Towering over the waves

2014-10-17 00:00

A DURBAN man is one of the world’s tallest surfers.

At 2,14 metres, Phillip Gandy is a giant on the waves and, on terra firma, towers above everybody else.

However, there is a downside to being incredibly tall he says — from finding long enough sleeves to wet suits that fit, to having to stoop before he goes through a doorway.

Gandy did not think there was anything unusual about his height and surfing until he found an article on surf website theinertia.com that described Andy Carter, a New Jersey surfer as the world’s tallest surfer.

Gandy stands three centimetres taller than Carter.

Gandy (35), who is also a photographer, said he had been surfing since he was 17 and was such a slow and gangly starter that he had even contemplated giving up the sport.

“It took me two weeks to stand up on the board, which is unusually long,” he said.

He said the taller you are, the harder it is to surf, but it had been both challenging and relaxing.

“When I go for my medical check-ups, the doctors have measuring tapes that stop at 1,9 metres so I just tell them my height,” he said.

He said he surfs with “short, fat and fast” boards.

After chatting with friends a few weeks ago, Gandy said it was the first time he realised he could be the world’s tallest surfer.

“My mate and I were at the beach when he asked me if I knew the height of the tallest surfer, because it could be quite possible it was me,” he said

Gandy said after a Google search, he had found information on Carter.

Now Gandy wants to get the Guinness Book of Records to recognise him for his lofty attributes.

“I’ve been researching the application process to get the certificate as the world’s tallest surfer, but it seems pretty bureaucratic,” he said.

Gandy is engaged to Brazilian Maria Silva Lima, who he met via Instagram.

“Three years ago, she liked a few of my pictures and I followed her and since then I’ve been to Brazil and she has come here to visit,” he said.

Gandy, who is going to Brazil next week, expects to marry Lima, who is 1,6 metres tall, next year.

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