In this presentation, we will explore the limitations and quirks of United States hail records, including the temporal trend, approaches to smoothing, and sources contributing to observations. Utilizing the 1955-present record of observations of hail size in the United States, the record is found to be heavily quantized toward fixed diameter reference objects and influenced by spatial and temporal biases similar to those noted for occurrence, with better and longer records available for urban regions compared to rural areas. Comparison is made to three of the other relatively reliable hail observational datasets for Europe, Canada and Australia, to ascertain the influence of using only reference objects to record hail dimensions compared to other approaches. Regional and local influences on hail reporting are identified, stemming from verification procedures and contributions from local officials. The change in the definition of severe hail size from 0.75 in (1.9 cm) to 1.00 in (2.5 cm) in 2010 has a particularly clear signature in the report statistics, and will likely remain as a breakpoint in the temporal record for future climatologies. The contribution of storm chasers and source of report factors beyond population to the hail dataset is also explored, and the difficulty in removing these changes discussed. Based on these findings, recommendations for improving the existing hail record moving forward will be discussed.