OCEAN CITY – The surfer who holds the Guinness World Record for riding the largest wave ever will be in Ocean City this weekend with his message of bracing your fears and knocking down boundaries.
On May 25, K-Coast Surf Shop on 35th Street and Coastal Highway will be hosting Guinness World Record holder and big wave surfing icon, Garrett McNamara, for an autograph signing from 3-5 p.m. followed by a demonstration by McNamara’s sponsor, WaveJet Propulsion, across the highway on the beach.
McNamara is an American professional big wave surfer and extreme waterman best known of late for breaking the world record in January by surfing a 100-foot wave off the coast of Nazaré, Portugal.
Ocean City will be a stop during the 2013 WaveJet Summer Experience Tour this weekend. According to WaveJet Propulsion, WaveJet is a patented personal water propulsion system designed for use in a range of personal watercraft including surfboards and stand-up paddle boards, lifeguard rescue boards, body boards and more.
The WaveJet System includes board, wireless wrist controller and the patented WaveJet Power Pod, which uses renewable, rechargeable lithium ion batteries, and provides 20 pounds of thrust. The pod is powered through a wireless wrist controller that utilizes Seatooth technology and recharges into any electrical outlet in just three hours. WaveJet technology also features an electronic dismount, so that if the rider falls off the watercraft, the power is cut.
“So for guys like Garrett that surf these big waves they have a little extra push besides the arms paddle power, so they are pretty high tech, pretty advanced and new, and they are doing the demo so people can check them out,” K-Coast Surf Shop Director of Marketing Mike Williams said.
Williams added the WaveJet tour will be partnering McNamara with Life Rolls On founder Jesse Billauer, who was surfing competitively by the age of 11. By the mid-90’s, Surfer magazine had named him one of the Top 100 up-and-coming surfers of the world.
In March 1996, while surfing, Billauer was hit by the crest of a wave and flew headfirst into a shallow sandbar. At the hospital, it was determined that he had suffered a complete spinal cord injury and was now a quadriplegic.
“With the WaveJet he can go out and still surf … it allows him to get up and surf even though he is paralyzed,” Williams said. “So there are local people that are interested in that, that have disabilities … and hopefully this will encourage them to get out there.”
Ocean City may not be known for its big waves but it becoming known for having world-class athletes stopping by, Williams furthered.
“This is a cool opportunity for young surfers to older surfers, or people who may have a disability. It will be a good experience to come out and meet Garrett as an inspirational person by conquering his own fears and breaking boundaries. Anybody can go out and surf. You don’t have to be a world-class professional guy to go out and have fun,” he said. “It should be a pretty cool event. We have had a lot of really strong feedback so far. I have a feeling it is going to be an enormous turnout, especially for Memorial Day.”