Laying bodies on a wave line
BOARDLESS surfing will take to the Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing in 2017, with the second annual Garage Handplanes Body Bash.
Sydney-based handplane creator and Garage founder David Archer brought bodysurfing to the fore this year with the inaugural Body Bash, attracting an international contingent of sliders.
"Last year's Body Bash was a hoot,” Archer said.
"Despite the small conditions, the stoke levels were high and everyone had fun. People turned up from all over the world and for many, this was their first ever bodysurfing comp.
"All competitors were laughing and cheering each other on; don't get me wrong - the competitive spirit was there, but it wasn't at the expense of having a good time.”
Diminutive conditions didn't dampen camaraderie or the level of talent exhibited in 2016, and the event showed great potential.
Latecomers to this year's event, Garage Handplanes and the Noosa festival were only able to squeeze a few rounds into the proceedings, but with extended lead time and a growing community of bodysurfers worldwide, the 2017 Body Bash holds excellent potential.
"In 2017, we want to build on this and make the Garage Body Bash the premier bodysurfing event in Australia,” Archer said.
"We're hoping to increase the size of the event and introduce both a women's and men's division and maybe mix up a few rules to make things interesting.
"To make the event more accessible, we are holding some workshops leading up to the event for those interested in improving their game.”
With or without handplanes, pros or amateurs of any age, male or female, the Garage Handplanes Body Bash presents surfing in its simplest form, with nothing but man and wave.
But, while anyone can enter, the awaiting competition is nothing short of world-class.
World bodysurfing champion and Garage Handplanes ambassador Tom Marr claimed the trophy this year, representing his team and the division's sponsor with his exceptional wave-riding talents.
Tom recently competed in California's International Surf Festival, with fellow Garage Handplanes ambassador Meredith Rose and several Garage stable mates:
"Our ambassadors have also been kicking some goals over the last 12 months,” Archer said.
He said a team descended on California for the big three competitions at Manhattan, Huntington and Oceanside Beaches.
"Last year's Body Bash winner, Tom Marr, picked up a bunch of awards, including a bronze in the World Championships defending his title from last year. Meredith Rose also picked up a bronze defending her world title from last year.”
Festival director Sam Smith has high hopes.
"If the demand is there and we receive enough entries, we would love to be able to extend the division to become a more renowned event for bodysurfers globally.”