Surfing

Justine Dupont surfed the greatest wave of her life and we're mind blown

© Rafael G. Riancho / Red Bull Content Pool
By Agathe Armand
The French surfer successfully rode the highest wave she’s ever tackled in Nazaré, Portugal on November 13. Did she just set a new world record?
She'd spent the day in the cold water, surfing for hours on end. Seeing others heading back, she decided to try it one last time.
And that’s when Justine Dupont, 28, faced the wave of a lifetime.
Surfing · 1 min
Justine Dupont huge wave video
"We'd already been in the water for four hours," she explained. "We were freezing and wanted to leave.
"Our mate Andre, who was on the cliff with the radio, told us a big set was coming. We saw it and decided to stay a bit longer. As soon as Fred [her boyfriend Fred David who was on a jet ski towing her] told me to go in the water, I saw the wave. It looked huge!
Justine Dupont surfes a big wave in Nazaré, Portugal on November 13, 2019.
Justine Dupont surfs the greatest wave of her life in Nazaré, Portugal
"When I let go of the rope I felt that I was going faster than usual. The GoPro flashed me at 66kph. I was flying. My board felt amazing. The feeling of having something so huge behind my back was so weird. The shadow of the lip was far in front of me. I wanted to make it down the wave and ride it until the end so bad."
I'm so stoked I made it. A mad, intense wave. The greatest wave of my life
Justine Dupont poses for a portrait at Red Bull Base in Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017.
Justine Dupont
Surfing Big Wave
While this wave isn't officially measured yet, Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira still holds the record for the highest wave ever surfed by a woman with a 20.7m-high wave, which she surfed in October 2018.
Surfing legend Garrett McNamara took to social media to ask the question.
"Looks like it might be the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman? Biggest wave of the day by everyone? Biggest wave of the year?"
Looks like it might be the biggest wave ever ridden by a woman?
Garrett McNamara
An experienced big wave surfer, Dupont admits that this type of wave is “hard to deal with.” In fact, she’s spent the last three winters in Nazaré, Portugal to train specifically for it.
Justine Dupont surfes a big wave in Nazaré, Portugal on November 13, 2019.
Justine Dupont in the aftermath of the same Nazaré session (different wave)
A special mention goes to her friend, Clément Nantes, who took care of her safety on the second jet ski. Nantes' presence enabled Dupont to feel more confident and ready to perform.
“The bigger the wave, the faster it goes, the more perturbations you face, the more time you spend in the air," she said.
"I'm so proud of our team and our evolution here in Nazaré. Can’t wait to keep pushing our limits together."
I don’t know if it was a record, but it’s definitely my personal record and I’m really proud of it
Justine Dupont poses for a portrait at Red Bull Base in Nazaré, Portugal on November 8, 2017.
Justine Dupont
Surfing Big Wave