Several world records fell by the wayside at Huntington Beach last Saturday, as a total of sixty-six surfers — among them Lakey Peterson and people’s hero Brett Simpson — crammed onto a massive surfboard and surfed a wave in celebration of International Surfing Day. We use the terms “surfed” and “wave” loosely (see below).
Not only was this the “Most People Riding a Surfboard at Once”, blowing the previous record of 47 clean out the water, it was also the “World’s Largest Surfboard”. The surfboard in question, designed by Nev Hyman, is apparently a giant version of one of Simpo’s shortboard models; it cost an estimated $70,000–90,000 to build, weighs 1,300 pounds, and was built to the following dimensions: 42.125′ x 11.08′ wide x 1.33′. Described by Huntington Beach’s mayor as a “statue of stoke”, it will henceforth reside permanently in the International Surfing Museum.
But if it was Hyman’s steady hand that brought the craft into being, it was Simpson’s surefooted competitive nous that guided it into the record books. The board and its riders were towed by jet skis — cheating, but whatever — into a liquid undulation that just about resembled a wave, though may have merely been the wake of the jet skis themselves. They managed to keep going for 13 seconds; the man from the Guinness Book of Records decided this was good enough and handed over their certificates. Congratulations!