HALF MOON BAY, Calif. -- One of the world's best surfers was swallowed up by a massive El Nino-boosted wave off the coast of Northern California. He called it one of the "craziest" wipeouts of his career.
Big wave rider Garrett McNamara wiped out on a 50-foot swell in the treacherous Mavericks surf break near Half Moon Bay.
The gigantic wave threw McNamara from his board and across the water.
"I hit so hard, it was just like a big, bright light," McNamara told ABC News. "It was definitely one of the craziest wipeouts I've ever had."
A second wave then crashed down on his empty board.
"I was right backed up against a mushroom rock and I didn't realize it. If I had known I was right there I could have definitely thought it might be my last wave," McNamara described.
McNamara survived with just a broken left arm. Rescuers on jet skis brought him in.
"This is definitely the most traumatizing injury I've ever had. First time I ever jumped in an ambulance, first time I had to go under the knife, first time i had surgery," he said.
McNamara is now recovering and says despite this close call, he will never stop surfing and he can't wait to get back in the water.
"Surfing is my life. It's my passion. It's what I love to do, and I will never stop surfing," McNamara said.
Mcnamara holds the world record for catching an epic 78-foot wave - the largest ever surfed.
ABC News contributed to this report.
Pro surfer describes epic wipeout from 50-foot El Nino-fueled wave off NorCal coast
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