By CHRISTINA RITCHIE ROGERS
HUNTERSVILLE – With two Guinness World Records under his belt and planning to set a third this summer, Huntersville entertainer Steve Langely has officially caught “Guinness fever.”
A professional juggler and self-proclaimed Paddle Ball King, last year Mr. Langley set the record for the most paddle balls in use at once by a single paddle baller while on a television show in Milan, Italy (he had seven going at once), and then set his sights on another record: the most people paddle balling at one time. The group record was a way to share his excitement at setting a Guinness World Record with others, he said.
Hundreds of people gathered on the Village Green in downtown Davidson Sept. 3 to help Mr. Langley try for the record, and at the appointed hour, they paddled continuously for 30 seconds. The record officially was set at 356 people, but since has been beaten by a group from Johnson and Johnson, with 416. That record likely wont last long, though, as Mr. Langley already is planning to beat it.
But first, he will head to High Point, N.C. Aug. 4 with 9-foot, 1-inch paddle ball (that barely fits in the car). The paddle is just larger than 10 times the size of a regular paddle, and its logo is a replica of the classic Fli-Back paddle ball logo. He will repeat the attempt for a local audience at ImagineOn in Charlotte Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. as a part of the library’s “Dream Big” summer reading program.
And his paddling doesn’t stop there. Mr. Langley already has received approval from Guinness officials to try for two other records, including paddle balling for the longest distance on a unicycle and the longest time paddle balling (which should exceed 5 hours).
So why paddle ball?
“There’s a nostalgic element about it I find intriguing,” Mr. Langley said. “It brings out the kid in everyone.”
Guinness World Records page on Mr. Langley’s record for an individual doing 7 paddle balls
Sept. 3, 2011 DavidsonNews.net coverage of the record attempt.
Sept. 3, 2011, “Video: world paddle ball record in Davidson.”
The Paddle Ball King (Steve Langley) web page, www.thepaddleballking.net.