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Story / Friend

Garrett McNamara

World record holder for the biggest wave ever surfed.


The man, the myth,
the legend, big wave surfer
Garrett GMAC McNamara, shares
his passion for teaching children
what's important in life.

Garrett McNamara had a rough childhood. Alongside his mother and his brother, he lived on welfare for most of his childhood and Garrett doesn’t even remember how he got his first surfboard. Maybe from a garage sale or a dump? But that wasn’t important to him. He just knew it was special to him and he didn’t care how old or ragged it was. Because in that moment the future legendary big wave surfer didn’t just find a board – he found his passion in life. AS LIVING PROOF of how far you can go by following your true passion, no matter what conditions you start from, Garrett McNamara now wants to pass his passion and experience on to future generations. It’s not about surfing. It’s about finding whatever your passion is in your life.

“I just remember falling in love. I knew that it was all I wanted to do. It’s just the most amazing feeling to be out there in the water riding waves. It’s like walking on the water. Nothing mattered. If you have the ocean and you have your board, nothing matters.”

GARRETT TELLS ALL the kids he meets, when giving speeches and visiting schools, to write down their dreams in life – and to follow them. He tells them how focusing on doing the things you love can change their lives, and how every step along the way will build on their passion and dedication, and guide them through life. Garrett wants to inspire children to respect nature and keep it safe for future generations to enjoy. As a father and true outdoor lover he knows how important it is not only to tell children what to do, but also to lead by example. Almost every day he takes his son Barrel on two-minute beach clean ups, before they throw themselves into fun and games. Garrett's focus and sincere hope is that children, the youth of today, will get to enjoy the ocean as much as he has. As a father, it gives him unparalleled joy and pride to see his kids enjoying the outdoors.

Garrett and his wife Nicole love to encourage their children to follow their dreams, but also to remind them of their responsibility to take care of the environment. They explain that otherwise, there will be no ocean to play in, no snow to ski on, and no woods to run in. The world was lent to us by our parents; it’s up to us to be responsible and to leave a healthy environment for our children!

“It’s not about surfing. It’s about finding whatever your passion is in your life.”


Athletes in this article

Garrett McNamara

Garrett GMAC McNamara is the legendary big wave surfer who’s still holding the Guinness World record of biggest wave ever surfed, in Nazaré 2011.


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