We take a look at our dream locations for a future world bodyboarding tour.
The rejuvenated Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) have nearly completed their second – and perhaps most successful – season as organisers of the World Bodyboarding Tour.
While the loss of the Pipeline contest, as well as the failed promise of Teahupoo will be seen as big negatives on the 2015 season, the fact that the APB still managed to put together six exciting official world tour stops on a shoestring budget is a credit to them and now paves the way for a stronger tour in 2016 and beyond.
And while we can rattle off more than a handful of contests we’d like to see make a triumphant return to the world tour – such as Pipeline, Teahupoo, El Fronton, The Box, Shark Island, Cloud 9 – we thought we’d look at some potential world tour stops that have never been a part of the APB/IBA/GOB tours in previous years.
Editor’s note: This is an entirely fictional list. In no way are the APB affiliated with this article, and there are no actual intentions (that we know of) to have contests at these locations. Nor have we taken into consideration the amount of financial backing and organisation it would take to stage a world tour event at these spots.
Watu Karung, Java, Indonesia
This Javanese left has held the title of the most cliché wave in bodyboarding for two years straight, and we’d put our money on it taking the crown again in 2016. And it is no surprise why as this place is a bodyboarder’s dream. It features a grinding lefthander that leads into a perfect bowl section. We are actually a bit surprised this place isn’t a world tour stop already, as it seems nearly every professional bodyboarder travels here during the peak season. All the APB would need to do is set up some tables and chairs on the beach and start taking scores in between sips of Bintang and we’d have one of the best stops on the world tour. Make it happen!
Ever since Brendan Newtown, Harry Dixon, Adam “Crashy” Benwell and crew explored the waves of Ireland back in 2005 (and featured in our ‘A Blank Canvas’ DVD in July, 2005) we have had a strange addiction to the country’s intimidating cliffs, freezing waters and abundance of bodyboarding friendly setups. Over the past ten years, the wave-rich towns on the North West and South West Ireland have enjoyed a slow yet sturdy growth of dedicated bodyboarders (such as Strandhill locals Shane Meehan, Shambles McGoldrick and Conor Flanagan). While many of the spots are still shrouded in secrecy, we believe that the relatively well-known slab of Riley’s – complete with it’s picturesque cliffs – would make a pretty amazing contest venue. And the benefit to the bodyboarding scene in the region, and perhaps the ripple effect to the rest of the UK, would be phenomonal. Bodyboarders are renowned for doing things before their standup brethren, could we be the first to hold a world tour event in the Emerald Isle?
La Graviere, Landes, France
Arguably the best beach break in Europe (although we think the locals of Nazaré would have something to say about that), La Graviere is the perfect setup for an international bodyboarding contest. With French bodyboarding making a large renaissance on the back of world champions Pierre-Louis Costes and Amaury Lavernhe, it makes sense to bring the tour to the country. It is no stranger to hosting international events either, with the World Surf League often holding its French round on the consistent beach break. It would also make a perfect addition to a European leg of the world tour which stops in Portugal for Sintra and Nazaré in September.
Superbank/Kirra, Gold Coast, Australia
This is a risky move, but if the swell pumps, you would have one of the best bodyboard contests in history. While we saw just how bad the superbank can be when there is no swell during round one of the WSL tour this year. So bad in fact they had to extend the waiting period and still struggled to get contestable waves. However, if worse comes to worse, the consistent beachbreak of Duranbah will always have your back. And just imagine how good it would be to see bodyboarders going barrel for seemingly endless barrel at Kirra if the swell turns on. The Gold Coast is regarded as the capital of the surfing industry and has bred the likes of Mitch Rawlins, Joe Clarke, Ash Bryant, Nick Ormerod, Rob Laurie, Corey McLean, Matt Lackey, Tom Rigby and Nick Gornall just to name a few. Isn’t it time one of the biggest bodyboarding markets in the world had it’s own international contest?
Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania
Yeah, it’s an outlandish notion, but this is a made up list and we can dream can’t we? Holding an international bodyboard contest at perhaps Australia’s most notorious and feared wave (sorry, The Right) would be something for the ages. Just imagine seeing the world’s best paddling into 12-15 foot Shippies bombs, and having to navigate that step. It would separate the men from the boys that’s for sure. All that needs to happen for this to go ahead is deal with the heavy localism, insane insurance premiums, and the likelyhood that a competitor might actually die out there. But hey, they did hold an international surfing contest at the, ahem, “secret”, spot of De Niro’s/ Cape Solander/ Ours – so anything is possible, right?