Hubb and Burks securing the future.
Interviewee: Jeff Hubbard.
Cover image📷 @instamauimatt
Hi Jeff, congratulations on the success of the 3rd Garden Island boogie classic comp! Can you give us rundown of the event in terms of participant numbers and division winners?
Thank you! Yes we had 256 entries with probably 30-40 of those riders doing multiple divisions so we had over 200 individuals participating in the 3 day event run over multiple areas.
I can’t remember a bodyboarding event of any size ever having this many participants. So it sure was a great sign for the sport.
We had 9 divisions. pro men and pro Dk which we offer $5000 prize purse for each division to bring the pros and best riders from around the state to compete and show the youth (who are competing next to them on the very same stage) how to best ride the wave and put on a show that inspires and teaches the next generation. Having good prize money also shows the kids that their is something to work towards.
The other divisions were super grom, menehune, girls, juniors, women’s, men’s, and masters.
The men’s and masters divisions are also important as it shows the kids that you can bodyboard for your whole life and still have fun. it creates the idea that bodyboarding is a lifestyle not something you do only when your young.
But in saying all that the Focus of the event is the youth and mentoring them. So the largest divisions were juniors and menehune which had 48 riders in each.
What was the original genesis for when you started the Garden Island boogie classic contest?
Chris Burkart (who had given me the idea for the Waimanalo hubb keiki fest 14 years ago.) we Wanted to do something similar and special on Kaua’i and we came up with this event concept in 2018.
It seems like bodyboarding is alive and well in Hawaii, how important do you think contests are in terms of attracting and encouraging interest and participation in booging?
I think the contests are very important for a few reasons-
1. You get to meet and create life long friendships with like minded individuals at these events.
2. You see that many other people also enjoy bodyboarding and that creates a feeling of pride.
3. You have a good time
4. You can watch and learn in person how to ride waves better.
5. Having contest do make it more popular for the kids doing it as they talk about it at school with their friends and on social media so that popularity spreads and plants seeds.
You’ve recently announced another round of your annual “Hubb’s Keiki Fest”, what will this contest be focused on?
This is a contest I have been running for over 12 years now. It is a free one day event focused only on the kids that allows the youth to get To experience the fun of a contest for free! So it allows kids to have a low barrier to entry in terms of entry and participation in a bodyboarding contest. As mentioned earlier contests can bring so much added value to someone. Mostly for this event I feel this contest can spark new joy and excitement that cab help keep the kids outside in nature off their phones and doing a healthy fun lifestyle rather than on the street doing unhealthy things . We had 136 entries in 48 hours and some divisions are already full.
What makes a successful contest in your opinion?
1. Low cost for kids to enter. (The GIBBC is only $25 and they get lunch drinks and tee shirt and goodies bag for that. Hubbs keiki fest is free and they get lunch and drinks and snacks and swag and both events have crazy amount of prizes for the finalists.)
2. Food (free food is huge and it really uplifts the event as you become a host to the competitors.
3. Prizes- the prizes are important as the kids want to reach a goal and get these special sought after items.
4. Help!!! The more Staff and volunteers you have the better the event runs and that makes it better for those participating.
5. Have a Goal or reason for why the event is happening. This helps make the work that is done easier as it is directed energy for a specific outcome.
6. Rally the local community get them involved as best you can. Using the community leaders and big dogs in each community helps get the word out about the event and helps get sponsors and staff.
7. Rally the bodyboarding community together! You get all companies and brands chipping in prizes and the more brand logos also help to make the event seem event bigger.
Do you feel that there should be more emphasis on attracting more young riders to get interested and become involved in bodyboarding by companies and older riders?
Most definitely as The best part is that these events are what creates the future generations of BODYBOARDERS. With out events like these the sport and participation stagnates. I remember when Kawika kamai was entering and winning my keikifest and now he is winning pro divisions. This is the goal bringing the youth forward to the future of bodyboarding. Our community is small and tight knit so we just all have to do our part.
Any thank you’s or shout outs you’d like include for those helping you run these wonderful contests feel free here!
We have some many great volunteers and staff always helping make these events happen. so thank you so much to all of you ! You know who you are!Team work makes the dream work – having a great partner and friend like Chris Burkart make running these events kinda fun! His family puts in countless hours and sacrifices for our non profit Kaikeha and making all our events come to life!
Without Burks the GIBBC wouldn’t exist!