AMHERST – Doug McManaman continues to find balance in his life.
The 68-year-old is now up to 570 world records, most of them incorporating feats of balance and most of them recognized by Recordsetter.com, which is world record mediator based out of New York.
This week McManaman was also recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Ripley’s sent him a coloured drawing of himself balancing a nine-foot long, 20-pound surfboard on his chin.
“I had no idea that was going to happen,” said McManaman. “It was quite a thing to get into Ripley’s.”
He balanced the surfboard for 51.47 seconds whlle standing, which is a world record. He also did it in the kneeling position for 43 seconds.
He said balancing the surfboard was difficult because it has a curve in it and, because he can’t see the top of the board when he’s balancing it, it makes it more difficult to judge how to keep it steady.
McManaman has had a talent since he was a kid for balancing items on his chin, nose, head, and even his ears, but his first world record attempt was in 2005 when he attempted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by balancing 56 golf balls on a tower for a minute.
McManaman’s feat wasn’t recognized by Guinness.
“Their paperwork and red tape is so slow. It’s amazing how slow they are because these new companies, like Recordsetter, have sped the process up,” said McManaman. “If I made a record right now, I could load it on the computer and they’d have it on their desk in five minutes in New York, and within two days their moderators would look at it and are back to me within a few days.”
2012 was McManaman’s most productive year. He did 320 world records, almost one every day of the year. He says balancing three axes at once off his chin was very difficult.
“You have to be very careful with axes,” he said.
McManaman is the oldest person in the world to have more than 500 world records, and he has more world records than anybody else in Canada.
“The closest fellow to me (in Canada) has about 100.”
McManaman isn’t sure how much longer he will keep breaking world records.
“When I started I never believed I’d do five world records but once I got started doing it I never stopped,” he said. “I might stop next month or next year, I might even go longer than that.”
Asked what he would like to balance more than anything else in the world, McManaman said, “The Stanley Cup.”
“I would love to do that,” he said.
McManaman works at the Nova Scotia Tourist Information Centre on the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. If anybody happens to be driving by the information centre with the Stanley Cup, McManaman hopes they would stop in to see him so he has a chance to make his dream come true.
Recordsetter.com says McManaman currently holds 569 records, failed at seven, and has 17 records pending.