Hauser sets Guinness World Record

Maui resident’s Peahi ride last year deemed largest wave windsurfed by a woman

Sarah Hauser drops in on her record-setting wave at Peahi on Dec. 31, 2019. Last week, Hauser was awarded the Guinness World Records title for the biggest wave ever windsurfed by a woman, a previously undocumented feat. erikaeder.com photo

There is no dream too big, according to Maui’s Sarah Hauser, who last week was awarded the Guinness World Records title for the biggest wave ever windsurfed by a woman, a previously undocumented feat.

The 31-year-old North Shore resident caught the 36-foot wave on New Year’s Eve last year at Peahi, the surf break also known as Jaws. She hopes her record-setting feat will inspire the next generation of female windsurfers to “aim high.”

“It’s pretty special to leave a trace of history in windsurfing,” said Hauser, a professional big-wave windsurfer who’s also a hydrofoil and wing rider, stand-up paddler and surfer. “I’ve dedicated my life to this sport, so it would be really nice to have more women and more people in general to create their own history and follow their dreams, whatever it may be.”

Hauser’s big-wave record is also verified by the International Windsurfing Tour.

Since it’s the first-ever documentation for that discipline in the Guinness World Records, there was a lot of “back and forth” on finalizing whether that wave was in fact the largest by any female windsurfer, she said.


And according to the GWR website, around 60 percent of applications that suggest new records and categories get rejected.

Hauser, a three-time IWT winner and two-time Aloha Classic champion, told The Maui News that the process required a lot of proof, such as video footage of the wave, written documentation and testimonials from local watermen and sponsors, which “played a big role.”

“I’m very thankful to be a professional athlete and have this be what I do for a living,” she said. “I’m grateful for the support of my sponsors who helped me to make this happen, and being able to train with really great people at the gym and in the water.”

Though the moment was nearly a year ago and lasted less than a minute, Hauser said with a laugh that “I can never forget that wave.”

“It’s going to be a part of my memories forever,” she said. “It was scary but there was also a deep level of peace.

“You’re just so focused on what you’re doing and even though all your instincts are telling you to escape, you’re prepared to perform on such extreme conditions.”

Hauser moved to Maui seven years ago from France and surfed Jaws for the first time in 2013. An iconic location for big-wave surfing, Hauser said “there are only a few opportunities each time to get better out there and stay focused on the goal.”

Documentation or not, Hauser said windsurfing is “truly something I do for myself” and she always aims to improve out in the water, though she admitted that seeing her name in the Guinness World Records book “adds to the excitement.”

“The whole adventure is so meaningful,” she added. “It seems like in surfing, everything is documented but there was also no way to know what the previous records were for women.

“Now we can get the conversations going.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.


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