(CBS) --Garrett McNamara now has the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed after riding a 78-footer in November off the coast of Nazare, Portugal.
Mike Parson had the previous mark, riding a 77-footer off the Southern California coast in 2008.
The ruling became official on Friday by a panel of experts for the annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards.
McNamara told Petethomasoutdoors.com, "It's amazing we get to do what we do, I am so grateful. The world record doesn't mean as much to me, this is for the town of Nazaré and Portugal and for all my family and friends there.
"To be able to give them something to be proud of and inspire them... I didn't want to get caught up in it all, but I have to tell you the truth, when they announced my name I got a bigger rush than probably on all the waves I rode this year."
(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)
for more features.