Thursday, September 27, 2012

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

  It's been a pretty busy month in the world of bodyboarding, and continues to be as such, so let's dive right into it!


  PUERTO ESCONDIDO, MEXICO-  The rescheduled contest window for the 2012 IBA Turbo Zicatela Pro (Sept. 27th - Oct. 6th) begins today.  Coming into this event, Australia's Dave Winchester is looking to clinch his first ever world title but defending 2011 world champion Pierre Louis Costes (France, currently ranked 2nd), 2x world champion Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii, currently ranked 3rd), South African Mark McCarthy (currently ranked 5th), and 6x world champion Guilherme Tamega (Brasil, currently ranked 6th) are still fighting to stay alive in the title hunt.  2x world champion Ben Player (Australia, currently ranked 4th) will not be attending, thereby eliminating him from world title contention.  Stay tuned to for all of the latest news, updates, and highlights.


  SAN DIEGO, CA- In a surprising development, IBA Mens Grand Slam Series webcast commentator Manny Vargas announced he will not be in attendance at the final three IBA world tour stops (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canary Islands) for the remainder of the 2012 season, and expressed doubt towards his possible return for 2013.  In a filmed video statement (attached below), Manny thanked the IBA, all of the riders, as well as all of the IBA fans.

For more about this, visit Manny's blog:


  South African Sacha Specker is the new IBA Drop Knee World Champion for 2012! "Spex," as he is called, clinch his first ever world title with a 2nd place finish at the 2012 Bodyboard Pro Festival in Venezuela (more info on BPF below).  Visit for all the latest news and updates.


  Coming off of back-to-back wins in Brasil and Venezuala (more information below), Brazilian Isabela Sousa has secured the 2012 IBA WWT title to become 2x World Champion. This is Isabela's second title in three years, having won the WWT in 2010 and finishing 2nd in 2011. Be sure to visit for all of the latest news and updates.


  ISLA DE MARGERITA, VENEZUELA-  Brasil's Eder Luciano was able to fend off Adnane Benslimane (Morocco) to win the 6-Star Mens GQS final at Bodyboard Pro Festival 2012, and collect the 2000 points to put towards his overall 2012 season ranking on the IBA Global Qualifier Series.  Also, coming away with wins at BPF 2012 were Isabela Sousa (Brasil) and Dave Hubbard (Hawaii).  Isabela won her second consecutive WWT Grand Slam Series event, and clinched the 2012 WWT title in the process.

5x DKWT champion Dave Hubbard came away with the Drop Knee Grand Slam Series win in Venezuela, but watched Sacha Specker (South Africa) take the 2012 DKWT title with his 2nd place finish at Bodyboard Pro Festival.

Be sure to visit as well as for all the latest news and updates.


  RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASIL-  Morocco's Brahim Iddouch beat out Reunion Island's Yoan Florentin to win the 6-Star GQS at Rio Bodyboarding International 2012 and collect the $9,000USD winners check along with the valuable 2000pts to help improve his overal ranking on the 2012 IBA Global Qualifier Series. Also, in the process of winning, Brahim became the first Moroccan bodyboarder to win a major IBA world tour event.  As if that were not impresive enough, Brahim (who entered this event without a board sponsor) signed on with Pride Bodyboards during the course of the competition.

Also, coming away with a victory in the WWT Grand Slam Series portion of the event was 2010 world champion Isabela Sousa (Brasil) who held off defending 2011 world champion Eunate Aguirre in the final to claim the $6000USD winner's check and points towards the WWT rankings.

Be sure to check out and for all of the latest news, updates, and highlights.


In clinching the 2012 USBA Mens Pro National Title, Hawaii's Jeff Hubbard has become 9x US National Champion surpassing the previous mark set my bodyboarding legend Mike Stewart (Hawaii) for most national titles in US bodyboarding history.


  PT. PLEASANT, NEW JERSEY, USA-  Maui young gun Kahekile Labatte claimed his first ever Pro division win at the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro (Sept. 1st-10th), the season finale for the US national tour.  Kahekili used big backflips in solid surf provided by Hurricane Leslie to put up some big scores...including a 9 in the early portion of the Mens Pro Final.  Labatte, also, won the Open Amateur division at this year's competition.  Here's a look at all of the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro/Am winners...

Mens Pro- Kahekili Labatte (Hawaii)
Womens Pro- Izamar Vivas (Venezuela)
DK Pro- Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)

Open Amateur- Kahekili Labatte (Hawaii)
14-18 Amateur- Patrick Orr (Hawaii)
13 & Under Amateur- Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii)

...and here are the 2012 USBA National Champions...

Mens Pro- Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii)
Womens Pro- Roberta Bitzer (Brasil)
DK Pro- Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)

Open Amateur- Sammy Morretino (Hawaii)
14-18 Amateur- Sammy Morretino (Hawaii)
13 & Under Amateur- Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii)

Visit for all of the latest news, updates, and highlights.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rio Bodyboarding International 2012: Behind the Scenes

Rio Bodyboarding International 2012: Behind the Scenes

(9 SEPT 2012)
  I arrived at Galeao International Airport in Rio on the morning of the 9th.  I was really looking forward to today.  I had arrived on my wife's birthday and our three year wedding anniversary.  Little did I know that this was going to be a temultuous start to my time back in Rio.  My wife, Leticia, and her father, Hamilton, picked me up at the airport and drove me back down to our apartment in Copacabana.  We were at the apartment long enough for me to drop off my luggage and give my wife her birthday and anniversary presents.  The rest of the day would be spent at the hospital.  My mother-in-law had been battling advanced cancer and went into the Intensive Care Unit at Sao Joao Hospital the day before.  We stayed at the hospital waiting for visiting hours and, when we were able to go in and see her, I have to admit it was rather difficult to see my mother-in-law Luiza in an ICU hospital bed.  After visiting hours, we went back to the apartment only to get a call that Luiza's condition was worsening and would most likely not make it through the night.  My wife stayed with her mother through the night.

(10 SEPT 2012)
  In the early morning hours, Luiza slipped into a coma.  By around 10am, she had passed away.  Her funeral services were held that same day.  It was a very intense and emotional day.  I did my best to be strong for my wife, but even I couldn't fight back the tears.  Beijos, amo voce!

(11 SEPT 2012: Day One of Competition)
  I left the apartment and walked up to the contest site at Posto 5...all of three blocks away from where my wife's family lives here in Copacabana.  I ended up going to grab a quick breakfast with my friend Alexandre and IBA judge Dudu Pedra.  The competition was on call for 7:30am, and was underway by 8am.  I hosted the English-speaking webcast for the day with IBA Tour Manager Teza McKenna sitting in on occasion so that I could take a break here and there.  I used my breaks to grab something to eat, walk back to the apartment to check up on my wife, and walk around the contest site taking some behind-the-scenes photos to post on Facebook.  At the end of the day, I wrapped things up in the webcast booth and went outside to film for a highlights clip.  I would follow a similar schedule each day of the competition.  Check out some of the photos and the video highlight clips for Rio Bodyboarding International 2012...

The contest structure for Rio Bodyboarding International 2012 at Posto 5 in Copacabana.

Rio Bodyboarding International 2012 event staff group photo. Photo: Rio Bodyboarding International

My office for the week...each day I got to sit at a desk with my sandals kicked off, commentating on the live action (large TV), and bringing you the latest score updates (Small TV).  Hosting the English-speaking commentary was an honor, a privilege, and lots of fun!

Day One Highlights first highlights clip ever...I was a little nervous but got it done!

(12 SEPT 2012: Day Two of Competition)

The Beach Byte crew hard at work making sure both the Portuguese and English webcasts are operating properly throughout the course of the day.

2011 IBA World champion eunate Aguirre (Basque) and Catarina Sousa (Portugal) hanging out and having fun in Copacabana during day two of Rio Bodyboarding International 2012.

Day Two Highlights clip...

(13 SEPT 2012: Day Three of Competition)

During one of my breaks from commentary on day three, I walked over to Baby Lanches with local P5 bodyboarder Jonathan Cardoso and 2x World Champion Jeff Hubbard to get some acai with granola...mmmmm, acai!

A packed competitor's tent...complete with a Kidoghinho (mini hot dogs) stand...on day three.

Day Three Highlights clip...

(14 SEPT 2012: Day Four of Competition)

Former Womens World Champions Claudia Ferrari (1996), 5x champion Neymara Carvalho, and Karla Costa Taylor (1999)...These ladies have put together quie a list of accomplishments!

A handful of pro competitors hanging out on the beach, watching the competition out in the water.

Day Four Highlights clip...

(15 SEPT 2012: Day Five of Competition)

Danilo (Rio Bodyboarding International media) and 6x World Champion Guilherme Tamega having a conversation off to the side of the competitor's tent on day five.

2011 World Champion Pierre Louis Costes (France) on the beach at Posto 5 in Copacabana.

Day Five Highlights clip...

(16 SEPT 2012: Final Day of Competition)

Portuguese commentator Malik Lazaro and English commentator Steve "Action" Jackson on the final day of competition for Rio Bodyboarding International 2012.

...on air with special guest commentator, 5x Womens World Champion Neymara Carvalho of Brasil. Photo: Rio Bodyboarding International

Morocco's Brahim Iddouch, winner of the Men's GQS at Rio Bodyboarding International 2012, being carried up the beach to the winner's podium. Photo: Rio Bodyboarding International

2010 Womens World Champion Isabela Sousa of Brasil, winner of the Women's GSS at Rio Bodyboarding International 2012, being carried up the beach to collect her trophy and winner's check. Photo: Lilly Pollard

Rio Bodyboarding International 2012 Champions, Brahim Iddouch of Morocco and Isabela Sousa of Brasil. Photo: XGeneration

Final Day Highlights clip...

2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro: Recap

2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro: Recap

  Even though it's only been a couple of weeks since the conclusion of the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro, there's been so much going on in the world of bodyboarding (as well as in my life) that it all seems like a screaming blur at this point!  Despite the fuzzy memory recall, here's a quick look back at this year's season finale for the USBA national tour.

(5 SEPT 2012)
  Things got underway for Day One of competition at 12pm noon.  We got halfway through Round #1 of the Mens Pro Division before a violent storm front pushed through, forcing the event to go on hold and sending everyone scattering off of the beach in search of shelter.  I was impressed by the strength of this storm...howling wind, driving rain, deafening thunder, and flashes of lightning coming down all around well as how rapidly it moved in. About a half dozen of us were trying to wrap things up at the contest site and load equipment into a trailer attached to the quadrunner that event organizer Jason Bitzer was driving when a bolt of lightning quite literally struck about 100 yards away from us, over the water in the competition area.  Bitzer yelled at all of us, "Everybody off of the beach NOW!!!"  We all jumped into the trailer, and Bitzer hauled all of us up off of the beach.  Crazy!

  After clearing off of the beach, I loaded up the USBA Scion xB with my passengers (Jeff Hubbard, Dave Hubbard, Dave Kelly, and Marshall "Mash" Watson) and drove them up to the Courtyard Marriott in Lincroft.  Somehow, during all the frantic scrambling to get off the beach, I ended up with several bags of Burritos with chips and salsa in the promo car.  Bubbakoo's Burritos had delivered lunch to the contest site just prior to the storm rolling in, and I ended up with all of the food.  Later on, I had to pick up "Tech Dan" (our webcast guy) to bring back to the hotel, so I brought him and the burritos back up to the Lincroft Courtyard.  DK, Hubb, and Mash met us in the lobby and the five of us dove into some Burritos and chips for dinner.  From there, I drove over to the Courtyard Marriott in Tinton Falls to drop off a wind banner to IBA Tour Manager Teza McKenna (it had been lost by the airlines when he flew over from the Sintra Portugal Pro, and we had it shipped to my house).  Following that little excursion, I headed back home and crashed out for the night.

(6 SEPT 2012)
  No competition for the day.  We arrived up at the contest site in the morning to find that the two flatscreen webcast monitors had been stolen out of the event tower.  I hung around to put up Scion fence banners while Bitzer filed a report with the police. Dave Hubbard jumped in and helped me with the banners, then we headed out.  On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at WaWa so Dave could order up a couple of sanwiches and a smoothie to bring with him.  It never ceases to amaze me how much all of the travelling bodyboarders fall in love with WaWa stores when they are in New Jersey...especially the Hawaiians!  After our WaWa stop, I drove Dubb back to his hotel, then I headed off to take care of several errands.  The rest of the day was pretty much spent running around.  I picked Dubb up, later on, and drove him down to Toyota World of Lakewood for a Scion promo.  We met up with the Bitzers (Jason and Roberta) there, along with the Jenks Pro Scion Wild Card Sean Morin.  After the promo, Sean headed out, and the rest of us went to Bubbakoo's Burritos in Brick for dinner.  By the time I got home, I was drop-dead exhausted.  By 9pm, I as out cold for the night.

(7 SEPT 2012)
  My day started off with the usual routine...up at 5am...on my way up to the Courtyard Marriott in Lincroft to pick up Hubb, Dubb, DK, Mash, and Tech Dan by 6am...drove everyone down to Jenks...unloaded at the contest site...parked the USBA Scion xB at the beach entrance to display for the day.  We ran a full day of competition in pretty solid wave conditions.  I hosted the webcast commentary solo for majority of the day, with a few guests like new 3x US Womens Champion Roberta Bitzer and Hawaiian Trevor Kam stopping by to answer a few questions.  By the end of the day, IBA Tour Manager Teza McKenna was jokingly referring to me as "Non-stop Action" Jackson because I had, for the most part, talked non-stop for a full day covering the commentary.  I was definitely tired, that's for sure.  After we wrapped for the day, I took care of my daily hotel drop-offs and headed home to start packing for my flight to Brasil.

(8 SEPT 2012)
  After staying up until 2am to do laundry and pack my bags for Brasil (which I did not finish), I was awake by 5am to make my morning hotel run.  I was feeling pretty sleepy-eyed, and my voice was starting to give out a little bit.  While I waited for everybody to come down from their rooms, I hit up some free tea and honey in the lobby for a bit of a morning boost..stoked!  I got everybody down to Jenks, and went to work covering the commentary for the first half of the day.  Then, Dubb and I drove over to my house.  I handed over the keys, and Dubb was now set to take over as wheelman of the USBA Scion xB.  Dave headed back to the contest, while I dove head first into frantically trying to get all of my things packed for Brasil.  Two and a half hours later, my cousin Norma drove me up to Newark airport so that I could make my 6:10pm flight to Rio.  When I got to the airport, I got checked in and through security relatively quickly and waited to board my plane...Newark, NJ to Atlanta, GA to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil via Delta airlines.  I was so tired after running all day on only three hours of sleep, that once onboard for my connecting flight in Atlanta I fell asleep right after take-off and slept straight through until an hour before landing in Rio.  Eight hours sleep on a 9.5hr flight...mmmmm, I needed that!  Up next:  Rio Bodyboarding International 2012...YEEEWWW!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro: Lay Days

2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro: Lay Days

Dom and Stacy from the Scion street team on the beach in Pt. Pleasant, NJ for the start of the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro.

(Saturday 1 Sept. 2012)
  September first kicked off the start of the competition waiting period for the 2012 USBA Scion Jenks Pro.  Dom and the Scion street team set up tents at the contest site and down by Jenks Club and did promos all day on the beach.

  During the afternoon, Bubbakoo's Burrito's presented a Taco eating contest.  The set-up went like this: eight contestants were each given a tray of 10 soft tacos (beef, lettuce and cheese on each), a bottle of water, and a bottle of O.N.E. coconut water with five minutes to eat as many tacos as possible.  These guys dove in head first, literally, and put on quite an entertaining display.  in the end it was Yigel (the big guy with the sunglasses on, pictured above) who came away the winner.  By eating seven and a half tacos in five minutes, he walked away with a free $100 Bubbakoo's gift card and t-shirt (as well as a very full stomach)!

(Sunday 2 Sept. 2012)
  The Scion street team was back on the beach doing promos from 9-5.  Swell started to fill in, so a bunch of the competitors hit the water for a practice session. I decided to take a break from work to hit the water and ended up pulling a really fun two and a half hour session...stoked!

  By the time I wrapped up and left the beach, it was after 7pm.  I had been given four tickets for the Lakewood Blueclaws baseball game that I wanted to go to, but it would have been too late by the time i went home and got cleaned up.  A bunch of us decided we were going to go up to PNC Bank Arts Center to go promote Jenks Beach Fest and see the Rock The Bells hip hop festival, but holiday traffic had the Garden State Parkway looking like a parking lot.  So, we bailed on that.  Our third option for the night ended up being the best idea.  A handful of us headed to Manasquan and went to local surf legend Carl Danish's end-of-summer clam bake.  There was live music, a local surf slide show, tons of food and drinks, and lots of familiar faces to catch up with!  I was stoked to catch up with Carl (pictured above)!  I grew up riding waves with Carl at Manasquan Inlet, and borrowed his longboards on occasion to ride "The Cove."  I had such a good time at the clam bake, that I didn't really want to leave but it was a great way to end the night.

(Monday 3 Sept. 2012)
  Labor Day was grey and rainy.  I spent three hours out in the water at Jenks riding with a bunch of the competitors and the majority of the day taking care of things in preparation for the Jenks Pro.  I took Dave Kelly, Beta (Roberta Bitzer) and her Brother Gabriel to Oakley Vault (were I've been working while home in New Jersey) so that they could buy sunglasses.  Later that night, I drove up to JFK airport to pick up IBA Tour Manager Terry McKenna (Australia), IBA Head Judge Chico Garritano (Brasil), IBA Judge Dudu Pedra (Brasil), and Marshall Watson (Australia).  By the time we got back down to the Courtyard Marriott it was 1:30am.  I was so tired, I stayed at the hotel for the night.

(Tuesday 4 Sept. 2012)
  It was another grey and rainy day.  The swell had picked up at Jenks but it was breaking right on the beach and was just super-heavy, breakneck shorebreak closeouts.  A few guys paddled out to take it on, and just about all of them were taking a beating out there.  It just didn't look fun.  I drove over the bridge to Manasquan Inlet and ended up paddling out with DK, Mash, and Jeff Hubbard.  A lot of the competitors for the Jenks Pro ended up out in the water at Manasquan Inlet and, unsurprisingly, a bunch of the local surfers had their panties in a bunch over it.  I enjoyed being back out in the water at my old homebreak and seeing some old familiar faces.  As for the donkeys that were blatantly dropping in on people...whatever.  I had a really fun session...right up until I lost my board...gone...permanently...vanished without a trace.  I was riding without a leash and wiped out on my last wave.  When I cam up, I didn't see my board and figured it had washed up onto the beach.  When, I got onto the beach there was no sign of it.  i walked out onto the jetty to see if I could find it wedged in the rocks somewhere.  Nothing.  I was so bummed.  The inlet jetty has had a reputation for claiming surfboards and bodyboards over the years (the currents push down and wedge boards in the submerged jetty rocks).  In 24 years of riding Manasquan Inlet, I had never lost a board like that.  What a Buzzkill ending to a good session.  Oh well, I'll chalk it up as a sacrifice to the surf gods. :)

  Be sure to check back tomorrow for Day 1 and Day 2 of competition from the Jenks Pro and be sure to go to to watch the live webcast for day 2 action.  Heats are scheduled to start running at 7am.  See you then...YEEEWWW!!!