Surfing sans-surfboards will return to event rich in surf culture
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 5 October, 2016 - Boardless surfing will take to the Noosa waves in 2017 with the return of 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,” says Archer. “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 hold excellent potential.
“In 2017, we want to build on this and make the Garage Body Bash the premiere bodysurfing event in Australia,” enthuses Archer. “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, 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 waveriding 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,” says Archer proudly, “with a team descending 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 Championship's defending his title from last year. Meredith Rose also picked up a bronze defending her World Title from last year. We're also stoked to hear that the boys from Cornwall, David Smith and Jack Middleton made the trek to participate in their first World Titles event, and have vowed to return next year.”
2017 will be bigger and better for the Garage Handplanes Body Bash, hype already circulating and the November 1st opening for entries being eagerly anticipated. Last year’s Body Bash saw a mixed division of all ages, men and women, but with enough interest for next year, festival organisers are hoping to expand the criteria to make the event multi-divisional.
“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,” says Festival director, Sam Smith.
Garage has renewed its sponsorship of the event at the perfect time, with the company welcoming superb success and growth moving towards 2017, as well as some exciting changes:
“2017 is looking an interesting year for Garage - interest in bodysurfing is certainly on the increase,” says Archer. “We've been doing plenty of R&D and have just released some upgraded models in both our Riva and Go Kart models. The new designs incorporate carbon fibre for strength and weight improvements, as well as some shape refinements.”
To find out more about Garage Handplanes, visit their website – garagehandplanes.com.au - or find them on social media: @garagehandplanes.
Entries for the 2017 Garage Handplanes Body Bash open on November 1st. Please visit: www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com for more information on this and all details for the 26th Annual Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing.