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Cowabunga! US Surfer Rides Huge Wave, Breaks Record

Garrett McNamara of Hawaii is pictured with his winning surf board which he rode in his November 10, 2011, quest, in this photograph released on May 11, 2012.
International surfing officials and the Guinness Book of World records have officially confirmed a giant wave caught by a U.S. surfer off the coast of Portugal last November was the biggest wave ever ridden.

The officials have awarded Hawaiian surfer Garret McNamara the Billabong Global Big Wave Awards prize after reviewing the feat - riding a wave that measured 23.7 meters high.

The 44-year-old surfer was dragged out to the wave on a tow rope, a type of jet ski.

McNamara said he initially didn't want to attempt the waves that day after wiping out earlier on bigger swells in the same spot.

The height of McNamara's wave was decided by a panel of big wave surfing and photography experts who analyzed and measured the photographs and video images of his ride.