Surfers Ride Giant Board Into Record Books

More than 40 surfers cruised into the record books Saturday when they successfully rode a giant surfboard off an Australian beach, breaking the previous world record set by an English team of 14 people in 2003.

More than 5,000 people gathered Saturday to watch riders conquer the 40-foot-long, 10-foot-wide board, newspapers reported. The board, created by board shaper Nev Hyman, arrived by semitrailer. More than 20 people carried it to the surf.

The riders at the Queensland state tourist city, Gold Coast (search), where the Quiksilver (search) and Roxy Pro (search) surf competitions were held, included pro surfers Chris Ward (search) of California and Australian champion Danny Wills.

Newspaper reports of how many riders took part ranged from 44 to 47.

Hyman said the four-minute ride to shore was worth the monthlong effort to build the board.

"It was the best four minutes of my surfing life. It went in strong and straight," Hyman told Queensland's The Sunday Mail newspaper.

The board that set the 2003 record was 36 feet long.