FROM noon today, spare a thought for a Port Elizabeth surfer while you settle into a relaxing weekend.
Josh Enslin, 30, is going to try and break the Guinness World Record for surfing non-stop. If he manages to do so, he will still be paddling around at the Pipe surf spot when you sit down for your Sunday lunch tomorrow.
In fact, if he equals the Surf Marathon World Record, you’ll already be feeling peckish for dinner at 27 minutes past five tomorrow afternoon. American Ben Shaw holds the record of 29 hours 27 minutes set on August 31 last year.
Many people in PE think he’s off his trolley, others might think it a bit lame, but even more are “stoked” at the publicity he has already garnered for the Friendly City, and the impact it could have for local charities.
The motivation that drives people to the ends of their endurance is a curious thing. Enslin is going to be very sore after moving from day into sharky night and back into day. There is the chance of some ugly rashes, let alone exhaustion and potential hypothermia.
The risks sounds painfully feasible. In order for him to break the record, he has to catch between 350 and 400 waves. That’s one wave every five minutes. He can eat and drink (in the water), and can only rest for five minutes every hour.
But perhaps the crown of endurance surfing belongs to 66year-old Dale Webster.
For 40 years, starting on September 3, 1975 in San Francisco, this crazy man surfed every single day ( catching a minimum of three waves). That is 14 641 days.
According to an article in Surfer Magazine, Webster surfed “no matter the conditions or circumstances. When storms were blowing waves back out to sea, he was out there. When his daughter was born, he was out there. When he passed a kidney stone, he was still somehow out there. And on the day his wife died of cancer, he was out there catching three to the beach”.
Then, on October 5 this year, he stopped. Webster had to undergo minor surgery for another kidney stone and was out of the water for two months.
Now that’s dedication. There are plenty of other “most of ” records. Kelly Slater, of course, holds the Most Wins on the WSL World Tour.
Guinness says that the “Most People Riding a Surfboard” record is 47 on a 12-metre board at Snapper Rocks, Australia, in 2005. It could also have been the biggest board ever towed-in. How else were they going to get going?
The world record for the “Most Surfboards Stacked on a Car” is 282 near Santa Barbara, in California, naturally. They drove 30.4 metres.
Another American, Donald Dettloff, owns 647 surfboards. From Maui in Hawaii, it took him 15 years to collect them, and apparently uses them as a fence. When he goes for a paddle, he runs down the garden, uproots a board and goes surfing. Okay, I made the last part up.
The biggest wave is attributed to Garrett McNamara who allegedly rode a wave at Praia do Norte, Nazaré, with a face of 78 feet. I say allegedly because that wave is hard to judge. But it’s in the Guinness Book of Records.
The longest ridden wave goes to Steve King, a British surfer who enjoyed the Longest Ride on a River Bore for 12.23 kilometres along the Severn Bore in Gloucestershire in 2006. However, there are some who have ridden the Pororaca or the Bono, in Sumatra, who might claim otherwise. The Bono is known to travel 60km inland.
Back in PE, Enslin’s motivation is apparently not just personal glory but for charities around his city, including donations he wants through his Cyoh Surf Club. Goodwill and good karma can help you endure discomfort, but I am not sure Lasha Pataraia was hearing that when he broke his record in 2012.
Pataraia managed to haul an eight-ton truck for 21.5 metres near Tbilisi, Georgia.
How? With his ear.
SOUTH AFRICAN Jared Houston was crowned the 2015 Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) World Tour champion in Puerto Rico amid delirious scenes on the beach earlier this week. Houston narrowly took the title with 5674 points to the 5652 of Frenchman Pierre-Louis Costes.
It was a close shave for Houston, who had to watch from the beach at the last event of the season as Costes came close to winning the event, and the world title, but lost in the final against Hawaiian Dave Hubbard.
MODERATE south winds today blow across a solid six foot swell on the west side, with onshore 3’ surf in Muizenberg. Tomorrow the surf drops to 4’ and the wind picks up to strong SSE, with Muizenberg ragged and messy.
TOTALLY TUBULAR: South African Jared Houston won the 2015 World Bodyboarding championship this week.