Hurricane Marie may have been all the fuss, but no one in Southern California had even half the session North Carolina’s Ben Shaw did. And we’re not necessarily talking the swell that Hurricane Cristobal pushed through — though he surely caught some of those waves, or at least the wake after. Instead, Shaw surfed the longest continuous session ever. The North Carolinian started at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and continued to surf for 29 hours and 10 minutes. High tide, low tide, waves, flat… the mad hatter was out there paddling. What did it amount to? 300 total waves. They weren’t overhead and barreling like further up the coast in the pumping Northeast — which for the purposes of this challenge was probably for the better — but don’t get us wrong: at times waist- to chest-high, the waves weren’t by any means “bad,” either.
The Kure Beach native, a business professor at Cape Fear Community College, took to his local break in an effort to beat the Guinness Book of World Records current record of 29 hours and 5 minutes held by Kurtis Loftus, of Jacksonville, Florida. Why did he do it? To raise awareness for non-profit Ocean Cure, an organization “dedicated to giving free surf lessons to medically fragile and at risk youth and adults.”
According to a report by Surfline, Shaw broke his 9’0” Shaun O’Donnell longboard in the 15th hour, switching to his only backup board (as deemed “allowable” by Guinness requirements): a 9’0” foamie teaches with.
“That thing just chafed my thighs for 14 or 15 hours,” Shaw admitted to the website. “But it was still fun and I still caught waves.”
Shaw really loves to surf. In the edit from a local news broadcast below, WWAY reports that he recently set another record: surfing everyday for 439 days straight, beating a previous (un-official) North Carolina record.