Friday, December 4, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Until then, here is a little collection of bodysurfing videos from the web...
Friday, September 18, 2009
>>See the full list of bodysurfing videos here<<
.....To see more on handboards or handplanes, click here.....
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Body Surfing at Steamers Lane
"I have always thought that rodeo bull riders were just a bit nuts. You must have a really drastic need for fun if you hop on something that powerful and that mad. Well, Here I was, about 150 yards from shore at Middle Peak, Steamers Lane, trying my own version of that fun. I guess I just got real lucky. It was the beginning of a set and there was this monster coming. I could see it rising more than 200 yards past where I was and all I could do is wait and hope I was positioned well enough. These are too big to chase around after much.
At the time, I didn't know how hard it is to catch one of these big waves while bodysurfing. You have to take off really late as the wave is fully starting to break. I took off using a feet together dolphin kick and both my arms. I didn't know at the time that you don't ride Middle Peak towards the cliff. I certainly was learning. It is too fast. I was flying and water was spraying everywhere. You have to hold your breath all the time for the inevitable moment when the waves tires of you and puts you in the cold water spin cycle. In waves like this, you are just a rag doll. Amazingly though, I had successfully caught it and was riding it tubed inside the wave. There was nothing to see. It was just darkness and splashing water. Every 10 seconds or so, you blow out your air and suck in another breath to hold and keep blasting along. When in a wave like this, you intimately feel its power and well know that to it you are just another small spray of foam. It died out calmly. The end of the ride was not near catastrophic as I had expected. Then as I turned around some, I bumped into a rock. In a fraction of a second I realized without accepting, that the only rock out here was near the cliff, more than 150 yards from where I had started. I had been tubed for the whole ride. This was the first time I had ever tried bodysurfing at the Lane...."
Keep reading "Bodysurfing at Steamer Lane"...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
‘Bombie’ impulse makes David’s day
From the Manly Daily Newspaper
24 Apr 09 @ 02:29pm by JASON AVEDISSIAN
David Day bodysurfed the Queenscliff Bombie last weekend. Picture: SIMON DEAN
AN outrageous desire to bodysurf Queenscliff’s famous Bombora has been pulled off by a Mosman 60-year-old.
David Day was celebrating his birthday last weekend with family and friends when a spur of the moment decision to surf the famous break finally came to fruition.
With his brother Mark and nephew Ed, the trio swam about 700m to the deep-ocean spot in heavy surf last Sunday.
Do you have any crazy surf stories of your own? Let us know below.
Regular surfers need the break to reach at least 3m before they can take it on, and many of those generally reach the hidden beast after being towed-in.
“Bombie” was peaking that afternoon, reaching at least 4m by the time Day and his brave group nailed it.
“The heart was pumping like hell,” he recalled this week.
“When we got out there, it was like ... wow ... how good is this?
“We were miles away from anything. But once we got on a couple, your confidence just soars.”
Unfortunately, the group did not capture their moment with any video or camera footage.
Many within the northern beaches surfing community believe “Bombie” has rarely, if ever, been body-surfed.
But witnesses on shore are convinced the bodysurfers swam to the break before taking it on.
“They were surfing the Bommie,” North Steyne Surf Life Saving Club deputy president Geoff Cooper confirmed.
“I saw one or two of them catching a wave and thought; ‘that’s terrific’.
In fact, it was incredible.
Day, director of development at Redlands in Cremorne, had spoken to two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll about taming the highly dangerous break.
Carroll had his doubts.
“Tom’s view was that there was no way and it was difficult enough just to be towed in on a board,” David’s Adelaide-based brother, Mark, said.
Carroll yesterday said he was stunned they pulled it off.
“It’s pretty crazy,” he said.
“If they got a wave, that’s great. It’s pretty risky stuff ... it’s a high sea. The ocean is such a wild and unpredictable place.”
To help you appreicate the madness of what they did, this is the queenscliff bombie on another day...
Underwater fin surfing...
All i could do was admire, in awe. When the first wave of emotions had disipated and the dolphins gone (probably to breakfast, hungry from the session) the only thing i could think about was if such a thing could be done by a human. Here i was in the land where surfing is a national sport and millions of waves get ridden around the country all year, yet to my knowledge, no other human had ever tried to imitate what i had just seen the dolphins do. So stood up and decided that it was time to wet my mono again and this time in a way i had never imagined. I finned to the lineup (for non surfers; the point where waves start to break) and waited for my first wave. Needless to say that my first attempts resulted in getting tumbled around with no result. But as i started to figure out the timming in diving at the right moment, finning and catching the wave as it broke, i magicly caught my first wave swimming underwater, just like they did. When you ride a wave in this manner you actually only kick to get some monentum, then when the wave comes above you it pulls you along with it's own energy without needing you to kick anymore. You suddenly find yourself in another dimension where you are inisde the wave, it's energy is all around you and you glide through the water propelled by it as it breaks down the line. You almost ARE the wave. When i exited the water from that first attempt i seriously felt as if i had seen the light, something in me had changed, maybe everything. As time passed i continued to practice whenever i got a chance and after some months figured out how to actually follow the wave. In the beginning i could only catch it and go in a straight line in front of it as it broke. This meant that my ride was very short as i didn't really follow the wave for much of it's breaking distance. So when i first followed the wave underwater as it was breaking along, without exiting from its inertia was again a ground breaking moment. This time i was starting to really surf it like the dolphins do. Of course i still could not manouver around underwater like they do with quick direction changes, out of the water leaps and so forth but i was on my way. One of the last times i surfed was in front of my old house in Bronte Sydney, where i was given the gift of catching my first tube ride. I was glidding fast under this wave when it started to tube and i kept on speeding right below the surface of a breaking liquid cylinder, WOW. Nevertheless, life having some odd twists and turns i was led away from my beloved waves and back to my familiar and flat mediteranean shores . It's been a year and a half since that last wave but not so long anymore until my next one. This winter i'm planning to see how far i can take this concept and to do so i will go where the best go, in the meca of surfing. Hawaii of course. Updates will follow. What i now want to know is...is there anybody else out there doing this. I really think that there must be, it's imposible that no one else has thought of this and tried it. If you are out there i want to know, i want to communicate, this is too fun to not share, and if i'm still alone it just a matter of time...
reposted from : http://forums.deeperblue.com/general-freediving/53588-underwater-fin-surfing.html
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Cal Porter's Now and Then Blog
Cal Porter, Malibu's first Lifeguard
The purest form of surfing is bodysurfing. It is the only form of surfing where there is nothing between the surfer and the element that he is working with, the ocean wave. It is the art of riding a wave without the help of any buoyant device such as a surfboard or bodyboard. There is no other feeling in surfing quite like the sensation felt to one’s body, on its own, skimming down the face of a perfect wave and turning left or right to angle on the shoulder of the wave. The body itself, in essence, becomes a surfboard. I have bodysurfed all my life.
There is no way of knowing when or where bodysurfing originated. It probably has been practiced for hundreds of years, maybe first in the warm waters of the South Pacific, Tahiti or Hawaii. Wherever there were waves and kids some of them, no doubt, were body riding the waves in some form or other, probably long before there was board surfing. The first mention in literature that I have found is in the work of British poet Lord Byron two hundred years ago in the early 1800’s:
“I have loved the ocean,
And my joy of youthful sports was on thy breast borne by thy bubbles.
Onward from a boy I have wantoned with thy breakers.”
Sounds like he was bodysurfing to me. After all, in 1810 he swam the difficult four miles across The Hellespont, the strait that separates Europe from Asia, the first to accomplish this feat since Leander, in Greek myth, swam The Hellespont to be with his love, Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite who lived on the other side.
There are many photographs of early bodysurfers from the 1900’s through the 1920’s and into the ‘30’s, including Duke Kahanamoku and the Hawaiian beach boys, all going strait in on the waves, the object being to see if you could hold onto the wave all the way to the beach. The first surfing book ever written was “The Art of Wave Riding”, by Ron Drummond in 1932 which included many photos which also showed bodysurfers riding strait as an arrow in to the beach. That’s what bodysurfing was. In the late 1930’s I was bodysurfing in Venice, and after waiting on the end of the Sunset Pier for the biggest waves and then jumping in for one, I got the idea that maybe a longer, faster and more exciting ride could be had by using the body like a surfboard, staying ahead of the whitewater on the breaking wave, and riding the shoulder of the wave on an angle. After all, I was doing this on my surfboard on these very same waves. Well with my skinny body it worked, and it was much more fun and faster, and more could be done with the wave. Bodysurfing was never the same for me. I never saw anyone else try it for some years after. Swim fins hadn’t been invented yet so it wasn’t as easy as it is today. Luckily a photographer on the beach filmed me one day doing my thing out there and that photo has been used in surf magazines and bodysurfing books to document the first arrival of modern bodysurfing. Later, when fins had been invented, others took it up.
There are many fine bodysurfing breaks along the California Coast. Most of these breaks, Malibu, Rincon, Trestles and my favorite, Zeros (because it’s a left breaking wave) are also good for board surfing making it difficult for the bodysurfer to get a wave with so many boards in the water. There also are many bodysurfing contests during the year: Santa Cruz, Manhattan Beach, Oceanside, San Diego. The Pipeline Contest on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii is probably the most exciting, with waves often reaching 20 feet. The Oceanside contest is billed as the world’s championship each year drawing three to four hundred surfers from as far away as South America, Europe and Hawaii. Many maneuvers are required to do well in this contest such as underwater takeoffs, spinners, barrel rolls, riding on the back, and getting tubed (rare). I have won my group many times in this contest, and used to enter most of the others. However, these days there doesn’t seem to be a category for fellows into their 85th year.
When I was a kid it was fun to take a break from board surfing and go bodysurfing there at the same break. There was plenty of room for both at most places like Malibu, San Onofre and most of the others. I used to bodysurf Zeros alone in the ‘40’s and early ‘50’s. Today you might get run over. Another trick was to catch a wave on your board and at the proper moment push off the board, dive into the wave and bodysurf it to the beach, swimming back out for your board afterward. Not much like this goes on anymore with surfers encased in neoprene from head to toe and attached securely to the surfboard with a long leash from leg to board. We had a little more freedom back then before all this stuff was invented. But there I go talking about the old days again.
Submitted By Cal Porter on Oct. 09 , 2008
© Cal Porter 2009, all rights reserved
Monday, March 30, 2009
If you are looking for inspiration for handboards, or want to see some of the shapes people use, check out this guys blog.. Great links as well for european bodysurfing scene.
Bodysurf, handboards et autres glisses alternatives
Monday, March 16, 2009
The Lip Comes Down
Wipe out trying to bodysurf the Newport Wedge and you'll burst an eardrum, yank out a shoulder, or snap a few ribs. Daniel Duane tackles the mean blue beast and meets the elite riders who court her lash.
By Daniel Duane
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Closest Thing To Being Born
February 22, 1971
Body surfers are prone to hyperbole, but anyone who rides the waves at the Wedge in Newport Beach, Calif knows whereof he speaks. With breakers up to 22 feet, it's the hairiest trip going.....
Let me know if you find further, but below are the only books I have found devoted to the art of bodysurfing so far. Good luck finding anything recent in english!
Passion bodysurf - Le corps et la vague
Author: Hugo Verlomme and Laurent Masurel (2008)
Publisher: Yago - ISBN : 978-2-916209-17-3
Bodysurf , Aux origines du surf
by Hugo Verlomme and Laurent Masurel (2002)
Publisher: Atlantica - ISBN : 2-84394-492-9
The Art of Bodysurfing
by Robert Gardner (1972)
Publisher: Chilton Book Co
Finding the book can be a mission, but Robert Gardner sounds like an interesting character.. found his obituary from the LA Times....
The Art of Wave Riding
by Ron Drummond (1931)
Almost impossible to find and if you do, think $4000 USD. From what I can gather 500 copies of this book were published. To be honest, I haven't seen this book and couldn't even tell you to what extent this covers bodysurfing specifically..
"Professor Neville de Mestre is a mathematician from Bond University in Queensland, and has published the first scientific paper on the maths of body surfing. He began catching waves in 1950 and is the reigning national iron man champion for over 60s, and he's a man who sounds as though his attachment to the perfect wave borders on religious."
Ocean Devotion - The science of Bodysurfing
Article by the Age Newspaper,
January 9, 2004
16 December 2007, The radio program, Ockams Razor did an interview with the Professor, which you can download as an mp3, listen to, or read the transcript, right here.
2nd October 2008, The TV show Catalyst from the ABC did a story on the Professor.
check it out here for the video and full transcript...
This online photo-magazine has one of the most imaginative approaches to documenting the sport.
It is fitting that there are no words, no editorial.. everything is told through pictures.
This is a must see... 2nd issue available now.
There is a great article on allaboutsurf.com as well as a short video of Greg Deets pulling a couple of spinners, and riding into the barrel.
The article covers early Wedge experiences, some characters along the way, Greg and his version of the UDT swim fins, ex navy design and now a staple of big wave bodysurfers...
Greg Deets - A Natural Water Brother
by Greg Deets
By MINDY EUN SOO PENNYBACKER
Published: September 5, 1999
"Body surfing, known to the Hawaiians as he'e umauma, is one of the freest and most unencumbered of sports, requiring no equipment but a pair of swim fins. According to David Parrish, a lifeguard, poet and bodysurfer, ''It's like flying into the wind.'' It's also a great aerobic workout, because you're constantly swimming.
Body surfers, however, can sustain injuries just as serious as those of board surfers, particularly to the neck and back, when taking waves in shorebreak. Also, surfers have some added protection because their boards serve as flotation devices and can shield them from impact. But when it comes to getting outside of the impact zone, I personally prefer to dive under waves while body surfing, rather than having to push through them with a board.
No matter where you go into the water, the lifeguards warn, observe conditions: the tide and wind; rocks, reef or hidden hazards; rip currents, which look like crosshatched lines; water depth (shallow shorebreak is for experts only); what kind of rides others are getting; where they enter and exit the water, and how big the waves get. Be sure to watch for at least half an hour before getting in, as the sea can lie deceptively flat for 10 to 20 minutes between sets.
Mr. Cunningham teaches the acronym SOAK: Study the ocean; observe conditions; ask the lifeguard -- or, if the beach is unguarded, a local surfer -- about conditions and the level of skill needed, and know your limits. ''When in doubt, don't go out,'' he added.
A handy guide, ''Hawaii's Best Beaches'' by John R. K. Clark (University of Hawaii Press, 1999), reviews 50 beaches based on their physical environment, amenities and water safety conditions.
It was Mr. Parrish who recommended we try Shipwreck's Beach on Keoneloa Bay on Kauai, its steep, crisp waves peeling off a low rock point in front of the Hyatt Regency resort. Facilities include a public parking lot, restroom and showers, but like many Hawaii beaches, Shipwreck's is unguarded. Signs posted in the sand warn of dangerous currents and shorebreak, so this is no beach for beginners.
The water at Shipwreck's feels fresh and almost alive, with a strong current pulling laterally to shore, pushed by the prevailing trade winds. At the water's edge, the white sand turns into a field of loose, head-sized rocks. We were glad that Rory showed caution the first few days, but on our last morning he relaxed and took his first big outside wave, grinning in response to a Hawaiian kid's praise, ''You got barreled, man!'' After that we couldn't get him out of the water, and nearly missed our plane back to Hono ulu.
There are no schools for body surfers. You learn by observing. One of the most dangerous mistakes neophytes make is trying to ride the wave straight in. In Hawaii's steep shorebreak, that results in going headfirst over the falls, straight to the bottom, and possibly getting a broken neck.
''A Hawaiian wave is like a spinning cylinder. You start at the top, and you have to drive in and turn, get into that cylinder right away,'' Mr. Parrish says. Taking off, you basically do a thrusting sidestroke -- to launch yourself laterally across the wave -- and ''kick like hell to match the momentum of the wave,'' adds Mr. Cunningham, a fellow lifeguard, who is also a champion body surfer.
Another Hawaiian word for bodysurfing, kaha, means to engrave or slice, which is what a skilled bodysurfer does on the wall of the wave, often getting tubed, or barreled, as it curls about a hollow center. In the short independent film ''Waves to Freedom,'' made in 1989, and in the autumn 1994 issue of The Surfer's Journal, Mr. Cunningham, nicknamed kaku, or barracuda, can be seen plying his skinny 6-foot 4-inch body like a surfboard on huge six- to 10-foot waves at Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore (experts only).
SOMETIMES a body surfer can make it to a wave's shoulder and push out over the top, the way a boarder does. More often, the wave collapses and you have to duck out the bottom, finding the ''dead spot'' and letting the wave pass, like a tornado, over you.
Where on Oahu, I asked Mr. Parrish and Mr. Cunningham, would they advise beginners to go? They started off with where not to go: the North Shore in winter, including Pipeline and Ehukai, where waves can rise from 2 to 12 feet in an hour, with a deadly rip current; Sandy Beach's snappy shorebreak on the southeast shore, ''the broken neck capital of the world,'' where bodysurfers have gotten paralyzed in two-foot waves. These are good places to learn by watching from dry land.
The first rule for visitors, beginner or not, should be to swim at guarded beaches. Makapuu Beach Park, about four miles past Sandy Beach near Oahu's easternmost point, is fun and manageable when breaking one to three feet in late spring and summer, but when it gets bigger the currents can be lethal. Ask the lifeguards.
If Makapuu is too gnarly, continue following Kamehameha Highway north around three miles, to Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area, which has lifeguards and offers gentle waves over a sandy bottom. And back at Waikiki, young tourists and locals body board at a break called Wall's, to the left of the Kuhio Beach jetty. Crowds are the main danger here.
One Sunday, when fierce trade winds had kicked Makapuu into a current-laced boil, we drove with Franny and her family to Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area, also known as Sherwood Forest.
It was reminiscent of the excursions of my childhood, when my mother and her best friend, Pauline, the wife of Uncle Shippy Kealoha, would pile us kids into two cars and make a picnic day of it.
When we arrived, the late-morning light was amazing, flickering like a flame as we walked to the parchment-white beach through the dark ironwood pines. The water was classic Waimanalo turquoise, luminescent and several shades greener than the sky.
Although Rory turned up his nose at first at the smallish waves, once in the water he threw himself into the two-foot sets, getting satisfyingly crunchy tube rides. There were no rip currents. A blue-footed booby swooped overhead, and Kenny floated on his back in the inshore wat ers, basking like a Hawaiian monk seal. "
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Check out Surfer Magazine with this great interview article.
Bodysurfing with Mark Cunningham
by Brendon Thomas
I, like you, spend most of my time in the ocean riding a surfboard. In fact, I rarely enter the water without some type of surf craft under my arm. And while there is nothing wrong with this, I felt that my surf experience lacked the au naturel aspect that it somehow required. Bodysurfing is the obvious antidote to this affliction, and who better than the legendary Mark Cunningham to teach me the subtle intricacies of this oft-overlooked art. At 53, Mark is easily the most recognizable1 and popular bodysurfer in the world today. Appearances in films such as Sprout and A Broke Down Melody, as well as a profile in the November 2005 issue of SURFER, have made this long-serving North Shore lifeguard a veritable celebrity figure both in and out of the surf world—and with good reason. Finally, I thought, as I eagerly awaited Mark’s arrival in the parking lot at Pipeline, a Surf Tip experiment without the familiar feelings of dread and terror that usually accompany it. At least that’s what I thought before Mark showed up.
“If you want to learn to bodysurf,” Cunningham said as we stood at the lifeguard tower at Ehukai Beach Park, his eyes betraying a feigned gravitas, “then you’ll have to wear a Speedo.”
I had been half-expecting this, but since I did not own a Speedo, I thought2 that I might be exempt from the embarrassment of having to wear one. I knew that Mark had no problem parading around the beach in his man-kini, and the benefits of wearing one in the water are obvious3, but typically it’s not my style. Mark, of course had his Speedo on, and had brought along a pair of Michael Phelps-esque tights, which he planned to don for the sake of my education. So right there in the parking lot at Pipe, Cunningham wrapped a towel around his waist and peeled off his Speedo, handing it to me in a tight, warm ball. Not only would I be mortified walking down the most photographed stretch of coastline on the planet wearing surf-panties, but I’d also do so while being severely grossed-out.
After my upper thighs—which in earnest hadn’t seen direct sunlight since the early ’90s–had blinded everyone on the beach who felt the morbid compulsion to look at them, it was time for a quick tutorial in bodysurfing basics. Mark outfitted me with a pair of Da Fin swim fins, but reckoned the only criteria for choosing a pair of fins is comfort.
“We’ll start with catching a wave,” Mark said, clearly overjoyed at my discomfort. “In bodysurfing, you have to work hard to catch a wave, you have to play your hunches and keep moving.”
He had a harder time explaining what to do once the wave was caught: “It’s so hard to describe, or verbalize, but basically you try and make your body like a surfboard: stiff, strong, and responsive.”
Since I would hardly consider my body strong or responsive, I figured I was in for a bumpy ride.
“You are constantly flexing and adjusting,” Mark continued, adding, “If you get a steep wave, roll onto your side, that will make you more streamlined, almost like having less board in the water. And remember,” he concluded, “bodysurfing is like waterpolo: so much of the game is underwater.”
Considering Mark’s legendary status, I guess you could say that the Speedo I was wearing was a big one to fill, but after he coached me into my first wave I was convinced I had this bodysurfing thing wired. That was, until I saw Mark catch his first wave. Watching Mark Cunningham bodysurf is like watching the keel of a polished racing yacht cut through oil. His body is a study in hydrodynamics, his movements a lesson in economy of motion. I quickly realized that my progress down the wave face bore a closer resemblance to that of a wet bag tangled in a fishing line. I clearly had a lot to learn.
Mark loves being a bodysurfer, and I can see why. “After all,” he says, “it’s always overhead!” But the new sensations that bodysurfing offered made a below-average day, surf-wise, far more entertaining. There are also a number of ways it can benefit your actual surfing.
Since you lack the elevation that sitting on a surfboard gives you, I found “playing your hunches” to be a major part of the experience, and successfully doing so made me feel more in-tune with the ocean.
“Bodysurfing has taught me patience,” says Mark, who takes a pragmatic view of his time in the water at places such as Pipeline. “I go out not expecting to catch anything, but sometimes I’ll get a few scraps and that’s great. It’s just cool to be that close to all the action.”
But all that waiting is exhausting. Since you’re constantly treading water or swimming, three hours in the water proved to be a great workout. Although I am not sure I’ll bodysurf as much in the colder water of California (“Bodysurfing in a wetsuit is like sex with a rubber. It’s good, but not as good,” says Mark.). I can guarantee I will pack a set of swim fins on every trip I take going forward. As for the Speedo, I can’t deny the advantage of being so streamlined, but I think I’ll put off buying one until ridiculously white upper thighs becomes fashionable.
1. Not counting Barack.
2. Nay, prayed.
3. If not, then here they are: Less drag = More glide ∴ A better bodysurfing experience.
ed: Im posting the article here because links to articles contstantly seem to break on me. If anyone has issues, let me know and I'll take it down.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Hi-Shredability- 4 Part interview with Mark Cunningham, Hawaii Pipeline Lifeguard and one of the worlds great bodysurfers
Includes some footage of Mark Cunningham snorkeling on the pipleline reef on a flat day, and footage of Mark shredding in the surf.
A short super stiff fin, easy to walk in, great acceleration, not enough length to keep up the speed though, really comfortable foot pocket with good drainage, sand flies straight out of this.. the fins float though not as much as some. Constructed of natural rubber, so they get deformed if you leave them in a boiling hot car all day, but easily reshaped using the missus hairdryer. If I'm mucking around in shore break, fat pitching dumpy waves, then I take these...perfect.
About 2 inches longer than the podfins. It is another symmetrical fin, with super stiff rails, though the rails on these stop 2-3 inches short of the end of the blades. The extra length really counts and the speed difference is noticable over the podfins. The foot pocket on these can feel a bit strange at first. The base of the pocket is extremely stiff and rigid, and the top is really soft. It takes a bit of getting used to, and I find I have to keep my foot pointed and tight to maximise thrust This is a brilliant fin, with plenty of power to match the waves.
Greg Deets UDT's. - A mission to find. If you want a pair, email Greg directly.
See what they look like...
Hydro tech Fins, tech, tech 2 and Originals
Im not a fan of Asymetrical fins myself, however some people swear by them