A fun little corner about all things bodysurfing
For any comments or suggestions, please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Encyclopedia of Surfing
- Body Surfing and Handplanes (permanent exhibit at the California Surf Museum)
The English noun bodysurfing (or body surfing) is translated to other languages as:Afrikaans: lyfbranderry
Hawaiian: kaha nalu
Hebrew: גלישת גוף
Portuguese: surfe de peito
Spanish: barrenar / pecho surf / correr pecho / pechito / playitas
- The Mindless Ferocity of Sharks (2002)
Coming-of-age novel set in Western Australia. Told through the eyes of Floaty-boy, an eleven-year-old bodysurfer, the story about his family and the disappearance of his older brother contains many good descriptions of his bodysurfing sessions.
- Bodysurfing (2009)
De Mestre, Neville
- How to Body Surf (1970)
- The Art of Wave Riding (1931)
The first book on bodysurfing, written and self-published by Ron Drummond (Cloister Press, California) in 1931 with a print run of 500 copies. The 26-page volume celebrates the pleasure of swimming in waves, and contains step-by-step bodysurfing instructions. It has become a prized item among collectors of surfing literature, fetching large sums of money whenever one is sold.
[Sources: Legendary Surfers, EOS, Swell Lines]
A great deal of publicity has been given to Hawaiian swimmers riding waves with surfboards. Without a doubt it is a great sport, but in my estimation it cannot compare with the thrills, pleasures and exercise of bodysurfing.
- The Art of Wave Riding (2019)
Reformatted, hardback version of the original 1931 book, with contributions by Kanoa Zimmerman, and foreword by Mark Renneker. Only twenty-five copies were made available, at a retail price of US$1,500.
- The Art of Body Surfing (1972)
- Pablo Body Surfs (2011)
Howard, Thomas N.
- The Progressive Art of Bodysurfing: A Style Manual (2011)
Kosten, Paul A.
- The Yoga of Bodysurfing: An Illustrated Guide to Water Pranayama (2018)
Lane, David C.
[B]odysurfing is a process which doesn't necessitate a goal (save maybe successfully exiting a finely shaped tube on occasion). It is rather a method for being attuned to the present moment and foregoing the technological madness that has overtaken our civilization, where staring at computer screens for hours on end has become the norm. (p59)
- Secrets of a Kahuna Bodysurfer: A Spiritual Adventure Guide (1999)
- Soul Surfer Johnny (2010)
Semi-fictional account of the good-natured Tyrony "gang", a group of bodysurfers and bodyboarders from Southern California. They travel to "Puerto Tranquilo" (Puerto Escondido) in Southern Mexico for a month-long surf trip, and through outrageous adventures learn about themselves and their place in the world. Contains many overt positive statements about spiritual mysticism.
Bodysurfers were a strangely dedicated breed, more fanatical about their quirky individual sport than most board surfers. They were defiantly proud to be surfers, because they rode Mother Earth's energy with her---becoming one with the wave, not standing or laying on a board. (p27)
- Soul Surfer Johnny Returns (2011)
The first three chapters tell of Johnny's return to "Puerto Tranquilo". On this second trip, he brings along his friend, Rizzo, introducing him to the heavy waves at Playa Zicatela. Thereafter the book is an asynchronous, loosely connected collection of stories about wild characters, events, and some history of Puerto, with very little bodysurfing. In contrast to the first book in the series, the spiritual aspects are toned down almost completely.
- Soul Surfer Johnny Rips (2012)
- Soul Surfer Johnny Rides (2013)
All three books in the trilogy (Soul Surfer Johnny, Soul Surfer Johnny Returns, and Soul Surfer Johnny Rips) in one volume, in addition to 15 new stories.
- Passion Bodysurf: Le Corps et la Vague (2008)
Muguet, Marc, and Verlomme, Hugo
- The Plight of the Torpedo People (2013)
Parmenter, Dave, and Jenkins, Bruce
- Bodysurf: Aux Origines du Surf (2002)
Verlomme, Hugo, and Masurel, Laurent
- The Bodysurfer's Guide to Life (2010)
- Body Surfing and Bellyboarding
Allen, J. L.
Locked In: Surfing for Life (1970), 130-133. Barnes. [reference]
- Other forms of surfing: Body surfing
Hitting the Lip (1974), 162-163. Macmillan South Africa.
- Body Surfing
Men and Waves (1966), 167-168. Coward-McCann. [Open Library]
- Traditional Hawaiian Surf Sports: Kaha Nalu - Bodysurfing
Clark, J. R. K.
Hawaiian Surfing (2011), 73-80. University of Hawaii Press.
This sport of bodysurfing is real. It's pristine and pure. No excuses for board shape or size or brand or whatever. -- Cotta Schoenburg, p.74
- Body surfing
Dixon, P. L.
The Complete Book of Surfing (1965), 126-134. Ballantine Books.
There is more to body surfing than style and technique. There are feelings that must be experienced to be understood. Planing in on a six-foot wave that broke fifty or sixty yards from shore can make you feel like an express train racing across the plains. Letting out a great yodel and grinning at your friends on the beach as you ride head and shoulders out of the white water can make you feel as if you're on top of the world. (p134)
Dixon, P. L.
The Complete Guide to Surfing (2001), 151-166. Lyons Press. [reference]
Farrelly, M. and McGregor, C.
How to Surf (1968), 121-130. Sphere Books.
Farrelly, M. and McGregor, C.
This Surfing Life (1965), 122-128. Rigby.
Farrelly, M. and McGregor, C.
The Surfing Life (1967), 164-174. Arco. [reference]
- Freddie Williams
Australia's Hottest 100 Surfing Legends (2011), pages??. Hardie Grant. [reference]
- Mark Cunningham
North Shore Chronicles (2005), 73-89. Frog.
- Body Surfing
Kahanamoku, D. and Brennan, J.
Duke Kahanamoku's World of Surfing (1968), 159-167. Grosset & Dunlap. [reference]
- Body, Mat and Belly Board Surfing
Kelly, J. M.
Surf and Sea (1965), 50-66. Barnes. [reference1, reference2]
- Only a Body to Surf With - But It Suffices
Klein, H. A.
Surfing (1965), 120-140. Lippincott Company. [reference1, reference2]
Emphasizes the progressive nature of bodysurfing, discussing twentieth century innovations such as swim fins, and evolution in bodysurfing styles. Notes that bodysurfing should not be thought of as boardsurfing without a board; it is a distinct surfing form that should be developed as such. Offers instructions for beginners through advanced bodysurfers, illustrated with diagrams and photos. Includes a short section on safety precautions while bodysurfing.
What makes for beautiful body-surfing? The most satisfying body-surfing, both for participant and for onlooker, does not seem to be that which is marked mainly by gyrations nor by hairbreadth escapes from concussions or bone bruises. Rather, it is characterized by resourcefulness, variety, and adaptation. One body stance or position after another is assumed in response to, or even in anticipation of, the wave's swift-changing formations as the process of peaking, spilling, or crashing continues. (p137)
[T]hrough sensitive timing and maneuvering, the body surfer achieves the beautiful effortlessness of movement that means he is at one with the water. (p140, attributed to Candy Calhoun)
Body-surfing [...] is austere, limited by the surfer's own physique and bodily skills. It does not display all its wares in the window with neon lights blazing. (p140)
- Body Surfing
Margan, F. and Finney, B. R.
A Pictorial History of Surfing (1970), 144-151. Hamlyn. [reference]
- Bodysurfing the Wedge
No Bad Waves (2011), 40-41. Patagonia Books.
I was a swimmer to begin with, and learned to bodysurf before I learned to surf. I've always loved the simplicity of bodysurfing and the idea of shaping the body for the wave. (pp.40-41)
- [book partly about bodysurfing??]
The Surfrider (1968), pages??. Taplinger. [reference]
- The ninth wave
The Wave Watcher's Companion (2010), 287-319. Penguin.
[Bodysurfing is] sort of like flying through the water. -- Jim Mensching, p.298
All you need to bodysurf is a pair of flippers, and you don't necessarily even need them. [...] It's the purest form of wave riding---how seals and dolphins do it. They're the best bodysurfers, without a doubt. -- Jim Mensching, p.296
[T]he bigger the belly, the better the bodysurfer. You watch the old-timers down at Point Panic, or wherever, and the ones with the tummies can do some spectacular things---they're almost like rudders. -- Shelley O'Brien, p.302
Australian Surfing and Life Saving (1979), pages??. Rigby. [reference]
- [chapter on bodysurfing??]
Learn to Surf (1970), pages??. European Surfing Co Ltd. [reference]
- Waves to Freedom (1988)
A 23-minute, independently produced bodysurfing film made in Honolulu by Pennybacker Creative LLC, showing Mark Cunningham bodysurfing waves at Pipeline, Banzai Rocks and Waimea in the early 1980's. [Sources: New York Times, North Shore Chronicles (Bruce Jenkins, 2005, p.87), Sprout (film) credits]
- Primal Surf (2000)
Produced by Thomas Lynch
- Pure Blue (2001)
Produced by Thomas Lynch
- Come Hell or High Water (2011)
- Dirty Old Wedge (2016)
- Les Palmes & Le Couteau (2016)
- Kalani - Gift From Heaven (2020)
Beautifully shot film about the life of Brazilian bodysurfer, Kalani Lattanzi. Recounts several of his bodysurfing experiences, through interviews with his mother, friends and fellow surfers, and culminates in Kalani bodysurfing huge waves at Nazaré in Portugal. Mostly in Portuguese, with English subtitles.
There is a plethora of bodysurfing videos on the web, ranging widely in quality. This is a selection of my favourites.
- How To Body Surf With Keith Malloy - Surf Sufficient
- Fueled by Water - Mark Cunningham
- Mark Drewelow, Bodysurfer
- World Championships of Bodysurfing, Oceanside, 2017
- The Church of the Open Sky Extract - Dave Rastovich
- The Mike & Mark Show (from Sprout)
- The Matadors of the Wedge
- Good Breakers
- Da Hui Bodysurfing Expression Session
- Point Panic - South Swell June 2013
- Wedge Womp
- Bodysurfing in the 1960s
- The Wedge, 1960s
- Bodysurfing 2012
- Sandy Beach, 2014
- Point Panic, 1980
- Surfing zealots don't wait for warm weather to catch a wave
- Mark Drewelow: Two Bodysurfing Barrels at Black's Beach
- Wave of the Season - California Bodysurf Freakout (2020)
- Palmipede (2014-2015)
French bodysurfing web magazine, based in Biarritz. Published only two issues. All articles are side-by-side in English and French.
- Swell Lines (2014-2018)
Monthly webzine by Eric Joyce and Kyle Stock, based in California and publishing forty issues from 2014 to 2018. Articles on a range of topics, including science and history of bodysurfing, book reviews, instruction, profiles of well known bodysurfers, photo pages, art and poetry. Used to be hosted at swelllinesmag.com, but recently (~2020) moved to a Wordpress.com site.
- Bodysurfing Big Waves With Kalani Lattanzi (0:21)
Big Wave Small Talk, Episode 7, 22 Jun 2020
- Bodysurfing Guru Don McCredie | DMC Fins (1:35)
Hourglass Podcast, 10 December 2018
- California Bodysurfing Championships (0:28)
The Coastal Athlete Program, Episode 29, 10 October 2018
- Mark Cunningham: Lifeguard, Bodysurfer, Artist (1:23)
Get Out and SURF, 18 March 2019
- Mike Stewart (1:52)
The Grin Reapers, Episode 18, 21 August 2018
- Ryan Masters Talks Bodysurfing Mavericks, The 2018 California Bodysurfing Championship, And A Life Spent In The Water Making Art (0:52)
The Coastal Athlete Program, Episode 25, 3 September 2018
- Santa Cruz Bodysurfing Association (0:19)
Off The Lip Radio Show, Episode 339, 21 Oct 2019
- SuperbiscutSC founder Jason Hackforth (0:53)
The Coastal Athlete Program, Episode 58, 14 June 2020
- Swim Fin History (0:51)
The Coastal Athlete Program, Episode 7, 23 April 2018
- Whomporama Bodysurf Competition | Alex Torres (0:43)
Hourglass Podcast, 6 July 2018
CLUBS / ASSOCIATIONS
- Bate Bay Body Bashers
- Budgy Boys (Cronulla)
- Cronulla Reef Kings (Cronulla)
- East Sydney Body Surfers
- Goldie Sliders (Gold Coast)
- Newcastle Bodysurfers (Newcastle, NSW)
- Northern Beaches Wompers (Sydney)
- South Coast Bodysurfers
- Southern Ocean Scavangers (Torquay, VIC)
- The Cobras (Avalon, NSW)
- Western Dugongs (City Beach, WA)
- Whomp Social Club (Gold Coast)
- Wommin Wompers
- Allsiders Bodysurfing Club (Santa Cruz)
- Chubascos Bodysurfing Association (Huntington Beach)
- Del Mar Bodysurfing Club
- Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Association ((Manhattan Beach)
- Golden Triangle Bodysurfing (San Clemente)
- Laguna Beach Body Surfing Club
- Pine Street Bodysurfing Team (Oceanside)
- San Clemente Body Surfing Club
- Santa Cruz Bodysurfing Association
- South Jetty Swells Bodysurfing Association (Ventura)
- Wedge Preservation Society
Community group focused on preserving the environment and heritage of bodysurfing, and maintaining safety of water users, at Wedge in Newport Beach.
[Source: Facebook page]
- Bodysurf Italia (Italy)
- Bodysurf Portugal
- Euro Bodysurf Association (France)
- Saturday Morning Bodysurfing Club
- UK Bodysurfing Association (UK)
The UK Bodysurfing Association was incorporated as a community interest company in 2016, with the aim of raising the profile of bodysurfing in the UK. The association is based in Devon in the southwest of England. Since 2017 they have hosted the annual UK National Bodysurfing Championships in Newquay.
[Sources: UK Bodysurfing Association website, UK Companies House]
Rest of the world
- Atlantic Bodysurfing Club (New Jersey, USA)
- Bodysurfing Peru (Peru)
- International Bodysurfing Association
Self-appointed, non-profit governing body of all amateur and professional bodysurfing and handboarding competitions, competitors, organisations, and clubs across the world. Six founding representatives from France, Morocco, the USA, Hawaii and Australia signed the association into being on 19 August 2018 in Oceanside, California. The aims of the organisation is to standardize bodysurfing contest judging criteria, create a main body for all bodysurfing events and contests, ensure that all groups can receive assistance and direction for insurance requirements and association registrations from a singular body, and beyond that to promote and represent the sport at higher levels.
[Sources: Press release published in Swell Lines, Facebook page]
- Japan Bodysurfers Association (Japan)
- Manta Bodysurf Club (Mexico)
- Rockaway Beach Bodysurf Underground (USA)
CONTESTSAlso see updated IBSA calendar.
- Flat Rock Bodysurfing Invitational
- The Womp Comp
- Whomp Off Australia (Cronulla)
- Wommin Womp Comp (Fingal Head, NSW)
- California Championships (Lagunas Creek Beach)
- Huntington Beach Bodysurfing & Handboard Championships
- International Bodysurfing Championships (Manhattan Beach)
- Ocean Beach Big Wave Bodysurfing Contest (San Francisco)
- Ventura Bodysurfing Classic (Ventura)
- World Bodysurfing Championships (Oceanside)
- Zuma Beach Bodysurfing Classic
- Bodysurf Peniche Pro (Portugal)
- Coupe le France (France)
- Masters of the Temple (Nazaré, Portugal)
- Portuguese National Bodysurfing Championships (Cascais, Portugal)
- UK Bodysurfing Championships (Newquay, UK)
Article about inaugural contest (2017)
- Da Hui Bodysurfing Expression Session (Backdoor/Pipeline)
- Makaha Bodysurfing Classic
- Makapu'u Bodysurfing Classic
- Oahu Bodysurfing Championships (Sandy Beach)
- Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic (Pipeline). First modern-era surf contest held at Banzai Pipeline (Feb 1971), preceding the first Pipeline Masters (Dec 1971) by ten months.
- Point Panic Experience (South Shore, Oahu)
- Pyramid Rock Bodysurfing Championship (Pyramid Rock Beach, Oahu). First held in 2006, to raise awareness and funds for the U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warriors Regiment.
Announcement about 8th event (2014)
Report on the 9th event (2015)
- Redwings Memorial World Championships of Handboarding
Rest of the world
- Annual Open Bodysurfing Contest (Playa Zicatela, Mexico)
- Bodysurf Mehdia (Morocco)
- Itacoatiara Bodysurf Classic (Brazil)
- Intergalactic Body Surf Championships (AKA Whomporama) (North Carolina, USA)
- Rockaway Beach Annual Bodysurf Contest (New York City, USA)
- Rolling Retro, bodysurfing division (Llandudno, South Africa)
- Torneo Internacional de Bodysurf Las Escolleras (Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico)
Boomer Beach. A bodysurfing only spot located on the exposed western side of the Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, California. No boardsurfing, including boogie boarding, is allowed at any time. On the right swell the waves can be large and powerful. Access via a scramble down the cliff. [Source: California Beaches]
- Wedge (Newport, CA). See EOS entry.
France. Bodysurfing in France was introduced "just after the war", according to Joel de Rosnay in Surfer article, Nov 1964. [Source: Surfresearch]
Miramar. Spot just north of Grande Plage in Biarritz, France. Board surfing is banned during lifeguard duty hours, leaving it free for bodysurfers. The offshore rock (Roche Ronde) focuses incoming swell to produce a wedging wave. [Source: Bodysurf: Aux Origines du Surf (2002)]
Rumeli Feneri. A shallow righthand reef break in a village of the same name, on the Black Sea coast north of Istanbul. Rumeli is the epicentre of Viya, the indigenous bodysurfing culture which originated in the area. The surf spot has a reputation for localism. [Source: Magicseaweed]
- Kealia (Kauai) [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 164-166]
- Makaha. See EOS entry. [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 59-62]
- Makapuu. Pounding shorebreak in the beautiful Makapuu Beach Park on southeast Oahu. Picks up a lot of swell from easterly trade winds. Use of hard surfboards along the beach is banned. [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 123-127]
- Pipeline. See EOS entry. [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 93-98]
- Polihale (Kauai) [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 152-154]
- Point Panic (Oahu)
- Sandy Beach (Oahu). See EOS entry. [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 132-135]
- Waimea Bay. See EOS entry. [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 89-92]
- Waioi'o (Big Island, Hawaii) [Source: Ambrose, G. (2006). Surfer's Guide to Hawai'i, 195-197]
Dungeons. Big-wave surf spot in Cape Town, South Africa, first bodysurfed by Robin Möhr in August 2009. He used a handplane and was assisted by a jet-ski crew. [Source: Wavescape]
Rest of the world
Puerto Escondido (Mexico). The heavy beachbreak at Playa Zicatela is host to an annual bodysurfing contest. Injuries and drownings were commonplace before the formation of the local lifeguard corps. The beach and town forms the backdrop for Bill Missett's Soul Surfer Johnny trilogy. See EOS entry.
Video: Barchi Quadros, The Gutsiest Bodysurfer at Puerto Escondido (2019)
Teahupoo (Tahiti). Heavy left reefpass break near the southwestern tip of Tahiti. Bodysurfed by Mark Cunningham and Mike Stewart in Come Hell or High Water (2011). See EOS entry.
- Cunningham, Mark
Kaku: Mark Cunningham Profile on EOS (1994)
Interview on EOS (2005)
Mark Cunningham on how to bodysurf, on EOS (2005)
Profile on The Inertia (2012)
Swell Lines profile (2014)
Mark Cunningham interview (video, 2016)
[Source: Legendarysurfers.com, EOS]
I've got basic bodysurfing tips: know how to swim, have a suit that is going to stay on, kick like hell, and come out of the water smiling.
The ideal Pipeline wave is a half-drop. I like to take off on an angle and start trimming as soon as I can. The top third of the wave, that's where all the speed is.
When you're that low to the water, your sense of speed is just phenomenal. And it's not just riding waves, it's swimming through them, it's diving under them, opening your eyes underwater as you watch this thing impact right in front of you. And you just knife right through there, between the bottom and where those whitewater fingers are tryin' to grab you. Just the whole dance out there. You're like a piece of the ocean.
It's a sort of perverse appeal of the sport for me that there will never be a Bodysurfing World Tour or bodysurfing media and magazines.
You have to be in harmony with the waves. It's sort of like dancing with them, really. A friend called it "downhill swimming". I like that description.
- Cunningham, Mike
- Deets, Greg
Greg Deets - A Natural Water Brother
- Drewelow, Mark
- Drummond, Ron "Canoe"
Interview on EOS (1988) [Sources: Legendary Surfers blog, Legendarysurfers.com]
- Enoka, Sean
- Ford, Dave
Swell Lines article on the Ford family (2015)
- Gardner, Robert "Judge"
- Handley, Hal
Swell Lines profile (2014)
LA times article (1990)
- Heath, Fran. One of the first people to bodysurf Pipeline and Waimea.
["Continuing to bodysurf, Fran was one of the first to do so at Pipeline and Waimea." -- Legendarysurfers.com]
- Kahanamoku, Duke. Bodysurfed on Long Island (New York) in 1912.
["Duke recalled that he did not board surf on Long Island in 1912. 'I did bodysurf there [in New York, on Long Island] – Far Rockaway and Sea Gate and places like that. But the boards – I never had a chance to carry a board or anything like that'" -- Legendary Surfers]
Duke Kahanomoku calls attention to the fact that to catch a wave for "body surfing," in the true Hawaiian manner, it is necessary to swim before the breaker using the modern crawl stroke, with a flutter kick. As a boy, Duke "body-surfed" and swam the crawl stroke before the world had a name for it. Also the ancient Hawaiians, adept at "body surfing," swam the crawl stroke as part of the sport; therefore, the origin of the so-called new crawl swimming stroke dates back to antiquity. -- Tom Blake
I can say Duke is the world's outstanding body-surfer. I have watched him ride the surf in perfect style here in Hawaii and in the mainland United States, without a board. On one occasion at Balboa, California, I saw him body-surf a big comber for over two hundred yards. When body surfing, Duke can slide the wave left or right at will. This greatly surprised the Australians as they had never seen it done before, although they were familiar with shooting the waves without a board. -- Tom Blake
- Kapela, Steve
- Keaulana, Buffalo
[Buffalo Keaulana] looked so natural streaking across the waves like a seal. I actually expected him to turn and swim out to sea when he was done. He was one of the best bodysurfers on the face of the earth. If you've ever watched guys get right in the pocket and do the roll deal, Buffalo was the guy who invented that. -- Greg Noll
- Lattanzi, Kalani. Big-wave bodysurfer from Rio de Janeiro. Notable for bodysurfing some of the biggest waves ever attempted, 50-footers at Nazaré in Portugal. Featured in the biographical film, Kalani - Gift From Heaven (2020).
The Man Who Surfs the World's Biggest Waves Without a Board
- Lynch, Thomas. Produced a number of high level bodysurfing videos in the late 90's to early 00's, notably Primal Surf (2000) and Pure Blue (2001) which contain footage mostly of Pipeline. Website at www.bodysurfingvideo.com no longer exists.
[Source: Verlomme, H., and Masurel, L. (2002). Bodysurf: Aux Origines du Surf, pp. 74-76.]
- McCredie, Don
- Mohr, Robin
Swell Lines profile (2014)
- Romanosky, Ron
- Rose, Meredith
- Simpson, Fred
Swell Lines profile (2016)
- Starky, Sean. Wedge bodysurfer and founder of Yucca Fins.
Interview on Matsurfers.com (2020)
- Stewart, Mike
Will the World's Greatest Surfer Please Lie Down?, The Surfer's Journal (2006)
Interview on Grin Reapers podcast (2018)
- Sullivan, Mike
Swell Lines profile (2014)
- Tanna, Tommy
Surf Shooting Down Under, History of Surfing
Genesis 1788 - 1900, surfresearch.com.au
- Thoman, Kevin "Mel"
- Wade, Terry
Wikipedia article on Terry Wade
- Williams, Fred. One of the first Australian bodysurfers, from a wealthy family in Manly. He was taught to bodysurf at the end of the 19th century by their family gardener, Tommy Tanna, a New Hebridean islander. Ocean bathing was still banned in Australia at that time. Despite being an excellent bodysurfer and trendsetter, pioneering surf exploration and a beach centred lifestyle, Fred became increasingly reclusive with age and died alone in Dobroyd Point just prior to the second World War.
[Source: Australia's Hottest 100 Surfing Legends (2011), Phil Jarratt]
Genesis 1788 - 1900, surfresearch.com.au
- Bodysuits [add link??]
- Chest-strapped planing devices [add link??]
- Hydrofoil handplane [add link??]
- Mini boogie boards [add link??]
This is why I love bodysurfing. This is why, in my recent trips to Rio, I end up bodysurfing more than board surfing: I'm still learning new things. At age 47 I may be declining as a surfer, but as a bodysurfer I'm unquestionably improving. The tadpole grows feet and hops across the terra firma. The surfer sheds board and swims off to eternity.
Rio is the best bodysurfing city in the world. Those same iconic granite rocks that brought us Sugarloaf and Corcovado also bring us ricocheting wedges that zipper off the north and south corner of every beach.
We never found any part of Dickie. He just vanished. We did find the board, just shattered to pieces. I talked to an army guy who had been on the beach that night, and he told me, "We never did see that other guy after he got wrapped up in that last big wave." Those were his words: "wrapped up in that last big wave." Based on that, I figured Dickie---who had so much guts---tried to bodysurf the wave. The fact that he got "wrapped up" could only mean that he was up in the curl, right? How else would you express it? So, I figured he tried to bodysurf in.
-- recounting the story of how Dickie Cross lost his life at Waimea Bay on December 22, 1943
Another area that has been neglected by many beginning surfers is body surfing. They learn to swim a few yards and then by-pass this wonderful sport completely to learn surfboard riding. Body surfing comes in very handy to the surfer who has lost his board and faces a long swim. It is a very good conditioner for learning to surf, timing the take-off, judging the waves, and being at home in the surf. It also takes up the void during the day when the wind blows unfavorably for surfboard riding or when local regulations prohibit surfboard riding.
Catching a wave with the body alone was probably the original method of surfing, and to many surfers it is the greatest thrill of all. There is no board to worry about, no artificial aid---just you and the sea.
I had a style of bodysurfing the Wedge, where I'd drop in on my side, like it was a rail, and curve it to be the right shape to go up and down the wave. Most people plane with one arm back, one arm over, but I rode on my shoulder, like it was a rail.
Twenty therapeutic minutes in the shorebreak means a quick dozen tubes attached to a dozen miniature thrashings, and I walk up the beach afterwards just glowing. Every time. Never had a bad bodysurfing session in my life.
Bodysurfing is the only hate-proof form of surfing.
Bodysurfing was here first, and it'll be here last. Seals and dolphins will still be riding waves after the human race finally pearls for good. And if we drag the seals and dolphins down with us, cockroaches will eventually figure it out.
The people of Kauai generally held the credit of exceeding all others in the sports of the Islands. At one time, they sent their champion surf rider to compete with the chiefs in the sport on Hawaii, who showed them man's ability to shoot, or ride with the surf without a surfboard.
-- From 1822 publication Hawaiian Annuals
Bodysurfing: Pure Connection to the Water
Hilltromper, 12 August 2016
- Black Sea breakers: exploring Turkey's ancient surf scene
Financial Times, 14 February 2020
- Carlsbad's Handley takes academic approach to competitive bodysurfing
The San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug 2005.
- Minimalist ride: Catching a wave without a board
Shore News Today, 3 Aug 2012.
- The Lure of the Wedge, California's Freakish Wave
New York Times, 9 Jun 2006
- The Rise of Australian Bodysurfing 2019
WAW Handplanes blog, 1 September 2019
- The Rush of Bodysurfing in Rio: A Traveler's Guide
Celeberazzi, 3 January 2019
Burkard, C. and McKenna, T.
The Surfer's Journal (2011), 20(6): 54-67.
- Sport to stage first UK championship
Cornish Times, 15 February 2017
- The Man Who Surfs the World's Biggest Waves Without a Board
Inside Hook, 23 June 2020
- How to Bodysurf
Surfing, June 2005.
- Body chemistry
Cunningham, M. and Thoman, M.
The Surfer's Journal (1999), 8(4): 30-39.
- The art of bodysurfing
The Press of Atlantic City, 1 Sep 2012.
- Mathematics and bodysurfing
De Mestre, N.
Australian Mathematical Society Gazette (2004), 31(4): 244-250.
[my thoughts on this paper]
- Next wave forms their body of work
Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug 2016.
- The lip comes down
Outside, 1 Aug 2004.
- Why Surf Schools Should Focus on Bodysurfing Before Board Riding
The Inertia, 11 March 2020
- Why the Best Gather Here for the 'World Cup of Bodysurfing'
The Inertia, 1 August 2017
- How To Bodysurf
Wavelength, 15 Aug 2019
- But I Surfed Instead...
Surfer, 27 Oct 2016.
- The Panic response
The Surfer's Journal (2018), 27(1): 76-87.
Men's Fitness (1998), 14(7): 78.
- The lost surfers of the Black Sea
- Plight of the Torpedo People
Surfer, 5 Jul 2013.
- Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic Won By Mike Stewart
Beachcomber, 27 Feb 1991: 5.
- Joel Badina wins 9th Annual Pyramid Rock Bodysurfing Championship
Hawaii News Now, 9 February 2015
- Flow Motion
National Geographic Adventure (2006), 8(6): 36.
- Surf's up -but a bit too much for our liking
The Times [London, England], 4 Feb 2006: 18.
- Bodysurfers and Australian beach culture
Journal of Australian Studies (2007), 31(90): 89-98.
- Kaku - Mark Cunningham profile
The Surfer's Journal (1994), 3(3): 102-121.
Edited version available on EOS
- Will the World's Greatest Surfer Please Lie Down?
The Surfer's Journal (2006), 15(4): 86-109.
- The SURFER Interview with Mark Cunningham
Johnson, J. and Malloy, C. (eds.)
Surfer (2005), 46(11): 84-92.
- The closest thing to being born
Sports Illustrated, 22 Feb 1971, 60-72.
- A Bodysurfer's Guide: When to Use a Handplane
The Inertia, 3 Oct 2016.
- Meet: The Bodysurfers of Cape Fear
Magicseaweed, 4 August 2017
- No shoes...no board...no problem
States News Service, 14 Jun 2012.
- Mark Cunningham: The Bodysurfer Profile
The Inertia, 3 Jul 2012.
The OB Big Wave Bodysurfing Challenge
ryanmasters831.com (publication date unknown)
Wild Coast Whomp
Hilltromper (publication date unknown)
Bodysurfing: The Ecstatic Motion
Hilltromper, 17 October 2014.
- Skin of the ocean - Notes from the 2017 Pipeline Bodysurfing Contest
The Surfer's Journal (2017), 26(5): 120.
- What lies beneath - Bodysurfing in the key of heavy
The Surfer's Journal (2016), 25(5): 90-93.
- Quarantine Chronicles - Sean Starky
- Legendary Hawaiian Waterman Discusses His Career
Surfer, 22 July 2010
- The bodysurfers: the battle for north side of the Manhattan Beach pier
Easy Reader News, 4 Aug 2018.
- Bodysurfers tangle with the guard
Easy Reader News, 19 Aug 2018.
Greg Deets - A Natural Water Brother
All About Surf, 15 March 2005
- Del Mar Bodysurfing Club hopes unofficial 'world record' ride will stoke a far bigger wave
Del Mar Times, 11 April 2018
- Wave rider: Lauren Crux's goal is to populate the ocean with more women
Nelson, M. B.
Women's Sports and Fitness (1991), 13(4): 32.
- Body language on the Bukit
The Surfer's Path (2007), Volume??(Number??): 90-97.
- Mark Cunningham And Mike Stewart On The Best Swim Fins
Stab Magazine, 11 February 2019
- The challenge of surfing the big ones
Pennybacker, M. E. S.
The New York Times, 5 Sep 1999.
- Hand guns at dawn
Wavescape, 14 Jan 2010.
- Mark Cunningham: The Human Pintail
The Surfers View, 3 Nov 2013.
- Surf Simply Interviews - Mark Cunningham
Surf Simply (2016).
- Why I Only Bodysurf XXL Waves
Magicseaweed, 27 Dec 2019
- Our Wedge - Our Way
The Surfer's Journal (2005), 14(2): 36-47.
- A lifeguard looks back on 29 years of surf, sand and saving lives
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1 May 2005
- The World's Five Best Waves For Bodysurfing
Stab Magazine, 19 Nov 2013
13 female bodysurfers ride a single wave in Del Mar
Surfer Today, 28 Mar 2018
- How to bodysurf using a handplane
- The El Rollo rocks Oahu
Sports Illustrated (2004), 100(8): A4-A6.
- Wave action
Current Science, 6 May 2005: 4-6
- Bodysurfing with Mark Cunningham
Surfer, 22 Jul 2010
- Surfing Below Sea Level
SurfPulse, 19 May 2007
- Whomp Off Australia 2018
WAW Handplanes Blog, 2 Oct 2018
- Ten Common Bodysurfing Mistakes
WAW Handplanes Blog, 11 Dec 2019
- Bodysurfing 101 : Tips/Tricks for all Bodysurfers
WAW Handplanes Blog, 5 Jan 2020
- Bodysurfing URBNSURF
WAW Handplanes Blog, 5 Mar 2020
- Tom Marr & The Bodysurfing Family
WAW Handplanes Blog, 21 Aug 2020
- Time Is Wiping Out Wedge Surf Purists
Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep 2002
- They're gnarlier watermen than anyone
(publication unknown), 21 Apr 2001
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