Friday, October 26, 2012

PHYS. ED.: Water Safety: Currents and Rip Currents

PHYS. ED.: Water Safety: Currents and Rip Currents

  With the Atlantic Hurricane Season still in full swing, and the potential for severe conditions up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, I felt this would be as good a time as any to discuss currents and rip currents.

CURRENT- A flow of water in a definite or specific direction.

  There are a few types of currents to be aware of when you are out in the water.

  Swell currents generally push from the the direction of the weather system generating the incoming swell.  For example, if a south swell is filling in at your local surf break, the predominant current will be pushing from the south and pulling to the north.  The strenth of these currents depends on the size and strength of the swell being generated.  You are going to want to pay attention to these currents out in the water so that you do not drift out of position...either too deep (too far behind the peak of a wave) or too far down the line (to far ahead of the peak of a wave).

  Tidal currents are also something to pay close attention to.  Depending on how severe your local spot's tidal swing is, the amount of water moving in and out can vary greatly.  Also, keep in mind that the moon can effect tidal levels as well with a full moon causing water levels to run deeper than usual.  With an incoming tide, tidal currents (known as a tidal surge) can push you into the impact zone (inside of the breaking waves).  In bigger surf conditions, this can be extremely dangerous as you may very well find yourself exerting a lot of energy trying to paddle through strong apposing currents and duckdiving powerful waves in shallow conditions.  On the reverse end of that, an outgoing tide can pull you out past the breaking waves and put you in a position where you will have to paddle back in.

One of the best ways to make sure you stay in the right spot out in the water is to "line up" your position.  Locate three fixed, stationary objects on land (a lightpole, house, mountain, etc.) and use those objects to triangulate where you want to be in the water.  Periodically check those objects.  If you've drifted out of position because of the swell currents or tidal currents, you'll know it and will be able to paddle back into the right spot.

Now that we've discussed swell and tidal currents, we're ready to move onto to the type of current that is responsible for nearly 80% of all lifeguard rescues around the world...

RIP CURRENT- (also referred to as a "Riptide" or "Rip") A strong current of turbulent water in the ocean, flowing outwards from the shore, caused by the meeting of currents or abrupt changes in depth and creating a disturbance on the surface.

Rips form when waves push water towards the shore.  This water, in an effort to flow back out, will have the tendency to move sideways along the shoreline until it finds an open area to push back out through such as a trench between sandbars, underneath piers, or alongside jetties.

Watch this short video clip to learn more about rips, and what to do if you get caught in one...

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Just because the waves are small, or because there is no threat of a powerful storm, does not mean that currents in the water aren't present or that rips won't form.  I've, personally, seen inexperienced tourists get swept away in rips on 1-2ft days.  Always pay close attention to the conditions out in the water, and always be aware of your surroundings!  If you're riding a break for the first time, it might be a good idea to check in with the lifeguards on duty.  A little local knowledge can go a long way.  Lastly, ALWAYS RESPECT THE POWER OF THE OCEAN and as the old saying goes, "If in doubt, don't go out!"

For more information about rips and currents, visit these web links:

  With all of that said, have fun and be safe.  I'll see you in the water...YEEEWWW!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

GEOGRAPHY: IN-BETWEEN a film by Kim Feast

GEOGRAPHY: IN-BETWEEN a film by Kim Feast

Australian Kim Feast (on the right), the 2011 IBA Pipeline DK Pro Champion, with Manny Vargas. North Shore, February 2011.  Photo: Steve "Action" Jackson

  Remember those school days when you walked into the classroom and saw the rolling cart with the TV and VCR/DVD player?  You would get all stoked because you knew that, for the next period, you would be sitting in class with the lights out watching a movie.  Well, that's kind of what I am doing with this GEOGRAPHY blog for today.  Sit back,relax, and enjoy IN-BETWEEN.  This full-length bodyboard movie was funded, filmed, and edited by Australian bodyboarder and 2011 IBA Pipeline DK Pro Champion Kim Feast.  Segments of this film have appeared on YouTube, Vimeo, and the Inverted podcast series throughout the course of the past year.  Here it is, in it's entirety, for your viewing pleasure.  If this doesn't get you amped up to book a trip to Morocco, Hawaii, or West Oz you might want to check your pulse for signs of life!  Enjoy the movie...YEEEWWW!!!

For more information, visit!/kim.feast

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

APPLIED SCIENCES: How to Install a GoPro Camera on Your Bodyboard

APPLIED SCIENCES: How to Install a GoPro Camera on Your Bodyboard

  With just about everybody in the bodyboarding community buzzing about the upcoming release of the new GoPro Hero3,  I figured this would be a good time to put together a "How-To" blog for installing a GoPro camera on your bodyboard.  There are several appoaches to this.

Installation Method #1: Using the GoPro Surf Kit

Installation Method #2:  Customized Mounts

  NOTE:  Customized installations can be as simple or as intricate as you choose to make them.  It all depends on how creative you want to get with it.  Here are just a couple of suggestions for making and installing custom bodyboard mounts.

Installation Method #3:  The GoPro Bodyboard Mount

NOTE:  Due to an increased demand following the release of the GoPro Hero2, a bodyboard mount was manufactured and generally retails for $20-$25USD.  The GoPro bodyboard mount is installed in a similar fashion as you would install a plug for your leash (see APPLIED SCIENCES: How to Choose and Install a Bodyboard Leash).

For more information about GoPro cameras and mounts, be sure to visit these links:

  Good luck, have fun, and I'll see you out in the water...YEEEWWW!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

HISTORY: The Michael "Eppo" Eppelstun Interview

HISTORY: The Michael "Eppo" Eppelstun Interview

  1993 World Champion Michael "Eppo" Eppelstun was the first Australian to win the bodyboarding world title, and considered an innovator of the sport.  He is credited with inventing the Double Roll, the ARS, and the Backflip.  Here, Eppo discusses his life leading up to his world title and the effect it had afterwards.  This interview was conducted at the IBA Media House on the North Shore of Oahu on 24 February 2011 during the IBA Pipeline Pro.

STEVE JACKSON:  With your championship in 1993, you won Pipeline and you won the world title.  What was going on with your life at that time?  Trying to get here, being here, the way the competition went down, becoming the first Australian to win at Pipe, tell me a little bit about what was going on with you.

EPPO:  Back then, in 1993, I was a pastry cook.  Actually, I wasn't a pastry cook.  I gave it up four months prior to come over to Hawaii and give it a good bash.  I was living on $75 a week back then.  That was my life.  When I came over, I was not the kid on the block.  There was Ross Hawk.  There was Barney (Paul Barnard).  There was Bullet (Steve McKenzie).  There was Matt Reilly.  These were all the Aussie guys.  I was the new kid on the block.

  I remember walking down the beach when it wasn't big Pipe, it was probably only 3ft. Pipe.  I remember Strohy (photgrapher Chris Stroh) coming up to me and he goes, "This is your day today."  I went, "What?"  He goes, "This is your conditions." Don't you reckon?  He goes, "Yep."  On the earlier days, I got through a couple of heats and just scraped through.  I remember taking off on a wave.  I'll never forget it.  Marcello Pedro just pulled back on a closeout 10-footer.  I'd had a shocker of a heat, and I just pulled in.  I got a 2.0 for that wave and it got me through.  I couldn't believe it!  I was down and out, I got a 2.0, and it got me through into second position.

  Back then, things were tough. You know?  I wasn't sponsored, but I had to grow up the next year.  I had this huge responsibility.  I was world champion.  I did a lot of promotion, and I did a lot of trying to help the sport.  Australia boomed.  Australia really boomed when there was an Australian world title,  which was the first non-Hawaiian world champion back then.  So, I've got a few firsts actually.  A first Aussie, a first non-Hawaiian.

STEVE JACKSON:  How did that win at Pipe, and winning the world title, change your life?  How did it affect you afterwards?

EPPO:  Emmensely.  I became a professional then.  Basically, I struggled with sponsorship.  It took me eight months just to seal a sponsor, which was Manta Bodyboards back then.  They came to the party, and I was loyal to them for over 12 years.  Once I won that, that's when the professionalism came in.  Like I said, I struggled with it.  Someone tried to manage me, and it was a nightmare.  I went down and met with three different types of media people.  They didn't come to the party.

  Then, I met a guy called Mike Perry.  About three years prior, he was the editor of Riptide.  He was, also, a consultant.  I said, "Would you manage me?"  He went, "Oh mate, to tell the honest truth it would be a waste of my time and your time.  If you become someone in the sport or win a world title, come and see me."  I remembered that!

  I went and rung him up, and asked if I could go meet him.  He said, "Yeah, alright, but I'm in a different time in my life right now.  I'm not going to manage you."  Long story short, three days later I'm still at his house and he goes, "You're not leaving, are you?"  I go, "I'm world champion, and I'm living on $75 a week."  He goes, "Okay, I'll do the negotiations for 10%, and that's it."  I went, "Sweet!"  The next year, I turned over $165,000.

STEVE JACKSON:  That's a big change in finances.

EPPO:  A huge change in finances, mate!

STEVE JACKSON:  You've talked about going into that championship, and what happened afterwards.  What was the celebration like?  I know whenever someone wins a world title, it's definitely worthy of a major celebration, and I've heard rumors for years about your party afterwards.  I want to hear it from the man himself.  What was that celebration like after you won Pipeline?

EPPO:  It was massive!  I felt sorry for the Brazilian guy who had our house.  We were living under his house.  He let it go because he was super cool.  It was massive until 11:30pm, when they told me they were taking me away because I was the life of the party.  I said to the policeman, "You haven't met Aussies!"  He just laughed.  Yeah, the part was massive.

STEVE JACKSON:  Thanks, Eppo, for taking the time to do this interview.

For more information about Eppo, click on these links:

PHOTO: Australian champs...1993 Pipeline/World Champion Mike "Eppo" Eppelstun and 1997 Pipeline Champion Steve "Bullet" McKenzie on the beach at Pipeline, February 2011.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News


Manny Vargas hosting commentary with guest commentator Ryan Hardy during the 2011 IBA Encanto Pro.

SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA, USA-  This past week, the official announcement was made that has signed a deal with the IBA (International Bodyboarding Association) which will allow Manny Vargas to return as the commentary host of the IBA world tour.  The deal will cover the necessary expenses to have Manny Vargas host live webcast coverage for the IBA, as well as the next six Manny Vision video blogs for You Tube.

  Manny Vargas will make his return to the commentary booth at the upcoming 2012 IBA Encanto Pro Puerto Rico at Middles in Isabela (November 2nd-13th).  Stay tuned to and as well as IBA World Tour on Twitter and Facebook for all of the latest news, updates, and video highlights.  Also, be sure to check out for all of your online bodyboard shopping needs.

PHOTO: Manny V & Action Jackson covering commentary at the 2011 IBA Encanto Pro.


ISABELA, PUERTO RICO-  The Wildcard selections for the 2012 IBA Encanto Pro (November 2nd-13th at Middles) have been confirmed.

Mens Main Event Wildcards:
Rafael Rivera (Puerto Rico)
Jacob Vandervelde (Hawaii)

Mens Trialist Wildcards:
Babby Quinones (Puerto Rico)
Javier Baez (Puerto Rico)

Womens Main Event Wildcards:
Maylene Rivera (Puerto Rico)
Natalia Revelo (Puerto Rico)

DK Wildcards:
Edgardo Gomez Cacho (Puerto Rico)
Troy Donovan (Puerto Rico)

For more information, click this link:

Stay tuned to and as well as IBA World Tour on Twitter and Facebook for all of the latest news, updates, and video highlights

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News


Francirley Ferreira scoring some tube time at his home break of Posto 5. PHOTO: Henrique Pinguim
COPACABANA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASIL-  After providing less-than-stellar surf conditions for last month's Rio Bodyboarding International event, Posto 5 delivered the goods for the Rio Matte Leao Bodyboard Carioca Tour's 2012 Posto 5 Pro/Am, the third event of the tour.  With a solid 4-6ft. swell and clean barrelling conditions, some of Brasil's best bodyboarders put on an incredible show.

  In the Mens Pro division, it was Posto 5 local Francirley Ferreira taking the win.  With this win, Francirley has moved up into 2nd place in the rankings with two events left on the 2012 Carioca tour schedule.  Here are the current Mens Pro standings after three events:

  Macae's Jessica Becker took the win in the Women's Pro division.

  After three events, Jessica is currently in 2nd place in the rankings.  Here are the current Women's Pro standings:

For more information on the Rio Matte Leao Bodyboard Carioca Tour, the latest press releases, and photo galleries be sure to visit:

FEBBRJ (Federacao de BodyBoarding de Rio de Janeiro)-

Circuito Carioca de Bodyboarding on Facebook-

Henrique Pinguim Images on Facebook-

(Francirley Ferreira water photo by Henrique Pinguim, Rankings and tour schedule images from FEBBRJ, all other photos by Steve Jackson)

  The remaining two events on the 2012 Rio Matte Leao Bodyboard Carioca Tour are scheduled for Barra de Tijuca in November and Sao Conrado in December.  Stay tuned for more news on these events.

Friday, October 12, 2012

PHYS. ED.: If There are Waves, Go Bodyboarding!

PHYS. ED.: If There are Waves, Go Bodyboarding!

Brazilian Daniel Ferreira putting his training to good use at Posto 5. Photo: Oswaldo Siqueira

  Most bodyboarders these days, whether amateur or professional, take a serious approach to training for bodyboarding.  Whatever your training routine may be, there is something very important to keep in mind.  The reason you are training for bodyboarding is so that you can perform at your best when you go bodyboarding.  Don't forget to put it to use out in the water!  Most of us work very hard to maintain a regular workout routine out of the water.  With a busy schedule (school, work, family, etc), it can be very easy to overlook making time to get out for a bodyboarding session.  If you can make time for a daily workout, you should be able to make time for even a short bodyboarding session.

  When there are waves to be ridden, get out there and ride them!  Even if it's a small swell, small wave sessions can really help fine-tune your body positioning and technique.  There is a reason why the best bodyboarders in the world are the best bodyboarders in the world...they are equally skilled at ripping in small waves and big waves.  The next time your friends are getting all bummed out and negative about the waves being too small, make the best of the situation.  If the waves are rideable or "contestable" (something you are guaranteed to hear sooner or later if you compete), get out there and push yourself.  Your small wave sessions can help with refining your body mechanics, compliment your out-of-water training, as well as keep you prepared for when the larger and more powerful swells arrive.  Most importantly, don't forget the fun factor.  Whether the waves are big or small, hitting the water for a bodyboarding session is a great way to decompress and forget about the daily stresses of life for a little while.

  With all of that said, I'm going to grab my gear and hit up a bodyboarding session!  See you out in the water...YEEEWWW!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

GEOGRAPHY: Sao Conrado (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)

GEOGRAPHY: Sao Conrado (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)

    Sao Conrado is one of the most fun and consistent waves of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

  Unfortunately, Sao Conrado has also become one of Rio's most polluted beaches.

  With a continously increasing amount of garbage on the beach and in the water, riding waves at Sao Conrado has become dangerous.

  Adding to the pollution concerns at Sao Conrado is the sewage drain pipe that runs down from the nearby favela of Rocinha and spills out onto the beach and into the ocean.

  This sewage not only poses a serious health risk for the local wave riding community out in the water, but poses other major risks as well.  Standing pools of sewage water on the beach are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos capable of transmitting maleria and dengue.

  City efforts, thus far, to clean up Sao Conrado have not been enough to truly have an effect on the problem at hand.  The Salvemos Sao Conrado campaign has organized events to clean up the beach and raise awareness for this serious problem, but they need your help!

  Please help spread the word to raise awareness, as well as to raise much needed funds.  Visit and "like" their Facebook page to learn more about the Salvemos Sao Conrado campaign.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

APPLIED SCIENCES: How to Choose & Install a Bodyboard Leash

APPLIED SCIENCES: How to Choose & Install a Bodyboard Leash

  Bodyboard leashes have come a long way in the past 25 years.  There used to be a time when bodyboard leashes were nothing more that shortened surfing straight leashes.  They were clumsy, and tangled fairly easily.  Fortunately, as with all bodyboard equipment, we have seen some rather dynamic advances in leash technology...coiled wrist leashes as well as the development of coiled bicep leashes, stronger polyeurethane chord material, more durable/comfortable neoprene padding, the addition of brass swivel points, etc.  If you're trying to choose a leash but aren't sure which will work best for you, check out this video from Jay Reale at to help point you in the right direction:

  After you have selected your leash, you're going to need to know how to install your leash.  Watch this video to learn how:

  Over time, you will develop your own preferences for what type of leash you like to use, where you like your leash placed on your board, and what variation of method you prefer for installing your leash.  As you progress as a bodyboarder, being able to select and assemble your own equipment is going to become increasingly important.These basic video instructions are a great starting point.  Good luck, have fun with it, and enjoy!  I'll see you out in the water...YEEEWWW!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News


  PUERTO ESCONDIDO, MEXICO-  For the second year in a row,  2x World Champion Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) has won the IBA Zicatela Pro.  For photos and the official press release, please be sure to click on this link and visit the IBA world tour website:


  COPACABANA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRASIL-  The third event on the 2012 Rio Matte Leao Bodyboard Tour, a part of the FEBBRJ (Federacao de Bodyboarding de Rio de Janeiro), is scheduled for this weekend October 13th and 14th.  The event will be held at Posto 5 in Copacabana, the site of last month's Rio Bodyboarding International world tour event.  For more information, be sure to click on the following link and check out the official FEBBRJ website: