British surfer Tom Butler conquers 'biggest wave in history' in world record claim

  • Video report by ITV News correspondent Rachel Younger

Conquering what is thought to be the world's biggest wave surfed was "scary" and like being "chased by bulls", a British surfer has said.

Tom Butler from Newquay said the wave was the tallest to be surfed during the last part of this year's big wave winter season, and could be in the running to break the current world record.

The 28-year-old surfed the wave, which is believed to be more than 100m (30ft) tall on Friday in Nazare, Portugal, home to some of the largest breaking waves on the planet.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Butler said the feat has "made his year" and that it was a moment that would "stay with him".

Recalling "tearing down the wave at 50 or 60mph," Mr Butler said his "heart was in his mouth" as he feared falling from his board.

Cornish surfer Tom Butler suffered a crushed chest and split ear after surfing in Nazare two years ago. Credit: Tom Butler

The professional big wave surfer accomplished the feat in the same place he suffered serious injuries two years earlier.

In 2016, Mr Butler suffered a crushed chest and split ear after falling from a 45ft wave during the World Surf League Big Wave Tour Competition.

He spent three days in hospital recovering from his injuries.

Photographers and onlookers have claimed that Tom may have broken the record when he rode the wave on Friday 14 December.

The official measurement will be recorded in April next year at the World Surf League XXL award ceremony.

The current record for the tallest wave was also set here, and is held by Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa at 80ft (24m).