After three years of preparation, extreme kayaker and Red Bull athlete Tao Berman has set a new world record for surfing the biggest ocean wave in a kayak. The world record was broken at Nellscott Reef located just off the Oregon coastline on Saturday. Only in his early 30’s, Berman has been described as “super human” and “the most famous kayaker in history” and when you see his latest record breaking attempt you will see why.
No Stranger to World Record Breaking
Tao Berman is no stranger to world record attempts. In fact his latest record is the fourth that he has broken in past years with the others including the vertical distance descent, the speed altitude descent and the longest waterfall descent. His latest world record was, according to Berman, completely out of his comfort zone yet he still surpassed all expectations.
Speaking to Red Bull, Berman said that he has reached a point where he has accomplished everything he had been expected to and felt the need to try something new. His latest record attempt began after he found himself amazed by the size of the waves surfers tackle and he wondered whether he would be able to do the same but in his kayak. With no records previously set for this he decided to be the first.
The Record Attempt
Three years ago Berman announced plans to build a specially designed kayak specifically for his record attempt. All previous record attempts had been broken on white water so tackling the ocean was a complete new direction for him. Not even being a member of the surf-kayak community many members of the extreme sports world were understandably astounded by his success, although those who knew him were unsurprised.
Tugged behind by a Jet Ski, the world record breaking attempt sees Berman successfully catching and riding the 40 metre (130 foot) wave before giving a triumphant pump in the air. According to the Guinness World Records the largest wave ever surfed on a surfboard was 24 metres (77 feet). You can watch his attempt below.
What Does the Future Hold for Tao Berman?
As well as kayaking, Berman is a huge extreme sports enthusiast with interests in rock climbing, skiing, mountain biking, surfing, windsurfing and motocross. Sadly he states that he is retiring from paddling however with so many other extreme sports interests this may not necessarily be a bad thing as we are sure he will continue on to try and break more world records or set new ones.
Berman has previously said that fear does not play a part when he is kayaking, if he feels the confidence to do something, his confidence will surpass all doubt that he feels. And you never know, since his longest waterfall descent record was broken in 2009 by Tyler Bradt he may just return to the sport long enough to reclaim his title.