Leif Overturf takes advantage of the large surf near the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C., as Hurricane Irene heads toward the North Carolina coast on Aug. 25. Approaching storms are known for improving surfing conditions ahead of their landfall. Tom Copeland/AP
Connor Murray takes advantage of the heavy surf near the Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island, N.C., prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 25. Randall Hill/Reuters
A surfer rides a wave in the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Don approaches the Texas Gulf Coast in North Padre Island, Texas, on July 29. David J. Phillip/AP/File
Collin Roche rides a wave as he surfs in the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Don approaches North Padre Island, Texas, on July 29. David J. Phillip/AP
Stormy Arkell rides a wave generated by Tropical Storm Don at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Fla., on July 28. Andrew Wardlow/The News Herald/AP/File
A surfer braves the pounding surf stirred up by the approaching Hurricane Katrina off Ormond Beach, Fla., on Aug. 25, 2005. Jim Tiller/Daytona Beach News-Journal/AP/File
A surfer rides six- to eight-foot waves produced by a storm in Surf City, N.C., on Sept.16, 2003. Tracy Wilcox/The Fayetteville Observer/AP/File
A surfer rides the waves in the Gulf of Mexico in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Sept, 17, 2000. The surf was running over 10 feet due to the effects of Hurricane Gordon. Mari Darr-Welch/The Northwest Florida Daily News/AP/File
A surfer is ejected from a 15-foot wave while body surfing at 'The Wedge' in Newport Beach, Calif., on Sept. 15, 1997. High surf driven by Tropical Storm Linda battered the Southern California coastline, to the delight of surfers and the anxiety of safety personnel. Sam Mircovich/Reuters/File
The Guinness World Records recognizes Hawaii pro surfer for the biggest wave ever ridden. Garrett McNamara surfed a 78-foot wave off the coast of Portugal.
ByOskar Garcia, Associated Press
The Guinness World Records has recognized a 44-year-old Hawaii pro surfer for catching a 78-foot wave off the coast of Portugal, saying the November feat beats a 2008 record for the biggest ridden by more than 1 foot.