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Earthwave Global Surf Challenge

Stemming from the immense interest in the record breaking attempt on the Guinness World Record for the ‘most surfers riding one wave’ in Cape Town in September 2006 (see below), the Kahuna Surfing Academy challenged selected surf schools, promoters and surfing organisations around the world to try and break the GWR on the first Sunday in September annually.

The inaugural edition of what has become known as the Earthwave Global Surf Challenge was staged on 2 September 2007 in Australia, Reunion Island, South Africa, England, Brazil, Argentina and Tahiti. Brazil set a new record of 84 surfers on one wave, followed by South Africa (71) and England (31).

See for comprehensive details and many images from all the events in this project that showcases the global nature of the surfing community, raises awareness of Global Warming and issues a ‘call to action’ on how to combat the effects of climate change.

The next edition of the Earthwave Global Surf Challenge will be staged on Sunday 7 September 2007 and is expected to feature dozens of events staged worldwide.

2006 Guinness World Record Attempt

Thanks to the phenomenal support of the surfing community of the Cape Peninsula, the Guinness World Record for the 'Most surfers standing on one wave' was easily surpassed at Muizenberg Corner on Sunday 17 September 2006 when 73 intrepid wave-riders caught and then rode a single wave for longer than five seconds.

The record is unofficial at present as video evidence submitted to the GWR organisation in London is still to be officially ratified, but with 349 surfers having paddled out to make the attempt and three of the other five waves ridden producing 69, 68 and 64 surfers standing for five seconds, the existing record of 44 on a wave set in Ireland in May is about to be consigned to history.

"The response to the record breaking attempt was overwhelming", commented an elated Dene Botha, owner of the Kahuna Surfing Academy, who registered the record attempt and organised the Muizenberg event, adding "We were hoping for about 200 surfers but well over 300 made the effort and it's thanks to them, and all the generous sponsors, particularly those who funded the participation and transport costs for more than 50 surfers from previously disadvantaged communities, that has brought this world record to Cape Town."

The record breaking attempt garnered unprecedented media attention for the surfing community of the Southern Peninsula with front page pictures in local and international publications including China, Sweden, England, Scotland, Canada, Brazil and Peru (that we know of!).

There was also national TV coverage and requests for footage from global news agencies such as TWI, Sky Sports and a number of others, including Japan.

Reports and images are available on a number of popular websites with carrying the most comprehensive coverage. See the Gallery on this page for more images and has a range of high resolution images from the event available for downloading.

The shark situation around the Peninsula was also highlighted and a well attended debate convened by KSA's Paul Botha saw seven delegates including Tourism Cape Town GM Mariette du Toit and representatives from the surfing, surfski, lifesaving, NSRI, fishing, shark cage diving, scuba diving and environmental organisations voicing their standpoints after the city's Draft Shark Safety Strategy had been presented to the approximately 100 attendees.

A broad diversity of opinions on the topic was forthcoming with a couple of the salient features being:

  • Great Whites are not an endangered species
  • Ocean users' concerns about the escalation in interactions between sharks and humans over the past five years
  • Opposition to the shark scientists theories that the ocean is the 'domain of the sharks' and their assertions that there are no 'rogue' sharks and that the shark cage diving industry does not alter sharks' behaviour
  • The claim that tourism enquiries increase after every shark attack
  • Calls for shark nets and selective culling as possible solutions to the problem
  • Demands that the local authorities show more political will and commit increased funding to solving the problem
  • Fund raising efforts on behalf of the non-profit Shark Spotters organisation, which is to be expanded as the core feature of the City's efforts to protect bathers and surfers, were also successful. R2 230 in donations were received on the day at Muizenberg and profits from the project amounting to R7 838 enabled the Kahuna Surfing Academy to hand over a total of R10 068 to the Shark Spotters Program

All told, the Guinness World Record attempt promoted the Deep South as a world class venue for watersports with a caring community who are prepared to stand up and be counted to ensure that it remains that way for future generations.

Well done and many thanks to everyone who participated!

See View From The Beach for further reports of the record breaking GWR attempt and Shark Debate and a list of the Sponsors


The inaugural edition of the Earthwave Global Surf Challenge was staged in seven countries on 2 September 2007

84 surfers ride one wave at the 2007 Earthwave Brazil event to set a new Guinness World Record © Marcio Rodrigues /

71 surfers on the same wave at the 2007 Earthwave South Africa event at Muizenberg © Alan van Gysen /

More than 70 surfers on a wave at Muizenberg during the Guinness World Record attempt in September 2006 Photo: Jim McLagan / Argus

Dene Botha hands over a cheque for R10 068 to Yvonne Kamp and Patrick 'Rasta' Davids of the Shark Spotters

Approximately 70 surfers ride one wave at Muizenberg in Cape Town to unofficially claim the Guinness World Record

A section of the 349 participants head out for the attempt on the Guinness World Record on Sunday 17 September

Guinness World Record Poster

The world record setting attempt at Lahinch in Ireland in May