Surfing is a great sport that's highly competitive - so it's no surprise that the people who take part will often set and challenge records. The commitment and passion exhibited by surfers, who are taking on the power of nature and the oceans, make surfing into an extreme sport, which tests the limits of the participants.
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The Guinness World Records has confirmed an interesting selection of surfing world records. Read on to find out more about the people whose stunts and accomplishments have gone down in history...
Highest wave surfed
The record for the highest wave surfed is held by Brazil’s Rodrigo Koxa, who was 38 when he rode the 80ft-high wave at Nazaré, Portugal, on 8th November 2017.
After winning the Guinness World Record title, he also received the Quiksilver Award from the World Surf League for his achievement. He broke the previous record of 78ft, which was held by American Garrett McNamara, who had also set the record at Nazaré on 1st November 2011.
Longest wave surfed
The world record for the longest wave surfed is held by national surfing champion Gary Saavedra, of Panama. He surfed a staggering 43.1 miles along the Panama Canal on 19th March 2011 by following a wave-creating boat. His feat took him three hours, 55 minutes and two seconds, which also broke the record for the longest time spent surfing one wave.
He smashed the previous record of 6.3 miles, set in 2006 by Brazilian surfer Serginho Laus on the Araguari River, in a time of 33 minutes and 15 seconds.
Most professional wins
The person who holds the world record for Most Wins of the Pro Surfing World Championships is Kelly Slater. The American professional surfer has achieved an unprecedented 11 wins in the World Surfing Championships. Slater, now 47, achieved his amazing run of victories between 1992 and 2011.
Not only has he made the Guinness World Records with his surfing skills, he has also made his fortune, as his career earnings total $4.07 million, according to the latest estimates in 2018.
Most people riding a surfboard
The world record for Most People Riding a Surfboard was achieved when 66 surfers simultaneously rode a giant surfboard measuring 42ft long, 11ft 1in wide and 1ft 4.4ins thick at Huntington Beach, California, on 20th June 2015.
It was no mean feat getting such a large surfboard, carrying so many people, on the waves. It had to be towed through the water until it was safe to release it. The previous world record had been set in Queensland, Australia, by 47 surfers, 10 years earlier.
Biggest collection of surfboards
The biggest collection of surfboards in the world belongs to Donald Dettloff, of Maui, Hawaii, who owns 647. He has been collecting them since 1990 and has amassed so many that he has used them to build a fence at his home. He officially set the record on 5th November 2009 - and appears to be the first person to have been bestowed with this particular world record!
Biggest women's paddle-in wave
Brazilian surfer Andrea Moller set a new world record for the biggest women's paddle-in wave on 16th January 2016, when she caught a 42ft wave in Pe'ahi, Maui, Hawaii.
This is the first official record in this category, as big wave surfing for women has come to prominence only in recent years. In fact, there have been accusations among women surfers that big wave surfing has been "stuck in the 1960s" for too long.
Buzzy Trent, the famous big wave surfing pioneer, famously wrote in 1963 that female surfers would have a "greater tendency to panic" than men, which would be "extremely dangerous in big surf" - a sexist statement that is being disproved time and time again!
An intrepid rescue dog, Australian Kelpie, Abbie Girl, set a Guinness World Record for the longest wave surfed by a dog in 2011. She surfed a distance of 65.62 yards - an amazing feat, as the minimum distance for the category was only 30 yards, which she more than doubled!
Abbie Girl was found by the roadside, alone, in 2006 and was rescued by the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. She was adopted by surfer Michael Uy, who took her to the beach to rehabilitate her. She loved surfing and has become the world's top surfing dog. Equipped with a GPS tracking device for safety reasons, she is known and loved by surfers and the wider community across the world today.
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