So what is Bodysurfing some may ask?
Well, bodysurfing is a sport similar to surfing in that it also involves catching breaking waves, but that's where similarities tend to end. At its highest level bodysurfing is definately an extreme sport!
Like surfing, this grass roots sport involves catching massive breaking waves, but whilst utilising just the barest minimum of equipment. It is already practised to very high levels all around the world, and our aim is to raise the profile of bodysurfing to similar levels here in the UK.
Although no specific kit is needed to have a go, flippers will assist in catching larger waves and small handboards help to achieve greater planing ability. These items help bring more of ones body out of the water, allowing the bodysurfer to glide gracefully along the breaking wave as well as to perform tricks. In the UK, wetsuits are unfortunately a necessity too!
Bodysurfing as a sport has in fact been around for a very long time now (and pre-dates surfing) but is one that somehow lost it's way whilst surfing's popularity has increased and increased!
The good news is that bodysurfing is currently going through a resurgence all around the world!
Our story so far
The sport has suffered from a general lack of organisation in this country. There has been no one body to unite bodysurfers and take the sport forward to the next level.
This has now changed for the better! By forming two non-profit Community Interest Companies (C.I.C.'s) in June 2016 (the UK Bodysurfing Association C.I.C., and the UK Bodysurfing Championships C.I.C.) the sport now has a direction and purpose. Bodysurfing at last has its own governing body!
The Association will grow the membership, more and more people actively taking up the sport by coming together regularly at Meet Ups and forming friendships. This community of bodysurfers has grown from zero members into a group of like minded individuals who really care about the sport, all wanting to improve their skill level. The second C.I.C. involves a yearly Championships.
In the autumn of each year we will hold the UK Bodysurfing Championships, an event open to competitors from both the UK and abroad. This will test home grown skill against those of competitors from abroad!
The Championships will take place annually at world famous Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall.
This year the "Slyde Handboards UK Bodysurfing Championships 2017" will consist of 4 heats, 2 semi-finals and a final. 12 competitors from the UK will team up alongside 4 wildcard entries from overseas.
In future years we anticipate more categories, more contestants, and an increased involvement with our fellow organisations within Europe, eventually around the world. Newquay is set to become the bodysurfing centre for the UK!
It is absolutely fantastic that we are now on the verge of our first Championships and we have to say straight away that we are extremely grateful to everyone who has been involved in our success story so far!
So why do we need your help now?
The UK Bodysurfing Championships C.I.C. is a fledgling company, less than a year old. As far as sponsors go, we have been extremely successful in attracting numerous sponsors, but much less so in obtaining the additional funding needed.
Funding can be hard to get hold of in this modern world. We are running out of options, so are coming to you for help.
All monies raised will go directly towards our remaining costs, i.e. the organistional costs of running the event at Fistral Beach. These range from hiring the beach itself to the costs for lifeguards, judges, videographer and a PA system (things we have not been given any funding for).
Funding we have received so far has been designated for posters, rash vests and banners.
Remaining items and costs:-
- Beach hire/admin - £270
- Lifeguards - £200
- Judges - £450
- PA system - £250
- Videographer - £130
Why should you consider donating to this cause?
Well, these Championships are more than just a jolly day out for those participating. You would be helping to reinstate a sport that has for far too long been neglected in this country, one that can grow, will grow, one that can get young and old out of the house and keeping fit.
What's in it for you we hear you ask?
Again, very little on first glance. Many sports are having to deal with severe funding cutbacks since the Olympics.
Bodysurfing has never had any funding, so starts off at zero. You will have the satisfaction of helping get a minority sport off the ground to become something (perhaps not something big - only time will tell as far as that goes) but at least something. That something is much better than nothing!
By helping us will also ensure the UK has a new, vibrant sport taking place annually at Fistral Beach - as mentioned, the most famous of the UK's beaches.
Bodysurfing is a sport that is extremely fun to take part in, and one that is also increasingly attractive to watch these days - either live at the beach or via video.
Please help us to help all prospective UK bodysurfers. Anything donated (big or small) will be very gratefully received.