The final estimate of the wave’s height will be announced at the annual XXL surfing awards, which Rothman told a local news channel should occur in May.
Rothman has a Jewish father and a Hawaiian mother and hails from Kahuku, Hawaii. Judaism was not a significant part of his life as a child, but he told the San Diego Jewish World in 2009 that he was drawing closer to the faith.
“God is the ocean. God is the air. God is the sun … Every time I’m out there I give thanks,” he said.
He also said that he is friends with Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, an early Jewish pioneer of the sport who helped popularize it in Israel. Paskowitz brought a young Rothman to Israel for a surfing event that brought Jewish and Arab Israelis together on the waves.
Rothman, who first got on a board at age 2, has been considered one of the best surfers in the world since his teenage years. He is also a professional musician who has toured with Matisyahu and The Wailers, Bob Marley’s former backing band.