The Sky’s the Limit

Surfing is a sport that is constantly evolving and it’s barriers are forever being pushed. From the 1950’s when surfer’s began to charge big waves, the 1970’s when charging the heavy barrels at Pipeline was all the rage, to more modern times where tow-in surfing has pushed the limit’s further still with waves in excess of 70ft getting surfer and riders slotting into some of the heaviest barrels imaginable.

Alongside the push in heavy waves, waves that hold consequence, the basic moves of competition surfing are changing. There was once a time when all a surfer needed to win a World Title was a good hack, times have changed though and surfing has gone aerial.

Kai Berger at Pipeline.


Now it’s almost impossible to watch a contest without someone landing an aerial, more often than not there can be a few in one heat, especially in smaller waves. The aerial has become a new tool to try and earn more points, but it does seem that some surfers have sacrificed other skills in an attempt to be the most dominant in the air.

An unknown surfer at Pavones, Costa Rica.


So aerial moves are even becoming common in regular lineups, it’s not just the pro’s aiming high. However, the aerial revolution had to start somewhere, and in my opinion it was started by bodyboarders.

For years bodyboarders have been flipping off the lip of a wave and in the process have come up with some awesome¬†manoeuvres, ones that surfers haven’t really got close to yet:

Ben Player, backflipping at Pipeline.


Unknown rider, ARS at Pipeline.



Renzo Fassioli, El Rollo, Pipeline.



Another unknown rider, invert, Pipeline.


Looking at the crazy moves bodyboarders are currently pulling (a double backflip was almost landed by PLC) you might be able to get a glimpse into surfing’s future.



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