Blake Johnston, a former professional surfer from Australia, has officially broken the world record for the longest surf session.
Johnston paddled out at Cronulla Beach in Sydney at 1 a.m. on Thursday morning. The record he was attempting to break was held by Josh Enslin, a South African who surfed for 30 hours and 11 minutes back in 2017. Prior to that, American surfer Ben Shaw managed 29 hours 27 minutes in the water. Johnston not only broke the record — he smashed it by surfing for 40 hours straight.
He didn’t do it just for the sake of doing it, though. Johnston broke the record to raise money for mental health. The money will go to the Chumpy Pullin Foundation, a charity set up in memory of professional snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who died in 2020 in a spearfishing accident. Johnston lost his father to suicide ten years ago.
“This is to honor the anniversary of our dad,” said Ben Johnston, Blake’s brother. “For Blake, it’s been like this crazy journey since we lost our dad. This is just something to honor that and he really wants to actively show people that there are tools to deal with mental health.”
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As you might have guessed, the marathon surf wasn’t an easy accomplishment, and he began planning it over a year ago. “I’ve surfed my whole life but never in this realm,” Johnston told Australian media. “Yeah, it’s been a mental and physical challenge, to say the least.”
Before setting out, Johnston had a goal to surf not only for the longest amount of time, but to surf 500 waves. By 9 a.m. on Friday morning, he had ridden 533. By the time he was done, he had surfed over 600. So far, Johnston has raised over $200,000. Brings new meaning to the phrase “just one more,” doesn’t it?