Future Pro’s is a unique contest that will be run in late September on the Gold Coast. Focused only on competitors under the age of 18, the contest is aimed to encourage participation and Stoke in the next generation of Aussie boogers. We caught up from Silas Ganciar from host club Gold Coast Bodyboard club for some information about the upcoming event.
Can you lay out the format of the ” Future Pro’s” contest?
The ideal format is to make a first round as non-elimination. However, It will depend on how many entries we are going to get. As much as we would like all under 18 from around Australia to compete at our event. We also would like to offer a great experience for those who are attending the 1st edition of Future Pro’s, what I mean is if we get too many people in, we may not be able to run a non-elimination round.
About the coaching program, we are going to have one pro rider in charge of each heat. He or she will meet competitors before they get to their heat to give some advice to them, after that the coach will be watching that heat and after it is finished he or she will meet competitors again to give them feedback on their performance in the heat to tell them what they have done right and where they can make some improvements.
What was behind the decision to create a junior rider only competition?
This event was first drafted to be a One Star Event for the World Pro Tour back in 2020. Due to the International border closure, we decided to review the event and during the process, a decision was made to invest in the youth. Basically, we have seen numbers dropping dramatically in the youth division and the urgency to take some action to change the scenery.
You’ve got some impressive sponsors on board, what sort of prizes will be up for grabs?
Inverted Bodyboarding is offering a Sponsorship Deal to all winners from Grommets, Cadets, Girls and Juniors, which I believe is a great prize. As a competitor myself, I was very struggling to have access to good equipment and I have to use the same board for 10 years. We all know that bodyboarding isn’t a very expensive sport, to begin with, but when you want to perform well in competition/free surfing you do need to spend more money to keep your equipment fresh. So having a bodyboard shop backing you up is a great incentive and can be the key to success in your career.
We also have Annual Passes for all Dreamworld parks, such as Dreamworld, Whitewater World and Skypoint. All division winners will take the Annual passes and we will also give them to some other awards.
Surf Lakes is offering a Special invitation to the Juniors Division winner. This prize comes with terms and conditions as Surf Lakes doesn’t run tests often, so the winner may have to wait until they run another test or the park will be fully opened. To compensate for the wait, we are looking at possibilities to subsidise part of the trip with a cash bonus of $500
The lack of junior riders taking up boogin’ in Oz has been an area of concern for a few years now, do you feel that contests like this are a way of encouraging new kids into the sport?
I think the lack of competing bodyboard idols is the reason why we don’t have many youths competing in Australia. That is a reflection of the poor World Tour for about 5 – 10 years before the pandemic and the very poor or almost non-existent Australian Pro Tour. When I say lack of competing bodyboard idols I mean lack of evidence to see them in competition to create an energy around them and the event. As we all know Australia has many world-class riders, but they aren’t in the same energy, vibrance and competitiveness as they were back in the 90s and early-mid 2000s. This can be due to chasing bodyboard trips, slabs and remote waves rather than competing in competitions.
We believe that giving the opportunity to youth competitors to be coached by Pro Riders can help and create new raw models that will be the ones inspiring the next generation!
The ” Unite” division is an interesting innovation, can you explain how it will work?
Basically, competitors from any gender can surf with any craft. We will be looking at the ability of the competitor to ride a wave and will be scored according to the craft he or she is riding. The competitor will also be allowed to swap crafts in the middle of the heat of surf one heat with one craft and with a different craft at the next heat. As we all know, unfortunately, there is some rivalry in the water between watercrafts and we would like to raise this awareness and pass a message that it’s okay to surf with different crafts. It’s a seed we would like to plant and hope we will see some changes in the future. By doing this, we are wanting to provide broader inclusivity with an open mind which the world needs for our youths.
Any other information or comments you’d like to include feel free here.
The Future Pro’s is going to be Live Streamed, this is also an innovation for youth competitors. I believe that the majority of competitors that are attending our event haven’t had an opportunity to have their heat live streamed. Some benefits are – they can watch the entire heat and check what they did right and what needs to be improved, they can use images from live streaming for their social media posts and they can tell their parents and friends that can’t attend the event to cheer for them.
I would like to thank you Informed for the opportunity to promote our event and thank you to all Event Partners: Choice Homes, Inverted Bodyboarding, City of Gold Coast, Southern Cross Credit Union, Amazon Power, Surf Lakes and Dreamworld, Flow Martial Arts, In.au.ta, Basi Pilates Studio and COOEE GC.