When Kai Lenny informs you a wave is terrifying, you finest think it. The Maui indigenous has dedicated his life to going after waves, as well as he flourishes in virtually every high-performance water sporting activity imaginable. At 28, Lenny holds the 2019-’20 WSL Big Wave Award for guys’s finest general efficiency, the 2020 XXL Biggest Wave Award for his 70-foot ride at Nazaré, as well as is the youngest individual ever before to have actually been sworn in right into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame. Although Lenny still has a great deal of discovering to do, he’s ridden his price share of hefty waves as well as has the tales as well as distinctions to show it. Here are the 5 most frightening waves on the planet, according to Kai Lenny.


Pillar Point Harbor, California

Located simply north of Half Moon Bay, Mavericks is a deep-water wave that supplies a few of the most effective as well as largest browse in California. The place generally illuminate in between November as well as March as well as functions finest on a west to west-northwest swell when the wind is light as well as the dimension is upwards of 20 feet. Due to the one-of-a-kind rock contours on the sea flooring, Mavericks can be a picky wave as well as has actually been understood to array in dimension anywhere from 20 feet to over 50 feet. The wave can be testing also for the most skilled big-wave internet users as well as declared the lives of Hawaiian Mark Foo in 1994 as well as Sion Milosky in 2011.

“Mavericks is an extremely scary, super tall, cold wave,” states Lenny. “What makes it so gnarly is how all the water converges into one spot—it’s probably the loudest big wave on the planet because that cold water is a little more dense. When you hear the lip hit the water it almost sounds like thunder cracking.”



Nazaré, Portugal

What was when a peaceful angling town has actually come to be considered as residence to among the largest, most frightening waves on the planet. Located before the lighthouse in North Beach, Nazaré is a coastline break that can generate waves approximately 100 feet in dimension as well as generally functions finest from October to March throughout a northwest or western swell. In 2018, Brazilian web surfer Rodrigo Koxa declared the Guinness World Record at the legendary place by riding an 80-foot wave. Last year, other Brazilian Maya Gabeira scratched a 73.5 footer there to assert the largest wave ever before surfed by a woman (and also the largest wave surfed by anybody in 2020).

“It’s probably the tallest wave on planet Earth and it breaks everywhere,” states Lenny. “It’s terrifying because you can ride a wave perfectly, kick out, and there can be the biggest wave you’ve ever seen in your life breaking in front of you. If your jet ski driver’s not there to pick you up, you’re going to get absolutely destroyed.”


Teahup’o, Tahiti

Unlike various other big-wave browse areas, Teahupo’o is understood except its elevation yet instead for its density as well as power. The South Pacific treasure breaks over a lancinating coral reef, using long, hollow waves as well as ideal barrels. The place creates the most effective waves throughout the completely dry period, from May to August, as well as generally functions finest on a southern to southwest swell, with south-southwest being one of the most suitable. In 2000, Tahitian web surfer Brice Taerea shed his life at the place, when a wave tossed him versus the coral reef.

“The wave itself doesn’t get super tall but it gets extremely thick and it’s pretty much the closest thing to rideable tsunami,” states Lenny. “It’s a surge that comes over the reef and you’re basically surfing a wave that’s 30 feet thick, 30 feet tall, and is over six feet of the sharpest reef you’ve ever seen.”


Tavarua, Fiji

Beau Blake


Consistently placed as one of the leading 10 finest as well as most tough waves on the planet, Cloudbreak is positioned on a protected coral reef, simply a couple of miles far from Tavarua Island. The place is a left coral reef break as well as although the waves generally max out at 20 feet, they are quick as well as the coral reef is superficial as well as sharp. Fiji creates surfable waves all year, yet Cloudbreak generates the most effective problems throughout a south or southwest swell.

“Cloudbreak is probably the most perfect, barreling long big wave that I’ve ever surfed,” states Lenny. “It’s also extremely powerful and breaks along a really shallow reef. I’ve seen it so big that it’s ripped chunks of the reef out and it smells like dead fish.”



Paia, Maui

Situated on the north coast of Maui, Jaws also known as Pe’ahi, is pertained to by numerous as the most effective as well as most surfable huge waves in the world. Ranging in dimension from 20 to 80 feet, the wave corresponds as well as flexible, making it well matched for both paddle- as well as tow-in searching. The world-renowned place functions best throughout the winter season, with December generally being one of the most suitable, throughout a north-northwest swell.

 “Jaws is one of the best big waves on the planet because it’s not only the tallest and one of the thickest, but it’s also perfect in the sense that you can paddle into the biggest wave of your life and then you can do almost any sport from tow-in surfing to windsurfing to foiling,” states Lenny. “It’s also probably the most brutal wipeout—it’s violent and it holds you down the longest.”

For accessibility to special equipment video clips, star meetings, as well as much more, subscribe on YouTube!