The Aussie bodysurfing scene has been gaining momentum and is poised to blow minds in 2017.
Australian bodysurfers are living up to their reputation as some of the world’s hardest chargers, bombing bigger and more challenging waves than ever before. Cult heroes are emerging within the community, with guys like Daniel Carr (@captain_kookman), Rusty Pollard (@bornwithgills), Peter Sperling (@peter.sperling) and Nick Brbot (@nickbrbot) taking on the biggest and most critical swells on offer this year – with nothing but fins and a pair of speedos. Stay tuned for more death defying stunts from these guys in 2017!
2016 also saw the invention of never-before-seen tricks, with new wave whompers adding front flips, floaters, slo-mos and multi-spin maneuvers to their repertoires.
The bodysurfing season kicks off in March with the Garage Handplanes Bodybash in Noosa. The Bodybash, which is part of the Noosa Festival of Surfing, features Australia’s finest bodysurfers and promises to be a master class in style and skill.
In June, bodysurfers from all over the country will be heading to Seal Rocks for Whomp Camp 2017. Whomp Camp is a stoke soaked tube fest in a magical setting with an incredible group of people. The community is frothing for this one.
The season culminates with Whomp Off, Australia’s most prestigious interclub bodysurfing contest. Events include Best Trick, Synchronised Whomping, and the 100m Flipper Dash. 2016’s winners, the Wommin Wompers will be looking to go back to back.
Handplanes have come a long way since the plastic molded products that once dominated the market. A fresh batch of local shapers have burst onto the scene with an exciting range of new and innovative designs.
WAW Handplanes produces sustainable wooden handplanes from recycled and reclaimed materials. To reduce its carbon footprint, WAW plants one tree for every Handplane it sells (www.wawhandplanes.com.au).
Garage Handplanes makes high performance handplanes using cutting edge technologies and materials. It’s newest handplane the Riva Onyx, boasts a light weight carbon fibre finish and FCS mounted fin and GoPro plugs (www.garagehandplanes.com.au).
Belly‘s Boards are supersized, soft and shaped like Flying V guitars. The extra surface area makes them lightning fast and easy to use. One of the more versatile handplanes, you can ride Belly’s board with hand or two. It can be used in the big stuff or as a crazy fun shorey board (www.bellysurf.com.au)
Made from upcycled broken surfboards, Ecto Handplanes are a stunning, fusion of form and function. Ecto Handplanes has won multiple design awards both in Australia and internationally, all acknowledging the specific shape, volume and strap system that maximise speed and lift when bodysurfing.
In the last year, a number of bodysurfing clubs have formed along Australia’s East Coast. The clubs are a great way for likeminded waterpeople of all ages and abilities to meet and get Girt! (as in “girt” by sea).
The gatherings are informal for most of the year, but get deadly serious in the weeks leading up to “Whomp Off”.
To get involved in the scene, contact your local club on Instagram:
Article by guest author Cliff Flax (@Belly_Slater).