Part-time off-spinner Roston Chase took eight wickets as West Indies recorded their third biggest ever win by runs, a crushing 381-run defeat of England in the first in Barbados.
Chase, given the chance to shine in the absence of a specialist spinner in the line-up, seized the opportunity with a career-best haul of eight for 60 at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
West Indies, rank underdogs in the series, bowled out England for 246 in the second innings and won with more than a day to spare.
The England top-order batsmen all got starts but only opener Rory Burns (84) turned it into a big score.
Statisticians reached for the record books to put the result into historic perspective, revealing only two occasions when the Windies won by bigger margins by runs.
They defeated England by 425 runs in Manchester in 1976 and dusted Australia by 408 runs in Adelaide in 1980.
Chase's extraordinary figures were achieved even though he did not exact prodigious turn. He got just enough, however, to keep the batsmen on edge.
Chase, who came into the match with a profligate test bowling average of over 40, flighted the ball well but was aided by some poor shots by the batsmen.
The second test in the three-test series starts on Thursday in North Sound on the island of Antigua.