Garrett was born far from the ocean in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in the summer of 1967. His predilection for daredevil feats was established early. At 11 months, he launched himself out of his booster seat, which happened to be on top of the kitchen counter. He survived the crash with nothing more than a bump on the head but this set the tone for the future. In 1978 Garrett’s family moved to the North Shore of Hawaii. Surfing was like a force that overtook his life.
At seventeen, Garrett entered and placed in the prestigious Hawaiian Triple Crown Series. Both him and his brother Liam began to attract the attention of major sponsors and signed deals with a number of prominent brands in Japan. They spent the next ten years on the competition circuit, traveling and becoming fluent in Japanese. It was the realization of a dream for both brothers.
In the summer of 2007, Garrett and partner Keali’I Mamala pushed big-wave boundaries even further. Traveling to one of the most inhospitable climates in the world, the two big-wave surfers found themselves off the coast of South-Central Alaska, hoping to surf Tsunami waves formed by calving glaciers. “It was the heaviest rush sitting out there, dwarfed by this enormous 300’ glacier,” recalls Garrett, “We were just waiting for the whole thing to crash down in front of us and hoping we would survive when it did.”
For all his accolades, for all his accomplishments, for all his big-wave bravado Garrett remains humble and unassuming. With none of the posturing and attitude one usually expects of extreme sports athletes, Garrett almost seems at odds with his public persona. This makes him approachable and a stand out citizen, always looking to give back anyway he can. Garrett is nominated for “Ride of the Year” and “Biggest Wave” at the 2012 Billabong Global Big Wave Awards.
Bio courtesy of: GarrettMcNamara.com