Surfing Legend Garrett McNamara Rides a Mercedes Board
Garrett McNamara and Mercedes-Benz designers engineer ideal surf board for giant waves
by John Clark | 27 February 2014
Against the backdrop of the lighthouse at Nazaré in Portugal, one of the most famous surfing locations in the world, Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, handed over four surfboards to Garrett McNamara. The Hawaiian surfing star and world record holder aims to use the boards, which he has developed in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, to “ride” the monster waves off the coast at Nazaré.
The four surfboards were designed and engineered by McNamara together with designers and engineers from Mercedes-Benz at the company’s Design Centre in Sindelfingen and subjected there to extreme testing, for example in the wind tunnel. Mercedes-Benz was responsible for the design and McNamara for the shape and weight of the boards. The key quest of the cooperation was to identify the ideal material and the perfect distribution of weight on the board. The boards, which were built in Portugal and are specifically suited to surfing on giant waves, each have a slightly different shape and have been tailor-made to McNamara’s weight and height. The joint project, under the name “MBoard”, represents an impressive example of the Mercedes-Benz motto: “The best or nothing”.
Surfing legend McNamara tested the boards for the first time from 2 to 13 February in Portugal, showing himself more than satisfied with the result. The cooperation could well be extended to further projects over the course of 2014; for example involving the use of telemetry to measure for the first time the precise speeds achieved by extreme surfers.
46-year-old Garrett McNamara, known in the surfing world simply as G-Mac, has been among the world’s leading surfers for many years now. He has become particularly well known for his spectacular rides on the huge waves off Hawaii, Alaska and Portugal. Since November 2011 he has held the record for the largest wave ever surfed, 24 metres, set off the coast at Nazaré. Garrett McNamara has surfed the gigantic waves of Nazaré at 62.4 km/hour. This maximum peak of speed was revealed by the surfer himself this Wednesday.