Tao Berman, an extreme kayaker, has claimed a new world record for biggest ocean wave surfed in a kayak. The athlete, who claims three other world records, surfed a 40-foot wave at the Nellscott Reef off the Oregon coast.
According to Matador Network, Berman had announced three years ago that he was designing a boat for big-wave surfing and that he would be attempting to set a new world record for the largest ocean wave ever surfed in a kayak.
The footage (see video above) shows Berman, the man who, according to Wide World Magazine, has been called the "Michael Jordan of extreme kayaking," being towed out into the ocean in a specialized boat by a jet ski. He is shown catching the wave, a 40-foot monster he successfully rides.
Berman, after his latest extreme kayak accomplishment, announced his retirement from paddling. Daily Mail reports Berman said that he stopped, after his last accomplishment, and asked himself, what's the next challenge? "I haven't come up with one," he said, "so I've decided that this is my last project. I'm retiring from paddling."
Daily Mail reports that the Red Bull athlete, who claimed three other world records in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including the longest waterfall descent, speed altitude descent and vertical descent, said the ocean was a less familiar challenge for him. He said: "My kayaking career is in the white water department not in the ocean department and I got to a point where I've accomplished everything that I wanted in my sport so I knew I needed something new. I needed something that inspired me."
Matador Network also notes Berman is not a member of the surf-kayak community, but a whitewater boater.
But Berman said: "I've always admired what big wave surfers can do and it got me thinking, I wonder how it would work if I had a kayak and actually tried to surf those waves, and that's how it all began."
Daily Mail reports that according to the Guinness World Records, the current record on a surf board was estimated at 77 feet off the coast of Southern California in 2008 by Mike Parsons.
Berman's longest waterfall descent record has since been broken by Tyler Bradt in 2009, who did a 186 ft descent at Palouse Falls in Washington.