Racking Up A Rail.

The Classic’s Never Die.

By Dan Dobbin.

Lord of Australia’s generation next Ryan Hardy recently pondered in an Instagram caption ” Would you like to see turns scored higher in contests? Reckon (sic) there is room in competative bodyboarding for a bit more power surfing?”

The quote appeared alongside an image of Hardy giving merry hell to a Balinese beach break lip, drawing a line that is both classic and progressive. ( More to come on this in the future….).

If you’ve spied any of the recent images from Mitch Rawlins you’d have noted the mans perchant for carving rail beyond the 180 degree mark when laying through his cutty reverses.

Photo: Jakestonefilms.

Mitch has made no secret of the inspiration he draws from Stand up surfers railwork.

Indeed in his film ” Hiding from Comfort” he once controversially stated “As far as bodyboarders influencing me, I’d say it’s nothing compared to the way surfers have influenced me. Like I look at them and go, like I want to ride like that”.

You’d be hard pressed to find finer practitioner of the outside edges than Port Macquarie’s most excellent real estate agent Damian King, particularly the Joker podcast era model.

Photo: @ho11yee_k

Kingy’s surfing during this era was essentially maneuvers fitted in between constant strong rail to rail work.

There’s a story told in the Le Boogie podcast interview with Damian from around this time that returns us nicely to the original point of Hardy’s post.

Kingy was facing off against a Brazilian opponent in the final of the Sintra pro. As recounted by host Josh Kirkman, Kingy was surfing beautifully, carving and linking moves rail to rail, whist the opposing surfer was simply hucking flip after flip on each of his waves.

To the eyes of the majority of bodyboardings assembled best practitioners, Kingy’s rail infused surfing was clearly superior to the flipfest offered by his competitor.

The judging criteria however saw the result tipped the other way.

There is a clear problem when many of the world’s best were able to identify great bodyboarding based on solid rail work, and yet the competitor doing the superior surfing didn’t win.

Judging by Hardy’s quote, this issue is still in need of redress, particularly if we don’t want to see a continuation of the flip first mentality that has dominated competative bodyboarding for the previous decade plus.

Perhaps we can update Paul Roaches famous lines from ” Bodyboarding: Enough Said”.

” Sooner or later everyone’s going to stop flipping. And you know what happens then? Boom! Rail!

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