surfboard stacking


Diversion in which surfers lash down as many surfboards as possible to the roof of a car. As it originated in Southern California, board-stacking involved bodies as well as boards. "Larry Stephens of Dana Point," as noted in a Surfer magazine caption next to a black-and-white photo of a parked wood-paneled Country Squire, "challenges anyone to produce a picture of a surf car with more boards than this. Total sticks on the roof: 9! Bodies in the car: 10!"

There were challengers in early 1962, one from Malibu and another from Fullerton, each with 13 boards and 13 surfers. Australia checked in before the year was out, with a group from Southern Australia loading 14 boards and 15 surfers, and a Brisbane entry coming in at 22 and 22. The year ended with a group from San Diego, California, loading 32 boards, 35 surfers, and a dog.

Board-stacking disappeared for more than 15 years, then returned, with modifications, in 1978. The game now was boards only; onboard surfers (and pets) counted for nothing. Furthermore, the board-loaded car had to be driven a short distance under its own power. Former U.S. surfing champion Corky Carroll stacked 40 boards on a customized VW Bug in 1978 and did the requisite drive. The following year, surfers from Byron Bay, Australia, piled 60 boards atop a Morris Minor. In 1981, in the Malibu parking lot, 72 boards were loaded onto an American-made sedan (model unknown), but as Surfing magazine noted, the car "was sitting on its differential and oilpan." The entry was disqualified.

Surf instructors at San Diego's Mission Bay Aquatic Center made a strong bid in 1988, with 115 boards loaded onto a Plymouth Galaxy 500. There was general agreement by this time that the board-stacked car had to be driven for 100 feet with no dropped boards, and that all structural support had to originate from the roof of the vehicle.  Close scrutiny of the Aquatic Center's entry showed that a board had been propped sideways on the Galaxy's trunk, providing a disqualifying support strut. Again, no record. Three months later the Aquatic Center was back with a perfectly executed 141-board effort.

In 1998, a group from Santa Barbara, California, thatched together 282 boards on top of a Humvee—doubling the record—smoothly drove 100 feet across the Rincon parking lot, and apparently brought the game to an end. No attempts at the record have since been made.