Thursday, March 31, 2011
Bodysurfing the notorious cheese grating, ridiculously heavy Shark Island in the 1970's..
From www.bodyboardmuseum.com.au (....the best source for all your flouro, hyper colour, zinc cream 70's and 80's magazine article needs. ..a sick little website.)
From last weeks uber-swell... the island again..
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
In the deep south of Sydney lies a beach called Bondi.
Snapped by the chronicler of these parts, Eugene of Aquabumps...
...a bodysurfer and his plywood.
Go see www.aquabumps.com... there are also recent photos of Slater who was in town sampling some local sydney 6-8ft slabs last week.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The art of bodysurfing -- less glamorous than surfing and tough to master -- lives on at the legendary, and dangerous, break. A new generation of daredevils is joining old-timers in the water.
November 3, 2008
With the lifeguard tower boarded up, the sand mostly empty and the waves fizzling into foam, another bodysurfing season at the Wedge has drawn to a close. The daredevils who brave the wild waves at the legendary Newport Beach break are shelving their fins until next spring.
The die-hards -- guys whose concussions, fractured vertebrae and broken bones are testament to their devotion to the Wedge -- have mellowed with age. The waves -- which ricochet off the rocky jetty at the tip of Balboa Peninsula, smashing together in white-frosted peaks that can tower 20 feet -- have not. The Wedge chews up novices, flinging them onto the hard berm of sand or sucking them back into the churning surf.
The bodysurfing fraternity that held tanning tournaments and packed party houses during the Wedge's rowdy 1980s heyday has morphed into middle-aged dads. Fights used to break out among dudes angling for waves. Now, mentoring is more likely as newcomers learn to navigate that wall of water from the old hands who still can't get enough.
With a younger generation surfacing once again at the Wedge, the art of bodysurfing -- less glamorous than surfing and tough to master -- lives on.
"It is a dwindling thing -- there aren't the number of active bodysurfers that there were," said Tom "Cashbox" Kennedy, 44, who's been riding the Wedge for more than two decades. "With this new influx of fresh air, with these younger kids coming, it's like 'Wow, good, we're not going to die on the vine.' "
The Wedge crew, who call themselves the Wedge Preservation Society, successfully petitioned the city of Newport Beach to ban boards -- particularly the growing legions of bodyboarders -- at their prized spot from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May through October. Thus a landmark, and bodysurfing preserve, was born.
"Most people grow up, mature and leave the place," said Fred Simpson, 70, one of the Wedge patriarchs, who has spent nearly 40 years in the surf here. He also helped create Viper fins, standard equipment on the feet of many Wedge regulars. Of the Wedge crew, Simpson says, "Like me, they never matured."
Juggling kids and mortgages, the most devoted have bought houses close to the Wedge or created work schedules flexible enough that they can slip into a pair of fins on a long lunch break.
And there's no denying that it's the older guys -- the ones with the battle scars and the war stories -- who are still the best.
"The old guys rip," said Sean Starky, a bearded, long-haired 22-year-old. "They still kill it."
"The best guys are like dolphins on the waves," said Ron Romanosky, a longtime bodysurfer, kneeboarder, photographer and board maker.
Bodysurfing, which requires fins, nerve and perfect timing, never hit the commercial mainstream like surfing. The sport, which some bodysurfers consider an art form, has remained pure while skirting the pop-culture radar. That, and the practice required to become skilled, have thinned out the ranks frequenting the Wedge.
But some have noticed a resurgence.
"It seems like there's a whole new group there getting stoked on it," said Kevin "Mel" Thoman, 51, a Wedge veteran and the scene's de facto social coordinator (he has the tattoos to prove it).
"It's infectious; you don't really want to stop," said Ben Frazier, 18, who's been bodysurfing since the beginning of high school.
As long as the young guys know their place in the pecking order and show skill, the crew at the kinder, gentler Wedge is happy to show them the ropes.
"I love to see these guys charging these big waves," Kennedy said. "It's almost like the way I used to feel when I was their age. There's some sort of fire in the belly you need."
Simpson has seen generation after generation come and go at the Wedge. But though the old crew is happy to see newcomers keeping their passion alive, there are no plans to hang up their fins.
"We'll have a new crop," Thoman said, "and I'll be down there in a wheelchair."
Rosenblatt is a Times staff writer.
Straight out of the LA Times. All rights are theirs.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Words: Johnny Knapp
I can’t remember the last time I was on a surfboard. There have been waves, but none of my boards have left the corner in which they lean. Spiders have even taken to weaving a web that utilizes their dormant position.
My friends admitted that they are starting to worry about my absence from surfing. Because for some time now all I go to the beach with is a pair of swim fins and a piece of wood.
It all started when I tried a handplane,as they’re called, that belonged to a friend. I was always curious about them but never really gave it too much thought. I didn’t think it could be that different than the regular whopping of body surfing the shore break. Contrary to what I thought, I soon experienced a ride unique to anything I had experienced before. As vivid as my first ride was on a stand up surfboard, my first body surfing encounter with such a tool is equally ingrained. As the wave rose out of the ocean and across the sand bar, I managed to kick into it and glide across the face as one would on a board, in proper position the whole ride. Riding in the curl, the critical sections of the wave, never straying too far ahead.
Since that moment, I have dedicated myself to what I like to refer to as having intercourse with the ocean. There is a certain sensation that comes from skimming across the surface of the ocean with the water rushing across your body. The buffer of the surfboard as been removed. The ocean and your body are parallel to one another, becoming one during the act. There is a transfer of energy between the two, both feeding off one another. Through this developed energy, pleasure is received. The body’s sensory mechanisms are overloaded by what is happening in that brief and intense moment of the ride. Jolted, thrusted, and twisted into parts of the wave not seen or ridden by boards, it takes a special medium such as the body to get there.
The whole key to the gig is to have the eyes wide open during the whole ride. Even until the moment when the lip dumps upon you, the eyes must be open–alert to what is going on all around. It’s about the view. The lip is projected in the form of an aquatic cathedral with the curtain closing in, shimmering with light from the outside world. Droplets of water, though moving fast, appear to be in slow motion as time decelerates: an intimate moment with nature veiled under the cover of the lip. The ride climaxes with a tumble down to the ocean floor, bouncing up and gasping for air, wide-eyed and alive.
For now I’ve seem to have lost all desire to do a turn. Slashing and gashing the water seems like such rude thing to do to so a beautiful lady. Today I’d rather lie down and make love to her, face to face, touching one another in the glory of the moment.All from the beautiful online surf magazine.. Driftsurfing.com ... all rights are theirs.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
THE PIPELINE BODYSURFING CLASSIC
4. Contestants will be judged on the following: Summary of Judging Criteria:
The bodysurfer that rides the biggest wave, with the most control, for the furthest distance in the most critical part of the wave will receive the highest points. Maneuvers while on the wave will be judged by each judge according to its functionality and the precision with which it is performed. Which is to say a maneuver in and of itself, will not automatically mean a higher score. Judges will also be watching for general sportsmanship. An interference call will be made when it is deemed that a bodysurfer's move directly affects the ride that a controlling bodysurfer has. A controlling bodysurfer is one that is closer to the critical section of the wave or who clearly caught the wave before the bodysurfer that is in the more critical section. His wave score will be halved and it will become a counted wave toward his final score.
a) WAVE RIDING ABILITY - the demonstration of style, energy, flow, good control judgment, timing and response to the wave; good execution of all functional and aesthetic maneuvers; how existing wave conditions are utilized; and the quality of entry and exit from the waves.
b) MANEUVERS - the quality & smoothness of trick maneuvers; all maneuvers performed in the existing conditions; take offs, underwater-takeoffs, climbing, dropping, stalling, cut backs, back slides, bellyspins, spinners, & tube rides count as difficult maneuvers depending on the waves on which they are performed.
c) WAVE SIZE - the quality of wave selection; catching waves that break the highest, break the farthest out, travel the fastest, break the hardest, & wall up the steepest.
d) TRAVEL DISTANCE - the actual distance traveled across the face of the wave from the take off to the pull out or wipe out.
e) GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP AND COURTESY -All competitors will exhibit a professional, sportsmanlike regard for all of the other bodysurfers in the contest. If any competitor exhibits any unsportsmanlike behavior during competiton, their scores will not be tabulated. Additionally, a competitor who exhibits any unsportsmanlike behavior before, during or after competiton may have penalties, fines imposed and depending on severity of violations or actions may not be allowed to participate in future events.
f) INTERFERENCE - Interference will be called primarily for, but not limited to the following two (2) occasions: 1. if during a ride one rider INTENTIONALLY strikes or makes contact with another rider, 2. if one rider clearly establishes the right-of-way andanother rider takes off and drops into the path of the first rider, adversely affecting the ride.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The idea is to keep it small....keep it cheap...$5 hunk of offcut ply.....start with a thick piece so a deep concave can be carved into the tail... nice flat and round up front with rounded soft rails, all bite kept in the rear.
..it'll probably fail...its going to be fun finding out..