Surf- break­ing news: 66 riders on a board

What weighs 1,300 pounds and is 42 1⁄4 feet long? A big- ol’ surf­board, rid­den to a Guin­ness world 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 Is­land­based en­gi­neer­ing com­pany MouldCAM, mea­sures 42 1⁄4 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?” 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.

Pho­tog r aphs by Allen J. Schaben Los An­ge­les Times

SURF CHAM­PI­ONS, celebri­ties and lo­cal he­roes broke the Guin­ness World Record for “Most Peo­ple Rid­ing a Surf board at Once.” The Hunt­ing­ton Beach event was part of the cel­e­bra­tion of In­ter­na­tional Surf­ing Day.

A CRANE lif ts the surf board, which mea­sures 421⁄4 feet long, 11 feet 1 inch wide and 16 inches thick. The record for big­gest surf board hasn’t been con­firmed.

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