Huntington Beach Is Building The World's Largest Surfboard
UPDATE, JUNE 20
Huntington Beach is celebrating International Surfing Day on June 20 in a most epic way. Surf City USA will attempt to break not one, but two Guinness World Records: "World's Largest Surfboard" and "Most People Riding A Surfboard." More than 60 professional surfers and local heroes will ride the custom-made, 42-foot surfboard, and three lucky winners of the Epic Wave Contest will join them.
Crafting the massive board has been a wild collaborative effort, with Orange County boat builder Westerly Marine, Rhode Island's mouldCAM, and local surf industry shapers all onboard. The plank was built in Rhode Island, then shipped to Santa Ana for assembly and painting. Its measurements reach 42' 1/4" long, 11' 1" wide and 16" thick, and the design mirrors a famous short board ridden by Brett Simpson, professional Hurley-backed surfer and Huntington Beach native.
The rules are simple: Ride the wave for 10 seconds, and whoever's still standing counts.
"It's appropriate that the world's largest surfboard—and the record for most people surfing on that board—would reside here in Surf City USA," says Peter "PT" Townend, first World Surfing Champion and Huntington Beach local. "With the International Surfing Museum, the Surfing Walk of Fame and the Surfer's Hall of Fame, along with the world's biggest spectator surf contest, the US Open of Surfing, Huntington Beach is where surf culture happens."
Snapper Rocks, Queensland, Australia, holds the current world records with a notably smaller board (39' 4" long, 9' 10"wide, and 11.8" thick) and 47 people. The legendary ride took place on March 5, 2005. As history has it, Huntington Beach also broke that record in 2005—but no one thought to report it:
"In 2005, the world’s largest surfboard came to Huntington Beach from Australia. The surf city wanted to make the record for most surfers riding the board, by having 60 people on the 39-foot-long, 9-foot-wide plank.
The surfers would've made the books—the previous record was 48 people. Except nobody called the Guinness World Records."
While the bulk of the spots are reserved for the pros—including Simpson—three people can win places on the board, courtesy of Visit Huntington Beach's Epic Wave Contest.
Timed during the 11th Annual International Surfing Day celebrations from 9 a.m. to noon, the record-breaking ride will take over the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier and is free for spectators. According the to Epic Big Board Ride Facebook page, tons of fun is in the mix:
"On June 20, 2015, there will also be a vendor village in Pier Plaza and live entertainment in the Pier Plaza Amphitheater throughout the day. Surfrider Foundation will be hosting its annual International Surfing Day Celebration north of the HB Pier, while the Huntington Beach Downtown BID will be hosting its annual Chili at the Beach chili cook-off on Main Street in Downtown HB. Join us for what is sure to be a fun-filled day of celebration, delicious food, and entertainment at the beach!"