Huntington Beach now holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest paddle out. This week 511 surfers left the shore on the north side of Huntington Beach Pier, paddled out several hundred yards and joined hands, as quoted from Surfers Village.
The feat completed the ceremonial circle (or amoeba shape in this instance) traditional in the surf community to send surfers on to the next world once they have passed.
The whole process took two hours. It was organised by Diana Dehm who is the executive director of the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach.
While initially it sounds like a relatively easy task to get 500+ people to simply paddle out and join hands, things don’t always go as planned.
“And there it is,” the City of Huntington Beach wrote in a tweet. “Mayor Delgleize holding up the Guinness World Record certificate for the world’s biggest paddle out. Congratulations to all involved!”
According to one report, the surfers were supposed to hold pool noodles but padding and hanging on to the styrofoam toys was nearly impossible. A last-minute change of plan called for the surfers to hold hands.
And while an estimated 60 surfers did not make it to the final circle which gathered at the end of Huntington Beach Pier, the 500+ surfers who did ensured that this event will be a world record.
Brett Simpson, hometown hero and former CT surfer from Huntington Beach, participated in the record-breaking paddle-out and acknowledged the difficulty in pulling it off. “It was a long process, no doubt,” Simpo told Surfline. “Long wait to get everyone out there and situated, but it ended up being super cool. The swell is here, so it was tough for some to make it out the back.”
The paddle out is Huntington Beach’s second entry into the Guinness record books. Two years ago 66 surfers rode a 42-foot long surfboard to claim the “biggest surfboard ever surfed” award.