How 66 surfers on one 1,300-pound board set a Guinness Record
Surfing history was made in Huntington Beach this weekend.
On Saturday, 66 surfers rode a giant 1,300-pound board, setting a world record for the most people to ride a surfboard.
At least in the eyes of Guinness World Records.
“Today you had 66 people – that’s a new Guinness world record,” Michael Empric of Guinness told the surfers and the thousands in the crowd. “Welcome to the Guinness world record holder family.”
How did the huge surfboard come together?
The fiberglass board, designed by Australian board maker Nev Hyman and cut by Rhode Island-based engineering company MouldCAM, measures 421/4 feet long, 11 feet 1 inch wide and 16 inches thick. It was assembled by Santa Ana boat builder Westerly Marine.
Kelly Miller, president and chief executive of Visit Huntington Beach, said the board initially was going to cost more than $100,000 but that the estimate is now $70,000 to $90,000.
“It’s been a labor of love by a variety of people from around the world who have really coalesced around this incredibly epic idea about the world’s largest surfboard ridden by the most number of people ever,” he said. “As you look at the board, it truly is a piece of art as well as a very functioning, high-performance, record-breaking-worthy surfboard.”
Miller said the safety of the riders was a significant concern.
“The fins were designed for the board and are exactly what we need to have to make sure it can withstand the 1,300 pounds of the board and the over 10,000 pounds of the riders,” he said. “We want to make sure the board performs exactly as a high-performance surfboard should.”
How long was the ride?
Some officials believe the riders — including professional surfing stars and local surfers and officials — managed to stay on the board close to 15 seconds.
Guinness is still trying to determine whether the board also set a record for the world’s largest.
Crowds cheered as the surfers hit the record.
“We’re Surf City, USA. Where else would this be happening?” said Jim Katapodis, Huntington Beach mayor pro tempore, said afterward.
Wasn’t there another big surfboard ride at Huntington Beach?
In 2005, 60 surfers rode a 39-foot board that was on display in the city during the U.S. Open of Surfing, beating the record set earlier that year in Australia by 47 surfers on the same board. But no one from Guinness was present for the Huntington effort, so it wasn’t officially recorded.
What’s next for the surfboard?
Miller said the board will be paraded down Main Street during the city’s Fourth of July parade and will become a fixture at the International Surfing Museum in downtown Huntington Beach.
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