Senior Editor

The Inertia

Just a few short weeks ago, the City of Huntington Beach organized a paddle out that broke the world record. Five hundred and eleven people swarmed off the famous pier, and Guinness confirmed the record soon after. It looks, though, like Jack O’Neill’s paddle out absolutely smashed it.

“Apparently, to set the record officially, participants needed to exceed 500 and successfully form an unbroken ring for more than 60 seconds,” wrote Dylan Heyden, our Associate Editor, of the Huntington paddle out. “An official Guinness World Record Book arbitrator was present both to count the participants and to witness the paddle out. It’s worth noting that while some paddle outs in the past are said to have been bigger, this is the first of its kind to be recorded by Guinness World Records.”

According to KWBW 8 and Mark Massara of O’Neill Wetsuits, the estimated number for O’Neill’s paddle out was more than 3,000. The participants weren’t there to set a record–they were there to pay their respects to a man who changed surfing forever.

The crowd along East Cliff Drive was even bigger. According to Massara, it was in the 5,000-6,000 person range. “There’s no doubt this was the largest paddle out, of any kind, ever,” he said.


The crowd that showed up to watch the paddle out is estimated to be around 5,000 people.

The crowd that showed up to watch the paddle out is estimated to be around 5,000 people.

O’Neill’s family didn’t request an official from Guinness World Records, but the team will look at video and consider it for the record books.

“We have received an application. Our Records Management Team thoroughly reviews all materials,” Guinness spokesperson Elizabeth Montoya told KWBW 8.

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