Hawaiian-Jewish Surfer Makua Rothman May Have Ridden Largest Wave Ever

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Hawaii’s Makua Rothman surfs at Pe’ahi, also known as Jaws, during big wave surfing on Jan. 14, 2018.

By Gabe Friedman

Hawaiian-Jewish surfing star Makua Rothman may have successfully ridden the largest recorded wave in the history of the sport, estimated to be at least 100 feet tall.

The 36-year-old posted video of the achievement from last Saturday on his YouTube page on Wednesday. Footage starts here around 23:00.


The final estimate of the wave’s height will be announced at the annual XXL surfing awards, which Rothman told a local news channel should occur in May.

Rothman has a Jewish father and a Hawaiian mother and hails from Kahuku, Hawaii. Judaism was not a significant part of his life as a child, but he told the San Diego Jewish World in 2009 that he was drawing closer to the faith.

“God is the ocean. God is the air. God is the sun … Every time I’m out there I give thanks,” he said.

He also said that he is friends with Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, an early Jewish pioneer of the sport who helped popularize it in Israel. Paskowitz brought a young Rothman to Israel for a surfing event that brought Jewish and Arab Israelis together on the waves.

Rothman, who first got on a board at age 2, has been considered one of the best surfers in the world since his teenage years. He is also a professional musician who has toured with Matisyahu and The Wailers, Bob Marley’s former backing band.

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