Archive for April, 2011

Photographic Gold

Ryan Jones is a photographer from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. He is good mates with Michael Novy, Mitch Woodland (above) and Alex Halsey and it really shows in his work. His gear can be found in Riptide, Movement and Le Boogie so you know he’s good.

Anyway, head over and check out his new website. There’s plenty of gold to feast your eyes on including some killer shots of Novy, Mitch and Halsey. And be sure to follow his blog for regular updates and outtakes.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Jones.

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Alternative Revenge

Here’s Damian King and the alternate edit of his Podcast, The Joker Volume 2: Revenge. This new shorter version features a few added waves of Kingy at King Island and in the Philippines and is definitely worth a look! You can view the full version here.

The King is getting ready to fly out to South America for the next leg of the 2011 IBA World Tour, the Peruvian Inka Challenge and Arica Chilean Challenge.  Head over to Kingy’s blog where you will find a complete wrap up of the Box Pro last week and how he is preparing for his next stint in Peru and Chile.

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Novy In 30 Seconds

Check out this fresh footage of Michael Novy giving his new ID Boards ride a work out. The kid is definitely in top form going into the South American leg of the IBA World Tour starting with the Peruvian Inka Challenge starting on 11th May.

Don’t forget that ID Boards are currently running their video contest, 30 Second Psych, at Voting closes on 15 May, enter now for your chance to win one of two boards hand shaped by Jarrod Gibson. For more information, click here.

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Emerald Has Moved

Emerald has been located opposite the Cronulla Train Station for as long as we can remember. Not anymore, they’ve picked up and moved just around the corner. The new shop fit out is amazing!

Emerald is the longest running bodyboard store in Australia. The shop first opened over 30 years ago and has since supported bodyboarding within the Cronulla community, sponsoring events such as the Shark Island Challenge, one the worlds biggest and most respected bodyboarding contests.

Originally started by Arnold and Kathy Cowen, the shop has grown and is now primarily a professional bodyboard specialist store owned and operated by Des Govender. Emerald has one of the strongest shop teams in world bodyboarding including IBA World Tour competitors Ryan Hardy, Mark McCarthy and Jared Houston.

You can find Emerald online at Drop in and hang out with Des and the fellas at Shop 7 / 2 Surf Road, Cronulla and support your local Authorised Unite Dealer.

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Box Champ Speaks

When I was able, I surfed The Box with Ryan Hardy quite a few times. That was nearly 10 years ago now and I can honestly say, still to this day, that I haven’t seen a bodyboard ridden that well. Hardy is to The Box what Mike Stewart is to Pipe, nobody surfs the place better. He is the King of Box and it will be a lifetime, if ever, before someone takes his throne. Ryan proved that fact yesterday by defeating Magno Oliveira in the Final of the 2011 IBA Box Pro; his first victory on the World Tour in over two years and his first official Box crown. I caught up with Hardballs and discussed the event, his win and the 2011 World Title race once all the madness surrounding his famous victory had died down.

You took out the Box Pro in heavy, almost unrideable, conditions yesterday, how are you feeling today?

I’m just really satisfied, and exhausted to tell you the truth. I was helping the organisers with forecasting and calls for the contest so I was constantly amped, excited and anxious and hoping the waves would turn on. Having the comp in my hometown, and at my local spot, is such a huge, amping thing for me. To have some decent waves for it and then to actually win… unbelievably stoked!

What was your preparation like and how confident were you going into this contest? You seemed to have a strong mindset in the weeks leading up to the event.

Pre-comp preparation was fairly normal. Just regular surfing and a few surfs out Box on the boards I was going to be riding for the comp which helped with my confidence. Beyond that, I just wanted to be feeling strong in every sense of my fitness, riding and equipment when it came to riding Box in whatever conditions.

Whatever you did worked ’cause you won each of your six heats going into the Final, but Magno was on fire as well. What was going through your head before the Final?

I was honestly rooted after my Semi with [Mark] McCarthy. The whole week had taken a huge toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally so I just forced myself to relax. I knew that once I was back in the water against Magno, my adrenaline and competitiveness would push me through the last 30 minutes even though I was feeling totally exhausted.

We asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to chime in with some questions too. Troy on Facebook asks, “Even at your home break, a first in every heat is pretty unique. Did you focus on winning each heat or the whole contest?”

I definitely enter each contest with a focus of eventually winning. If you’re a madly competitive person in any particular sport, you’re only kidding yourself if you think that having the number one next to your name is not the main reason you compete in the first place. This contest was no different and a combination of local knowledge and good waves coming to me contributed to my first place in each heat.

And Luke, also on Facebook, wonders, “How did your balls get so hard?” [Laughs]

It’s from winning the Tahiti Skins in 2000, which was when Eddie Solomon gave me the nickname. So I guess they’ve been hard ever since! [Laughs]

[Laughs] All jokes aside though, the presentation was very emotional for you, how does it feel to win at your home break in front of your family?

Incredible! Winning at my home break, in my hometown, with all my family and loved ones watching on and supporting… it all attributed it to being my favorite victory to date.

Yeah, it’s pretty obvious that Margaret River, and The Box, holds a very special place in your heart. Can you explain what Margs and The Box mean to you exactly?

Margs and The Box mean home to me… my family, my birthplace. Margs and my family shaped the person that I am and The Box shaped the bodyboarder that I am. Home is where the heart is!

With a Quarter Final finish at Pipe and a win at The Box, you’re now second in the 2011 IBA World Tour rankings just behind Jeff Hubbard.  A World Title has eluded you so far in your career, is this gonna be your year?

I’d like to hope so! A World Title would be the absolute, ultimate pinnacle of everything I strive for in bodyboarding, competition and pushing myself.

It’s gonna be tough though, everyone on the tour is blowing up more than ever. Anyone in the Top 24 could easily win an event or the World Title. Who do you see as the main contenders for the title in 2011?

It’s pretty hard to pick ‘cause there’s so many guys with incredible talent and competition savvy… but if I had to pick, considering the waves on this years tour, I’d have Hubb [Jeff Hubbard] in there, Pierre [Louis Costes], Amaury [Lavernhe]. Of the Aussies… Wing [Dave Winchester], Kingy [Damian King], Mitch [Rawlins], Benny [Ben Player] and Stoney [Jake Stone]. The South Africans, Mark [McCarthy] and Jerry [Jared Houston]. [Guilherme] Tamega, Diego [Cabrera]… shit, that’s half the tour [Laughs]. Man, it’s gonna be so close and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to come down to a Fronton showdown of ‘How much do you want it?’

So what are your plans now then? You’re heading to Chile next for the Arica Challenge, correct?

Yep, psyched! It’s always guaranteed action and drama in Chile. Then Mexico after that… are you kidding me? That sounds like a dream surf trip… Pipe, Box, Chile, Mexico. This tour gets me so amped!

Photo courtesy of the International Bodyboarding Association and Sacha Specker.

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Bodyboard Depot

Rob Barber has his fingers in a lot of pies. He is currently the editor of Three Sixty Magazine and runs the UK’s only bodyboarding school. His latest project, The Bodyboard Depot, launched a couple of days back and is now proudly carrying Unite products.

The Bodyboard Depot boasts an exclusive selection of the best boards and bodyboarding equipment currently available and an expansive online store. Run by a group of dedicated bodyboarders at the very core of the British industry, the team provides expert help and specialist advice for all your bodyboarding needs.

The shop also boasts a test centre so you can test ride boards and equipment before you buy. Customers also have the opportunity to book coaching lessons and specialist international bodyboard holidays.

You can find Rob and the crew online at If you’re in the UK, head down to The Bodyboard Depot located at the Carnmarth Hotel, Headland Road, Newquay, England and support your local Authorised Unite Dealer.

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Hardy On A Roll

Shock horror, Ryan Hardy nailed The Daily Frame at today for his crazy roll in the Final of the 2011 IBA Box Pro. Photo by Sacha Specker.

Hardy is definitely on a roll! Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with the Box Pro champion by Unite founder, and long time friend, Joel Taylor later today!

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Box Pro Highlights

Okay, so by now you probably know that Ryan Hardy took out the 2011 IBA Box Pro yesterday. Well, here are the highlights from the final day that show exactly how he went about taking the crown. His huge invert and massive roll from the Final are both absolutely ridiculous!

The IBA World Tour heads to Chile for the Arica Chilean Challenge from May 20 to May 29.

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Halsey Joins Attica

Alex Halsey has been making an impact over the last 12 months with an impressive section on Traverse, and is one of five riders to be featured in Nic Barclay’s new film project, Three Conscious due to be released in mid 2011. Well, Halsey has been rewarded for all of his hard work with the announcement today that he has joined the Attica Team!

To celebrate the signing, Attica has released this new clip featuring Alex rocking his new suits. To stay up to date with Halsey and the Attica team, go here and here.

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Hardy Wins Box!

Margaret River local and Unite Team rider, Ryan Hardy has conquered some of the craziest conditions Mother Nature could produce to claim the second event on the 2011 IBA World Tour, the Box Pro, and his first victory on tour in over two years.

In wild and dangerous five metre plus waves, 31 year old Hardy defeated Brazil’s Magno Oliveira in the 30 minute final, earning himself 2000 valuable Grand Slam Series ratings points and second place on the IBA rankings heading into event three at Arica, Chile beginning May 20th.

Hardy choked back tears as he accepted his trophy on the presentation dais in front of his wife, Leah and newborn son, Oliver, while friends and fellow Margaret River locals cheered the most prestigious win of his career.

“It means so much to win at my home break and with your friends and family and everyone here from my hometown, it’s the biggest win of my career by far. To get the conditions we have and to be able to win is just incredible, it’s a dream come true,” said Hardy.

Hardy did not drop a heat the entire event, and admitted 20 years of surfing the break was the major factor in his win, particularly on a day where riders were faced with giant waves that threatened to close out the entire bay from Margaret River’s Surfers Point, to the Box itself.

“I could see the guys who hadn’t surfed out there much were getting pulled out of position. Knowing the way the water moved around on the reef was a huge advantage. When a wave breaks at The Box, it’s much more intense than a lot of places, you have these swells that travel so far through the Indian Ocean and then hit this shallow slab of reef. It can be dangerous, but if you know which ones to catch, then it’s easily one of the most exciting waves in the world,” said Hardy.

“I’ve surfed it this big before, but never in competition. Today it was twice as big as forecasted, so it definitely caught everyone by surprise.”

Hardy first leapt to prominence on the international bodyboarding stage when he claimed the Tahiti Skins at the notorious Teahupo’o in 2000. His second major win was at Cronulla’s Shark Island in 2006. He has also won at Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline in 2009.

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