Surfer Rides Record Wave in Panama Canal for 41 Miles


The 13-time National Surfing Champion of Panama set Guiness World Records for the longest time and distance riding a wave this weekend in the Panama Canal. On March 19, Gary Saavedra rode a wave created by a power boat for three hours, 55 minutes, and 2 seconds—traveling 41.3 miles in the process.

The Red Bull athlete averaged 10.5 miles per hour and clocked a top speed of 13.5 mph. He battled high winds, the occasional freighter wave, choppy waters, and a leg cramp for roughly an hour before calling his record run. 

Gary Saavedra, Agustin Munoz/Red Bull Content Pool

“This record feels incredible,” Saavedra said after the attempt. “I had never confronted these conditions and to surpass all these challenges and establish two Guinness World Records is the biggest achievement of my professional career so far.”

–Joe Spring