The Biggest Wave Ever Surfed: Sebastian Steudtner Sets New Record at Nazare

Yes, we have a new record for the biggest wave ever surfed.


In November last year, Porsche and big-wave surfer Sebastian Steudtner entered into a long-term partnership.


The athlete now officially holds the world record in big-wave surfing.

Photo: Jorge Leal


His ride from 2020 was officially confirmed as having a height of 26.21 metres or 86 feet — the biggest wave ever surfed.


At that time, NASA had reported that on that on October 29, 2020, the world's biggest waves ever were sighted in Nazaré. Steudtner caught one of them and, with some delay, his ride has now been awarded as a new world record both by the World Surf League (WSL) and by Guinness World Records.


The previous record holder, the Brazilian Rodrigo Koxa, had ridden an 80-foot wave in the same spot in 2017.


During a ceremony at the famous lighthouse of Nazaré on the Portuguese Atlantic coast, Steudtner was presented with the official certificate by a representative of Guinness World Records and by Jessy Miley-Dyer of the WSL.

Photo: Jorge Leal


Steudtner, who moved to Hawaii at the age of 16 to start his career as a professional surfer – using completely new methods – has set himself the goal of taking surfing to a new level as a sport.


This will involve working with Porsche’s technology subsidiary, Porsche Engineering, among others. Together, they are applying the knowledge gained from many years of experience in automotive engineering and transferring it to the development of higher-performance surfboards.



Photo: Jorge Leal


Just a few days ago, various tests were carried out in a wind tunnel at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach to further optimize the aerodynamics of both board and surfer.


“Congratulations to Sebastian Steudtner for the world record, with whom we share the common goal of an optimized board for surfing particularly high waves,” says Marcus Schmelz, Project Manager at Porsche Engineering. "By combining Sebastian's expertise and our experience from sports car development, we have already been able to gain important insights for board optimization as well as overall aerodynamics. For example, it has been shown in the wind tunnel that even slight changes in the surfer's position on the board bring great potential for improving the aerodynamics. We will now pursue these and other findings scientifically with Sebastian."

“It's an amazing feeling to finally hold the world record in my hands and I am proud of this achievement of my team and myself,” says Sebastian Steudtner. “I have always stayed true to my childhood dream of becoming a surfer. To stand here today and have achieved everything in my sport is just crazy. I hope my journey and this world record inspires many people to follow their dreams, too. Now I'm looking forward to realizing the next big ideas and visions with Porsche. It's an incredibly exciting time.”