Ten Things I Hate About You. (the “you” being bodyboarders, so that means me, too). Part 2.
By Dilan Carestia.
Yesterday we kicked off part 1 of Dilan Carestia’s honest appraisal of some of the problems in the bodyboarding scene in Australia. Coming in hot below, part 2.
7. Some of the best guys don’t compete. Not even a little, not even at all.
This isn’t going to be all about competition, I promise. But we have so many frickin’ talented riders around our coastline, I would love to see some more of them slip into coloured lycra even if just once or twice a year to boost the profile of the few events on the bodyboarding calendar.
Personally, I hate pulling a Bradbury and ending up on the podium when I know that the best dk guys didn’t show up to the party to support it. People want the best guys in the final, always.
Then there’s all the guys that say they’ll compete, then don’t pay, withdraw on the last day, don’t let their spot get replaced, and leave the event organiser very short of cash.
Like I said, there’s only a few events on our calendar, like seriously if money’s that tight take your tub of recycling to the depot and put that $5 in a piggy bank just for comps. That’s $260 just for your tins.
Maybe an airshow format is the answer?
In surfing, the airshows were a late 90’s format that toured the country, and they’ve made a recent comeback. Thing is, if you take a look at who was there in Stab mag’s Waco pool invitational comps, it was mostly exciting free-surfers, like winners Noa Deane and Chippa Wilson.
Alex Leon tied in the “Fling for Bling”, a little jet ski assisted tow out air show as a part of the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro.
A shot from the “warm up” is a double page add in a recent Movement issue starring Hawaiian Mack Crilley. It brought out the whole town, people that knew nothing about bodyboarding and would never set up their camp chairs to watch someone spin-roll combo to the beach. We had surfers losing their mind at what they were seeing whenever Jase Finlay or Iain Campbell tried to outdo each other. It’s not a complete image of what bodyboarding is, but it does show its potential for acrobatics, you can run it in small waves and you get great riders wanting to participate.
The ripple effect of a crowd that can see it as exciting makes more people want to do it, and the flow on effect begins, to industry, riders, clubs, and all.
6. Bodyboarders that do compete complain, like, a lot.
Being on the working side of all board sports has been an eye opener. I know that with surf comps, organisers put info of the event up on their site, people read it, the spots get filled, people show up on the dates, they surf, and someone wins. If they withdraw, someone calls the office in advance. There’s a waiting list to fill their spot. Sponsors are happy and throw cheques at them to do it again.
With bodyboarding events, news goes up, deadlines for registration lapse, riders call just before the event to enter, and people constantly call to say can their division surf a particular day because of other commitments. I then get people asking me if they can give their advice to the contest director. I see a lot of event organisers roll their eyes with the complaints. It’s a comp, and these are the dates. Be there, be square, surf the same conditions as everyone else, and try to win or at least have a little fun. The dates don’t work? That sucks.
Thing is, every team I’ve worked with know that bodyboarding looks best, and is more functional, in good waves. They try their best to make it happen. Nature doesn’t always cooperate. People have a choice to cooperate. Don’t bite the hand that feeds.
5. Bodyboarders don’t support their labels.
It’s a shame that I Am None became I Am Done. It came along with other labels like Vu, Unite, No Friends, Rejected, Fu Manchu – you could pick your style, then feel part of a tribe, and it put dollars into the industry, and mag ads. All of this new style at a time when surfers wore below the knee boards and very speedy shades.
There’s a few brands giving it a good crack still today, and then there’s some pretty horrendous shirt designs that look like they were done on a powerpoint slide.
Surfers are pretty good at wearing a surf brand wettie, not a scuba one. It baffles me that bodyboarders really don’t buy enough from bodyboarding brands. There’s plenty of us, if we did then bodyboarding shops would order more. I’d love to see some talented riders step up and fill the void (no pun intended) left by brands of the past.
Final installment drops tomorrow.