Throwback Thursday

I know “Throwback Thursday” is usually reserved for instagram but when I realised what the the date was I couldn’t resist using it as an excuse to post some pictures from my travels.

It’s almost 3years to the day that I was watching some of the worlds best bodyboarders in the Pipe Pro final in Hawaii. Sat on the sand, camera in hand it was almost impossible to get any closer to the action, and surfers were just passing through the crowd on their way to the waves, something that doesn’t happen in many other sports. Over the course of the contest I reckon I shot close to 500 frames, but probably close to 100 of those were rattled off in the final heat. 100 isn’t that many by professional standard, but I had more shots than I knew what to do with, but here are my pick of the last round:



Jeff Hubbard.



Mike Stewart Was Pushing Close To 50 During This Contest. Still Surfed Like He Was 21.



Dave Winchester Hitting A Backflip. Solid Reef To Land On If He Messed Up.



Jeff Hubbard Running To His Mates And Fans After Winning.

It was an awesome contest to watch, the waves were great and the surfers were going all out to win. Seeing guys who I had seen in magazines and videos up close and at one of the planets premier waves was a mind blowing experience. Then there were also some guys in the comp who I knew, the North Shore is quite small, and there’s only really one backpackers place and it was full of people who had flown in for the comp, so you get to know them which makes the earlier heats all the more interesting, hoping your new friends make it.

I shared a dorm with a guy from the Basque area of Spain called Alex, he was on the Pro tour and had recently won his first event in Australia. Unfortunately he didn’t advance through his heat in Hawaii, he still had some pretty great waves though:

Alex Uranga

Alex Uranga, Looking Comfortable At Pipeline.



Renzo, 17 Years Old And Charging Pipeline At Size.


Eddie Read

Eddie Read, Flying The Flag For The UK. Big Waves Skills Probably Helped By Living In Oz Though.


Hawaii, and the North Shore in particular, was an amazing time for me. I was able to get in the sea almost everyday, in challenging waves and really push myself. Also getting to see the pro bodyboarders absolutely rip was no bad thing either!



Hawaii, Part 3: Pipeline Challenge

A few days after the Pipe Pro the IBA World Tour kicked off at Pipeline, starting the Pro-Bodyboarding season off.
Most places I’ve ever surfed bodyboarders are vastly outnumbered by surfers, however with the comp on it swung the other way round and there were heaps of bodyboarders at the main breaks.

I wasn’t too interested in the early rounds, I only started watching in Round 4 when two people from the hostel started:

Eddie Read, the only Englishman in the Comp. He made it to Round 5.

 Renzo, the little Peruvian, he’s only 17.

The only other person I knew competing was Alex Uranga, he was seeded in the 5th Round. Once his heat started he was a bit slow catching good waves but towards the end he had two amazing rides, which should of easily placed him second. The judges didn’t agree and in my opinion he was robbed and knocked out of the contest. Here’s a couple of shots from his two best:

Going deep in a Pipeline Barrell.


Huge invert coming out of Backdoor.


After the people I knew got knocked out the comp wasn’t quite as interesting for me, the standard of surfing was really high but there’s not as much drama when you don’t know the competitors. Also the fact that the final was pretty much wrapped up from the beginning made it a lot less memorable in my eyes. Nonetheless here’s a shot of the 2012 Pipe Challenge Winner, Jeff Hubbard:

Hubbard running to the crowd after winning the title for the 2nd year in a row.