to Laird)?
I don't know there were so many big ones and they all break so different. The lefts are more top to bottom and the rights crumble, really not sure.
If you want to play meteorologist, why was the surf so big, and consistent compared to other years?
It didn't seem much different to me I just think people are finally realizing whats going on in Europe.
The sessions at Nazaré have hit the Unridden Realm, as Cotty couldn’t outrun the whitewater. What can you do to ride the Unridden Realm? Is it physically possible?
You have to be prepared and have the right equipment with the right conditions. You have to draw the right line and be ready if it is gonna hit you with your board pointed straight so you don't get rolled over! Easy to say challenging to do!!!
With that in mind, where are you with equipment – What are you riding and where does design have to go to ride this unridden realm?
The boards have to be able to handle faster speeds and be able to absorb the chops. The Mercedes board is magic and is made especially for these conditions. The board really is the best I have ever ridden in giant, choppy waves.
What is different about its construction?
It is very stiff between the feet and very flexible in the nose. It conforms to the nose and carries speed like I have never experienced. The weight is built into the board instead of screwed onto the top. It makes a bumpy out of control ride smoother and fun.
Why a board from Mercedes and not your usual shaper?
Mercedes approached me to make the ultimate board for the conditions we face out there. I don't know anybody who would have said no. They produce the highest quality with all the latest technology so I was honored and gladly accepted.
Read about the Mercedes MBoard Project here