64 Foot Wave – Mike Parsons At Jaws Beach, Hawaii

Mike Parsons (born March 13, 1965, in California) is an american professional surfer and surfing coach.

Parsons was raised in Laguna Beach, California and began surfing when he was six-years-old. In 1983, he earned second place in the Junior Division of the United States Surfing Championships.

In 2001, Parsons was towed into a 66-foot wave at Cortes Bank, CA, for which he was awarded $66,000 the highest prize ever awarded in the history of professional surfing. This money was awarded by the Billabong XXL competition which paid tribute to the biggest waves ridden each year. Parsons also surfed a 64-foot wave during competition at the Jaws break on the north shore of Maui. It was filmed by helicopter and used as the opening scene of the 2003 film Billabong Odyssey. A usually uncredited clip of this sequence has gone on to become a viral video, attributed to a number of different surfers, locations, and in many cases, a Tsunami.

Parsons later broke his record on January 5, 2008, at Cortes Bank, when he was photographed surfing a wave that the Billabong XXL judged to be 77 feet, which put him in the Guinness Book of World Records, officially, for biggest wave ever surfed. Nearly 4 years later Garrett McNamara improved on this record with a 78-foot wave off Nazaré, Portugal on November 1, 2011.

In 2011, Parsons became the full-time coach for surfer Kolohe Andino.

On January 20, 2013, Parsons suffered a broken C7 vertebra in his neck and nearly drowned while surfing triple-overhead surf at Ocean Beach, a beach break in San Francisco, California. Parsons was able to return to surfing four months later.

Parsons was inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach, California in 2008.


  1. Wow! I’ve been to this beach area many times, to hike and get some coconuts, but only in the summer. I guess I have to go in the winter to see these waves and see some action.

  2. This willingness to ride insurmountable FEAR moves my soul… the sea is often compared to emotion and there is an absolute metaphoric power of surfing

  3. @Some Guy  I think I deleted my whole comment. it wasn't my intention.

    in response to your comment: who's looking down on anybody? they were told of the drastic results. they went out on the edge of the reef anyway. the bottom line is it's the result of their own stupidity. end of story.

  4. Okay so as much as I'd LOVE to just wake up one day and magically be wired to have that fearless mindset to do this because it's awesome, I know that realistically I would see that wave and call out in panic: 'Tsunami's coming! Run to high ground!!' I'll stick to walking on the beach collecting seashells.

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