Wednesday, October 8, 2014

EDITORIAL: Reports of Bodyboarding's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

EDITORIAL: Reports of Bodyboarding's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

An editorial written by Steve Jackson

"The report of my death was an exaggeration."
Mark Twain, American Writer
Quote from the New York Journal, 2 June 1897

  Back at the beginning of 2014, the future of professional bodyboarding, and the world tour, were in question.  Following several temultuous seasons filled with rumor, speculation, cancelled events, the resignation of key personnel, and more questions than answers the IBA Pty. Ltd. (International Bodyboarding Association Party Limited) announced that it was cancelling the 2014 world tour in order to conduct, "a strategic review to best ascertain the most sustainable model for the sport moving forward."  Even after the formation of the new APB (Association of Professional Bodyboarders) and running of the 2014 Pipe Challenge, a five month break from competition led more than a couple of media outlets and many people within the international bodyboarding community to prematurely speculate about the "slow death" of professional bodyboarding.

3x World Champion Ben Player wins his second Pipe Challenge in a row!

  As events for the 2014 APB world tour schedule resumed and the tour moved forward, it became quite clear to a large majority of the bodyboarding world (myself included) that in a year where we were presented with the proposition of having nothing we we given something truly special.  Was this a transitional year for the sport of bodyboarding?  Yes, obviously.  Are there things that need to be improved upon?  Of course.  There is always room for improvement.  Were there lessons to be learned from the first year of the new APB?  Without question!  As with anything in life, you want to learn from your mistakes and build upon your successes.  For me, personally, I like to look at "Season One" of the new APB World Tour as a first step towards a bigger and better and brighter future.  This year was merely a glimpse of the potential the future of bodyboarding possesses.  If I sound a little too idealistic and hopeful, think about what we all witnessed this year.

After years of trying, Lilly Pollard wins Pipeline!

  In 2014 we saw the APB rise up from the crumbling ruins of the IBA Pty. Ltd. to provide a world tour.  That, in itself, should be worthy of the bodyboarding world's collective grattitude.  In the first event of the year, The Pipe Challenge, we were all treated to some very special moments.  Having won Pipeline the previous year and claiming his third world title in an abbreviated 2013 campaign, Australia's Ben Player came out and won Pipe for the second straight year.  Now a 3x World Champion and 2x Pipeline Champion, BP continued to build on his already legendary status in the bodyboarding history books.  The biggest story coming out of the 2014 Pipe Challenge, though, was fellow Australian Lilly Pollard.  After years and years of spending winters on the North Shore, she was finally able to capture that ever-elusive first Pipeline win.  If that wasn't an inspiring story of determination and accomplishment worthy of a Hollywood script, then I don't know what is!

51 year old, 9x World Champion Mike Stewart and 15 year old Supergrom Tanner McDaniel.  Proof that you are never too old...or too make things happen!

  Event #2, The Itacoatiara Pro in Brazil, had its fair share of noteworthy moments as well.  The first item prominently on display was the broad spectrum that is ever-present within bodyboarding.  We all know about the skill range with our sport, from novice "weekend warriors" on cheap boards playing around in the whitewater ripples on a hot summer day to intermediate-level riders to top level professionals, as well as our mutiple riding disciplines...prone, drop knee, and stand-up.  What I am referring to, though, is the age spectrum at the pro level.  This year, we saw 51 year old, 9x World Champion Mike Stewart (Hawaii) and his 15 year old protege Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii) both progressing deep into competition.  The sport of bodyboarding has never been so wide open at any other point in its history as it is right now.  Along with Tanner's impressive showing, young Brazilian standouts David Barbosa and Socrates Santana provided further proof that the talent level for the next generation of bodyboarding runs extremely deep worldwide.  Then, to cap things off at Itacoatiara, South African Jared Houston finally claimed his long-overdue first career world tour win.  One day, when Jerry becomes a world champion (something I have no doubt of), we will all look back to this event as a turning point.

Jared Houston enjoying his first career world tour victory with a little champagne shower!

  Up next at Event #3, The Arica Chilean Challenge,  I finally got to see, first-hand, what all of us have been watching develop over the past few years.  Chilean bodyboarders like Alan Munoz are not only competitive at events and working their way into the upper rankings of the world tour, but one of these days a Chilean is going to win the world title.  Something else to remember from this event was the final between Pierre Louis Costes (France) and Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island).  Somehow, some way, the final at Arica is always something to remember.  This year was no exception.  That perfect 10 air reverse off of the left bowl by Amaury on the last wave of the heat was nothing short of awesome!

Moz claiming victory at The 2014 Arica Chilean Challenge!

  Antofagasta Bodyboarding Festival was EVENT #4, and offered up no shortage of important moments for the 2014 APB World Tour.  In the Men's division, 2008 World Champion Uri Valadao took the win in an all-Brazilian final.  This set up a three-man race for the world title between three former world champions...2011 World Champion Pierre Louis Costes, Uri, and 2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe.  In the women's division, 16 year old Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands) registered her first career world tour win and, in doing so, became one of the youngest tour rankings leaders in bodyboarding history.

Uri Valadao and Alexandra Rinder claim victory in Antofagasta.

  All of the world titles for 2014 were decided at the 19th Annual Sintra Portugal Pro this year.  This historic, long-running cornerstone of professional bodyboarding provided near-perfect waves for the final day of competition, and there was a list of noteworthy moments.  First and foremost, the Hubbard brothers reversed roles, to an extent.  Dave claimed his first world tour victory ever in the Men's division, while Jeff advanced all the way through to the Drop Knee semifinals.

2014 APB DK World Champion Dave Hubbard.

  To continue with the role reversal theme, Dave won the Men's division and clinched the DK world title, while Amaury won the DK division and clinched the Men's world title.  With this year's DK title, Dave Hubbard is now 6x DK World Champion.  After coming up just short in 2013, Amaury Lavernhe is now 2x Men's World Champion having claimed the 2014 title.

2014 APB Men's World Champion Amaury Lavernhe.

  In the Women's division, the world title race turned into a nail-biter that went down to the final.  After an unexpectedly early elimination, Alexandra Rinder was forced to anxiously wait and watch as Jessica Becker (Brasil) made her run at stealing away the world title.  The scenerio was simple: win the contest and win the word title.  Unfortunately, Jessica could not overtake an in-form 3x World Champion Isabela Sousa (Brasil) in the final.  As a result, 16 year old Alexandra Rinder became the youngest world champion in bodyboarding history.

2014 APB Women's World Champion Alexandra Rinder.

  The 2014 Sintra Portugal Pro was also the debut of the Pro Junior division, which the APB is considering as part of the 2015 world tour.  If I had not already been impressed by the depth of young international talent earlier on the tour, watching young guns like Miguel Adao (Portugal) and eventual event winner/ 2014 Pro Junior Champion Tristan Roberts (South Africa) battle it out in this new "Supergrom" division drove the point home.

The 2014 APB World Champions: Pro Jr. Champion Tristan Roberts, Men's Champion Amaury Lavernhe, DK Champion Dave Hubbard, and Women's Champion Alexandra Rinder.

  Wrapping up the 2014 APB World Tour, after all the world champions had been crowned, there was one award left to be given out.  Finishing 22nd in his first year of competition on the Men's world tour, 15 year old Tanner McDaniel earned the Rookie of the Year award becoming the youngest Rookie award winner in bodyboarding history.

  Looking back at the year that was the 2014 APB World Tour and reflecting on all of the memorable, if not historically significant, moments that transpired I can't help but look forward to the 2015 world tour season with a sense of anxious optimism.  The sport of bodyboarding and the APB World Tour are progressing forward.  The past couple of years, most certainly, have been difficult but we have survived and move forward to a future filled with great potential.  We have an entire up and coming generation of young bodyboarders that are going to change the complexion of the sport.  We have an entire legion of seasoned veterans and living legends that continue to remain viable in the competitive arena and will not go down quietly.  I can't wait to see what happens with next year's tour...and the year after that...and the year after that!  Certain media outlets and a few "Negative Nancies" want to talk about bodyboarding being dead?  Sorry, think again.  For me, bodyboarding and it's future are still very much alive with future potential pulsing through its veins!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 APB World Tour Recap

2014 APB World Tour Recap

Location: North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Dates: February 18th-28th


2014 Men's Pipeline Champion Ben Player.
1. Ben Player (Australia)
2. Uri Valadao (Brasil)
3. Spencer Skipper (Hawaii)
4. Jared Houston (South Africa)

2014 Women's Pipeline Champion Lilly Pollard.
1. Lilly Pollard (Australia)
2. Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands)
3. Jessica Becker (Brasil)
4. Emma Cobb (Australia)

2014 Pipeline DK Champion Dave Hubbard celebrating his win!
1. Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)
2. Josh Trotter (Hawaii)
3. Edgardo Gomez (Puerto Rico)
4. Cole Hansen (Hawaii)

2014 Pipeline Pro Jr. finalists.
1. Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii)
2. Noa Auweloa (Hawaii)
3. Kawika Kamai (Hawaii)
4. Alex Castillo

Location: Itacoatiara, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Dates: July 25th- August 3rd


Jerry captures his first career world tour victory!
1. Jared Houston (South Africa)
2. Pierre Louis Costes (France)
=3. Sergio Luiz (Brasil)
=3. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)


Location: El Gringo, Ex-Isla Alacran, Arica, Chile
Dates: August 15th-24th


Amaury Lavernhe claims the win at the 2014 Arica Chilean Challenge.
1. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
2. Pierre Louis Costes (France)
=3. Guilherme Tamega (Brasil)
=3. Alex Uranga (Basque)


Location: La Cupula, Antofagasta, Chile
Dates: August 26th-31st


Uri Valadao and Alexandra Rinder take top honors at ABF 2014!
1. Uri Valadao (Brasil)
2. Israel Salas (Brasil)
=3. Eder Luciano (Brasil)
=3. Brahim Iddouch (Morocco)

1. Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands)
2. Sari Ohhara (Japan)
=3. Soraia Rocha (Brasil)
=3. Isabela Sousa (Brasil)


Location: Praia Grande, Sintra, Portugal
Dates: September 23rd-28th


1. Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)
2. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
=3. Joao Barciela (Portugal)
=3. Lucas Mogueira (Brasil)

1. Isabela Sousa (Brasil)
2. Jessica Becker (Brasil)
=3. Ayaka Suzuki (Japan)
=3. Mayumi Tone (Japan)

1. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Isnad)
2. Angelo Freda (Venezuela)
=3. Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii)
=3. Michel Copetta (Chile)

1. Tristan Roberts (South Africa)
2. Miguel Adao (Portugal)
=3. Alfonso Alexandre (Portugal)
=3. Guilherme Guerra (Portugal)


Sintra Pro 2014- Highlights Day 6


(Left to Right) Tristan Roberts, Amaury Lavernhe, Dave Hubbard, and Alexandra Rinder.
2014 APB Men's World Champion: Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)

2014 APB Women's World Champion: Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands)

2014 APB DK World Champion: Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)

2014 APB Pro Junior World Champion: Tristan Roberts (South Africa)


With his 2014 world title, Amaury Lavernhe is now a 2x World Champion.
1. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
2. Pierre Louis Costes (France)
3. Uri Valadao (Brasil)
4. Jared Houston (South Africa)
5. Alex Uranga (Basque)
6. Israel Salas (Brasil)
7. Lucas Nogueira (Brasil)
8. Mike Stewart (Hawaii)
9. Magno Passos (Brasil)
10. Eder Luciano (Brasil)
11. Ben Player (Australia)
12. Jacob Romero (Hawaii)
13. Roberto Bruno (Brasil)
14. Alan Munoz (Chile)
15. Sergio Luiz (Brasil)
16. Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands)


Alexandra Rinder won the Women's World Title at 16 years old to become the youngest world champion in bodyboarding history!
1. Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands)
2. Jessica Becker (Brasil)
3. Isabela Sousa (Brasil)
4. Sari Ohhara (Japan)
5. Minami Hatekayama (Japan)
6. Maylla Venturin (Brasil)
7. Ayaka Suzuki (Japan)
8. Lilly Pollard (Australia)
9. Lumar Guittard (Venezuela)
10. Andrea Carvalho Dias (Brasil)


In winning the 2014 DKWT title, Dave Hubbard is now 6x DK World Champion!
1. Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)
2. Edgardo Gomez (Puerto Rico)
3. Michel Copetta (Chile)
4. Cesar Bauer (Peru)
5. Renato Arellano (Chile)
6. Panch Galdos (Peru)
7. Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island)
8. Josh Trotter (Hawaii)
9. Sebastian Lacombe (France)
10. Angelo Freda (Venezuela)

2014 APB ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii)

15 year old Hawaiian Supergrom Tanner McDaniel finished 22nd on the 2014 APB world tour and earned the 2014 Rookie of the Year award!

For more information about the APB World Tour and its events, please be sure to visit the following links:

Official APB Tour website

APB Tour on Facebook

Official Itacoatiara Pro website

Itacoatiara Pro on Facebook

Arica Chilean Challenge on Facebook

Official Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival website

Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival on Facebook

Official Sintra Portugal Pro website

Sintra Portugal Pro on Facebook

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Sintra Fest 2014

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Sintra Fest 2014

PRAIA DAS MACAS, SINTRA, PORTUGAL-  The 3rd Annual Sintra Fest which included live music, giveaways, and the 5th Annual International Bodyboarding Film Festival drew a crowd of 5000 people for two nights of fun and films on September 26th and 27th, during the competition window for the 19th annual running of the Sintra Portugal Pro.  Check out the official press releases (in Portuguese and English)  along with photos from Sintra Fest below!


A 3ª edição do Sintra Fest foi um sucesso, um Festival marcado pela boa "vibe", ambiente e música e que retrata o Verão, praia e o Bodyboard. Foram cerca de 5 mil pessoas que passaram no Sintra Fest para ouvir Valete, Blaya, Dj Ride, Dj Slimcutz&Ace (Mind da Gap), Spitfyah Sound, Nubai Sound, The StoneWolf Band e Urbanvibsz.

As 5 mil pessoas tiveram também oportunidade de ver o 5º Festival Internacional de Cinema Bodyboard, apresentado pela Ride It! Magazine e organizado pelo brasileiro Elmo Ramos.
Foram 4 filmes de Bodyboard, imagens fantásticas que passavam ao som das bandas e que chamavam a atenção, pois foram 4 filmes com grande destaque, o Passing Trough, The Mexican Mirage, Alambre e The Hubboards, todos enquadrados no 5º Festival de Cinema de Bodyboard.

Este conceito é inovador e permite a divulgação do verdadeiro Bodyboard para um público jovem, que gosta de praia e boa música. Nas palavras do organizador João Grego “um feito inédito na Europa e que despertou a atenção aos jovens que passaram no Festival!”.
Um obrigado pelo suporte das marcas GT boards, Hubboards, Pride e Kpaloa. E todo o staff da revista Ride It! que fizeram possível a realização desse evento que foi um sucesso.
Por Tiago Lai (Palavras de Sal)


The 3rd edition of the Sintra Fest was a success, a music festival with a good vibe, located near the beach, reminding summer, sun and surf. During the 2 days of the festival five thousand people were able to dance at the sound of Valete, Blaya, Dj Ride, Dj Slimcutz&Ace (Mind da Gap), Spitfyah Sound, Nubai Sound, The StoneWolf Band and Urbanvibsz.

During 5th International Film Festival Bodyboarding, presented by Ride It! Magazine and organized by the Brazilian Elmo Ramos, the five thousand people were able to watch 4 Bodyboard movies, Passing Trough, The Mexican Mirage, Alambre and The Hubboards Movie. This cool concept gives the chance to young people meet the real Bodyboard performance, something unique that passes the right word of a really amazing sport, like Bodyboarding.
In the words of Sintra Fest organizer João Grego "an unprecedented feat in Europe and attracted attention to young people who passed the Festival."
Thanks for the support GT boards, Hubboards, Pride and Kpaloa. All the Ride It! Staff that put their souls to make this event a great success.
By Tiago Lai (Palavras de Sal)

Bodyboarding on the bigscreen, and 5000 people in attendance!

Product giveaways courtesy of GT Boards, Hubboards, Pride Bodyboards, and Kpaloa swimfins!

Hubboards were among the companies to donate product Giveaways for Sintra Fest.

Pro bodyboarders and fans alike gathered for two nights of fun and films at Sintra Fest!

For more information, be sure to visit:

Friday, September 19, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES: 2014 APB Tour South America

BEHIND THE SCENES: 2014 APB Tour South America

  Here's a look at the South American leg of the 2014 APB World Tour...The Itacoatiara Pro, The Arica Chilean Challenge, and Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival 2014.

EVENT #2: The Itacoatiara Pro
Praia de Itacoatiara, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
July 25th- August 3rd

I was impressed with the use of recycled shipping containers for the event structure.  It was clean looking, functional, and more environmentally friendly!

...the competitor's tents and lounge area.

In the commentary booth with Itacoatiara charger Dudu Pedra.

Enjoying the view from the commentator's video feed, live scores, and checking the comments on the APB website all day every day during competition.

Out to lunch with 9x World Champion Mike Stewart and Supergrom Tanner McDaniel.

6x World Champion Guilherme Tamega and 3x World Champion Ben Player checking the surf.

Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands), Alex Uranga (Basque), 2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island), Tanner McDaniel (Hawaii), and 3x World Champion Ben Player (Australia).

5:30am...time to go to work!

In the broadcast booth with Fabio Aquino during live webcast coverage...and filming for Canal Off at the same time!

For all the bodyboarders in Brasil, stay tuned for footage from Itacoatiara on Canal Off and be sure to wacth 'Prancha e Pe de Pato' every Tuesday night at 22h!

Guest "grommentator" Tanner McDaniel in the broadcast booth.

It's moments like this that make me feel like a kid on Christmas!  I've got Mike Stewart in the commentary booth and I have the Itacoatiara Champion's trophy in my hands...completely stoked but very humbled at the same time!

During the awards ceremony, I signed off in the commentary booth and worked my way through the crowd to get a pic of Jared Houston (South Africa) claiming the trophy for his first career world tour victory!

Jared worked his way through a lot of interviews after taking the win at Itacoatiara!

EVENT #3: The Arica Chilean Challenge
El Gringo, Isla Ex-Alacran, Arica, Chile
August 15th-24th



2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island), Alex Uranga (Basque), Nicholas Bastos (Brasil), and Diego Roberto (Brasil) in the bleachers watching regional competition at El Gringo, prior to the start of the Arica Chilean Challenge.

The infamous "keyhole" at El Gringo.  This is where you enter and exit the line-up...sketchy!

Diego Roberto watches a wave being ridden as he prepares to jump into the keyhole and make his way out at El Gringo.

Jacob Romero (Hawaii) signing an autograph at El Gringo.

The contest site for the 2014 Arica Chilean Challenge.

ACC press release, complete with local officials, the mayor of Arica (sitting in the center with suit and tie), event organizer Tomate, and others.

Group photo with some of the competitors after the press conference.

Alex Uranga (Basque), Diego Cabrera (Canary Islands), and Jacob Romero (Hawaii).

Brazilians Hermano Castro, Sergio Luiz, David Barbosa, and Nivholas Bastos.

Alan Munoz (Chile) and 6x World Champion Guilherme Tamega (Brasil).

Tribal dancers performed at the contest site...very cool to watch!

J-Rom and his new-found friend checking the surf.

APB judges Chico Garritano (Brasil), Kike Rolden (Peru), and Craig Hadden (Australia) with pro riders Keahi Parker (Hawaii), Jared Houston and Iain Campbell (South Africa) at El Morro.

Tanner McDaniel, Keahi Parker, and Iain Campbell.

Yoan Florentin (Reunion Island), Lewy Finnegan (Australia), 2010 World Champion Amaury Lavernhe (Reunion Island), and 2011 World Champion Pierre Louis Costes (France).

Airam Cabrera (Canary Islands), 2008 World Champion Uri Valadao and Roberto Bruno (Brasil).

2010 World Champion and now 2014 Arica Chilean Challenge Champion Amaury Lavernhe during live webcast coverage from El Gringo.

EVENT #4: The Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival
La Cupula, Antofagasta, Chile
August 26th-31st

The contest site at La Cupula for the 2014 Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival.

Part of ABF 2014 was the La Choza Bless cultural fair.  School students were bused in each day to learn about the environment, art, and physical fitness.

Yoga classes were part of ABF 2014 every day.

Mike Stewart checking out the cultural fair after a morning bodyboard session.

ISA announcer Philip "The Belgian" Muller and Steve "Action" Jackson getting down to work in the broadcast booth...complete with hard hats!  It is mining territory, after all!
ABF 2014 Champions Uri Valadao (Brasil) and Alexandra Rinder (Canary Islands).

For More information, official press releases, and video highlights about these events please be sure to visit:


APB Tour on Facebook

APB Tour on YouTube

Arica Chilean Challenge on Facebook

Arica Chilean Challenge on YouTube

Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival official website

Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival 2014 on Facebook

Budeo Bodyboard Club on Facebook

Budeo Bodyboard on YouTube

  That's all for now.  Until the next time, I'm Steve "Action" Jackson.  I'll see you out in the water...YEEEWWW!!!