With South Oz heavyweight Karl Morgan reigning supreme.
Above: Jono Ling on a pearler – not bad conditions for a contest, huh? Photo: Ben Armstrong
Words by Dylan Beach
2015 kicked off with a bang for the South Australian Bodyboard Club on Saturday. A strong field of 40 South Australian bodyboarders, who travelled from as far and wide as Mount Gambier, were greeted with three-to-five foot waves and offshore winds rolling through the infamous Knights Beach in Port Elliot. The first heat in the water set the tone for the day with some big sets rolling through, making it challenging for the riders in the water, but it gave them the opportunity to go big, which was highly entertaining for the spectators. The early round highlights were dominated by the youngest competitors – Ezra Golebiowski, William Pyke, Aden Arens and Riley Hardy – and some of the most experienced riders in Phil Goode and Aaron Brand, who showed style, confidence and determination in the heavy conditions throughout their first heats.
Above: Yeah, conditions were quite solid. Clint Shah copping the beatdown of the day. Photo: Ben Armstrong
As the heats moved through Round 2 into the quarter finals, the heats were stacked with some of SA’s finest and most experienced bodyboarders, with the likes of Jack Thomas, Phil Goode, Karl Morgan, Matt Henwood, Dylan Beach and Jasper Ashmoore battling it out for a semifinal place. But it was first-time competitor Dan Easton who was in form, combining a nice barrel-to-aerial with a big barrel roll to make his mark on debut. Charlie Mason and Matt Henwood were also in form in the quarterfinals as they made light work of the big and heavy conditions, progressing through to the semis.
Above: Dylan Beach taking in the view. Photo: Psycs Pixs
The semifinals showcased the mark the SABC has had on the bodyboarding community in SA, with young up-and-comers like Ezra Golebiowski and Charlie Mason improving heat by heat, facing experienced campaigners like Karl Morgan, Jasper Ashmoore, and Phil Goode. Karl Morgan, in the first semi, showed why he’s one to look out for this year as he landed a big invert and backed it up with another solid score to progress through with Ezra Golebiowski. The second semi saw Matt Henwood and Jasper Ashmoore take control from the outset to book their spot in the final.
Above: The stylish Phil Goode with a huge hit (complete with double Coopers sticker). Photo: Psycs Pixs
As the final four began the paddle out the swell started to pulse even more – with some large sets smashing against the rocks at Knights it took the competitors a few minutes to get the heat off and running. The long day of surfing seemed to show as Henwood and Golebiowski were left without notable scores under their belts as Morgan and Ashmoore both had landed some big airs on some solid waves to lock in decent scores. As the final minutes were counting down, Golebiowski made a last-ditch effort landing his first ARS of the day to put pressure of Morgan and Ashmoore. But Morgan clawed back, landing one of the biggest moves of the event and getting rewarded accordingly by the judges to claim his first win and kick off his 2015 campaign strongly.
Above: Karl Morgan looked deadly all day. Photo: Psycs Pixs
The SABC would like to thank Steve’s Place, Sun Zapper, Limited Edition, Nomad Bodyboards, A1 Hire Victor Harbor, De Groot Coffee Co, Yeo Hause, Cheer Wetsuits and Holi Granoli for their support in 2015.
1st – Karl Morgan
2nd – Jasper Ashmoore
3rd – Ezra Golebiowski
4th – Matt Henwood