Category: Alternative Surf Craft

Alternative Surf Craft

Health & Swellness; California Bodysurfing Championships

The following article about the 34th Annual California Bodysurfing Championships first appeared in The Cabrillo Voice and was written by George Paul Scheppler

To listen to the audio report in episode 029 click HERE

Over 70 competitors from around the world came together for the 34th Annual California Body Surfing Championships at Laguna Creek Beach, hosted by the Santa Cruz Bodysurfing Association, on October 6th. Conditions were perfect with four to seven foot south swell spewing barrels off the point break.  

 

Laguna Creek Beach home of the California Bodysurfing Championships

Located roughly four miles north of Santa Cruz, Laguna Creek Beach is a hidden crescent wash of sand with big western exposures tucked between two rocky points. The region’s topography creates a variety of wave shapes from one end to the other lending personality and character to each face. This remote water wonderland is accessed by parking off of Highway 1, crossing to a well-worn path that leads over the old train tracks, over a slope, and down to the park. 

Competitors prepare for their heat

The Santa Cruz Bodysurfing Association was established by Tom Mader, Julie Davis, and Horst Wolf in 1983 to promote safety and fun in coastal environments. The California Bodysurfing Championships started a year later in 1984 were sponsored by Churchill Fins and hosted at Sunny Cove to further spread the sport and promote safe practices. It was not long before the California Bodysurfing Championships became a magnet for competitors from around the world. 

Bodysurfing is a sport that attracts the kind of rider that likes to feel as much a part of the ocean’s energy as possible, one that loves the sensation of sliding headfirst down the face of a wave that started its journey off the shore of Japan.  

“Be the board.” says John Chamberlin “that’s the feeling you get when you’re the plane, you’re on the wave feeling the water rush around you.”

Perfect take off from the peak

 

This elemental bonding enables these “torpedo people” to etch lines along breaks spinning, rolling, and somersaulting with gymnastic grace deftly avoiding the water exploding behind them.

These coastal athletes travel out of pocket without fanfare or publicity. “We are a subculture of surfing,” said John Chamberlin, affiliated member since 1985, “we don’t have large sponsors.” There are no multimillion-dollar contracts with Nike waiting at the other end, no auto manufactures asking to make the California champion the face of the brand. 

They compete purely for bragging rights, a potential wildcard spot in the famous Nazier contest, and the opportunity to spend their free time out amongst nature with others of like minds. Many slept in their cars to cut down on cost, others bunked up at local hotels, and some stayed with friends in the area. The event itself buzzed with positivity and enthusiasm. Everyone was stoked to be stoked for no other reason than to be stoked, a more meta scene you could not find in Surf City USA that day.

Bodysurfing is a niche sport that seems to attract people from all walks of life. At the pre-event meet up at Aloha Island Grill (700 Portola Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062) people in fancy Patagonia fleeces chatted with folks in well worn oily t-shirts, Land Rovers parked next to old Toyota pick up trucks, and the newest tech debated against tried and true equipment of old.

Pushed to the margins, these people of the sea strip away the equipment, ego, and obstacles to participating in outdoor water recreation not only for health but for the community. One would be hard pressed to find a more welcoming and supportive group of athletes and fans.  

Event official briefs a heat before they took on the choice lefts

RESULTS

Julie Davis took home the women’s championship title. Bart Templeton won the junior men’s division. Dave Ford won the masters’ division title and earned a wildcard entry into the World Bodysurfing Championships at Nazier Beach in Portugal. 

For more information about the event please click HERE

 

All photos appear courtesy of Mike Crane

Alternative Surf Craft

Kpaloa Swim Fin OnGoing Review v1.0

Swim Fin Category:

Surf

Quiver Comp:

DaFins

Pro’s:

Super comfy
Soft foot pocket, firm tip
Great all day bodyboarding fin
Nice wide foot pocket
Stylish

Cons:

At 5’11 220 they felt a little underpowered in 4-6ft swell on a bodyboard

Where can I get them?

HERE

 

From Kpaloa’s website

“Founded in 1983 by Augusto Conti, son of a prominent rubber industrialist, KPALOA is a 100% Brazilian company specialized in the production of high performance surface swimfins made of high quality vulcanized rubber, for bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming and rescue.  Due to his know-how in rubber technology and his great love of sports, besides being focused, painstaking, and highly artistic, Augusto idealized the project at the very beginning of bodyboarding in Brazil, was passionate about it, and, ever since, has offered athletes a state-of-the-art product. “Something new is coming up at sea”, the slogan used by Kpaloa to launch its first model of swimfins! Since its creation, KPALOA has always aimed at producing the best swimfins in the world, giving athletes and lifeguards equipment that offers excellent propulsion, comfort, durability and safety.”

And KPALOA’s concerns go beyond producing swimfins. In its history, the company has always been interested in supporting social projects, such as the Estrelas do Mar, which helps people with physical and mental deficiencies in their contact with the sea, besides the courses in bodyboarding and swimming for low-income children  all over Brazil, such as the Escolinha de Bodyboarding in Rocinha, in RJ, and the Escolinha da Neymara Carvalho, in ES.

Furthermore, worried about the environment, KPALOA neutralizes the carbon emitted by its production and logistics by planting rubber trees on national territory, thus aiding the strengthening of this activity, which today is dominated by Asian countries, in Brazil.”

Alternative Surf Craft

012 – Juan Macias of Cal Fire & Kpaloa…

Joe Jackson sat down with Juan Macias of Cal Fire after the Nor Cal Water Rescue Rodeo to talk about Juan’s path to service. Juan details his journey as a Fire Firefighter One (1) Seasonal from Mexico to the United States, and discusses how being bilingual has benefited him.

 

Kpaloa Classic OnGoing Review v1.0

Swim Fin Category:

Surf

Quiver Comp:

DaFins

Pro’s:

Super comfy
Soft foot pocket, firm tip
Great all day bodyboarding fin
Nice wide foot pocket
Stylish

Cons:

At 5’11 220 they felt a little underpowered in 4-6ft swell on a bodyboard

Where can I get them?

HERE

 

From Kpaloa’s website

“Founded in 1983 by Augusto Conti, son of a prominent rubber industrialist, KPALOA is a 100% Brazilian company specialized in the production of high performance surface swimfins made of high quality vulcanized rubber, for bodyboarding, bodysurfing, swimming and rescue.  Due to his know-how in rubber technology and his great love of sports, besides being focused, painstaking, and highly artistic, Augusto idealized the project at the very beginning of bodyboarding in Brazil, was passionate about it, and, ever since, has offered athletes a state-of-the-art product. “Something new is coming up at sea”, the slogan used by Kpaloa to launch its first model of swimfins! Since its creation, KPALOA has always aimed at producing the best swimfins in the world, giving athletes and lifeguards equipment that offers excellent propulsion, comfort, durability and safety.”

 

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