Surfing legend Garrett McNamara chases a dangerous dream off Nazaré, Portugal.

By Dan Snierson
June 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
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100 Foot Wave
Credit: HBO

Instead of braving the waters yourself this summer, you can wet-knuckle your way through Garrett McNamara's quest to conquer some gargantuan waves off Portugal.

In the six-part HBO docuseries 100 Foot Wave, premiering July 18, the big wave pioneer takes on his most fearsome challenge yet, and it's going to take a village - specifically the fishing village of Nazaré - to pull it off.

In 2010, a group of Nazaré residents invited McNamara to visit this deadly break and assess whether these waves could indeed be surfed. An eight-year holder of the Guinness World Record for the largest wave ever surfed, McNamara had a dream - a very dangerous one - of surfing the mythical 100-foot wave. As he, wife Nicole (who pioneered the position of wave spotting), and his team explored the possibilities off the Nazaré shoreline in the following years, more big-name big-wave surfers arrived on the scene with similar goals, assuring Praia do Norte's place in the stratosphere alongside such breaks as Jaws (Maui), Teahupoo (Tahiti), and Mavericks (California).

In the first trailer for the docuseries, you can see those wicked walls of water in action. "Fear is something we choose," says McNamara in a voiceover. "Fear is when we're not in the moment. For the big wave, the only thing that exists is right now." Ominously testifies Nicole: "It's scary... those waves are a place of death." (The series does contain some close calls with that.)

Watch the video above and drop your jaw in amazement at what McNamara & co. are willing to do for a thrill.

100 Foot Wave was directed by Chris Smith (Fyre) and executive-produced by Joe Lewis (Fleabag).

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