So the 21st annual Sintra Portugal Pro is taking place right now and I can hear the collective sighs from all around the world.
Sintra? Really? They consider that 2ft slop a World Tour location?
“shittest comp ever” one social media commenter so eloquently said.
And most of the time, I would somewhat agree with you. Over it’s 21 year existence (that’s right it is the oldest continual running international bodyboarding contest in the world) the contest has been synonymous with frustratingly small waves resulting in forced flips and spins that many consider the “ugly” side of bodyboarding. The Aussies and Hawaiians on the tour traditionally hated it, while the European and South American riders would thrive and take valuable world tour points.
To make matters worse, the main break of Praia Grande (the beach where the contest is held) is usually a good 200 to 300 metres off shore. Meaning that even at maximum zoom,the webcast view still seems pulled back and the waves looked even more miniscule.
But not this year.
Why? Well firstly, because there are actually waves. In fact it is kind of pumping. Secondly, the swell is hitting a shallow inside bank, resulting in big moves and the odd draining barrel.
Combine that with the APB’s world tour judging style that favours clean riding and big finishing moves (translated to none of this spin-to-win and flop roll bullshit) and you’ve got yourself a pretty damn interesting contest.
Day two action saw the higher seed riders take to the water, with the likes of Romero, Jerry, Moz, Lewy, PLC and Tristan Roberts all putting on some epic displays of high performance bodyboarding.
With day three penned to continue tonight, we can expect more of the same from the MWT, as well as more big moves from the Pro Junior, Women’s and dropknee divisions.
If none of that sways you, then maybe think about this: Sintra is the oldest international bodyboarding contest in the world. It has been the one constant event amongst copious uncertain and unpredictable events.
The organisers and sponsors have constantly thrown out big prize money to all divisions (this year’s event features a total of US$52,000 prize money across all divisions – the most of any stop on the tour) and play a big part in Portugal’s fervent bodyboarding scene.
But don’t just take my word for it. Watch the highlights for yourself and see what you’ve been missing out on.
The Sintra Pro will be streamed live at http://apbtour.com/live/