Directed by award-winning filmmaker Chris Smith the six-part HBO Sports Documentary series 100 Foot Wave premiering this spring, intimately captures the decade-long odyssey of surfing pioneer Garrett McNamara, who, after visiting Nazaré, Portugal in hopes of conquering a 100-foot wave, pushed the sport to ever-greater heights and alongside locals helped transform the small fishing village into the world’s preeminent big-wave surfing destination.
After being recruited by a band of Nazaré locals who hoped to see if the dangerous swells they had observed their entire lives were surfable, McNamara – the Guinness World Record holder for the largest wave ever surfed for eight years – and his wife, Nicole, traveled to the remote city in 2010 to pursue the monster waves. Standing atop the city’s abandoned 500-year-old lighthouse, they witnessed surf more dangerous than any they had ever seen, and a possible answer to Garrett’s lifelong quest to ride a 100-foot wave. In the years to come, their journey helped attract the most fearless big-wave surfers to Nazaré and helped solidify it as the marquee destination in the sport.
Over the course of six episodes, 100 Foot Wave interweaves the transformative story of the seaside village with McNamara and his peers’ ongoing search for the tallest wave on the planet. The series captures the common spirit and fearless passion shared by McNamara and big-wave surfers from across the world as they push themselves through life-altering injuries and tantalizing near-misses in their collective pursuit of the inconceivable. Spanning four continents, 100 Foot Wave is an inspirational story of a group of people on a quest to achieve new heights, and a town and a sport that were forever changed by one seemingly impossible dream.