For centuries, seafarers have told tales about monsters, which is nothing new. The latest such story is that one of those monsters actually exists – although scientists confirmed it fairly late, in 1995. We are talking about the so-called giant wave, also known as the monster wave or freak wave.
In its smaller form, it is about 25 metres high, but it can reach up to 40 metres. It appears on its own, its side is extremely steep, and it travels much faster than 'normal' waves. If you want to ride it, you need an excellent surfboard.
When the best meets the best.
Mercedes-Benz wanted to develop the ultimate surfboard. The perfect opportunity to collaborate with someone who knows all about what is needed for these giants: Garrett McNamara has been riding giant waves for twenty years. He comes from Hawaii and holds the world record in bigwave surfing.
Together with Mercedes-Benz engineers, technicians and designers, he has developed a surfboard that is tailor-made not only for this type of wave, but also for his individual surfing style.
Safety and top performance.
All in all, four tailor-made boards were produced by the "MBoard Project". Mercedes-Benz was responsible for the design and McNamara for the shape and weight of the boards. The central feature of the cooperation was a search for the ideal material and perfect weight distribution on the board. This was achieved by carbon fibre strengthening in the middle and kevlar workmanship at the ends. The boards are all of different shapes and tailor-made for McNamara's weight and height. They were built in Portugal. Supervised by Teddy Woll, Head of Mercedes-Benz Aerodynamics, they were subjected to extreme tests in the Sindelfingen wind tunnel. McNamara tested his boards at the beginning of February 2014 on the waves of Nazaré in Portugal in the storm named "Brigid", and he was delighted:
'Everyone who comes here to surf giant waves says: 'These boards are no good. We need new boards!' But this one here was the best board I've ever surfed monster waves on.'