Next Level Body Surfing Is Here

19 Sep 2017 2 Share

COASTALWATCH | BODYSURFING, WHOMP OFF AUSTRALIA 2017

Video by David Fairs
Words by Rikki Gilbey

60 Bodysurfers, McCauley's beach and a whole of lot of action.

Whomp Off Australia 2017, hosted on NSW’s south coast and organised by Rikki Gilbey founder of WAW Handplanes, was quite simply an event bustling with frothers, stoke enthusiasts, whomping legends and fin sprinting champions.

Teams from all over Australia battled it out in tag team events, tricks events and individual heats. With each team putting on an epic display of all things bodysurfing. The 2-4’ near perfect offshore conditions produced something to remember, with made barrels, 100m+ rides and some tricks that would blow your mind. Progressing through the day the winds picked up a little and turned slightly cross/offshore, however, this didn’t deter Australia’s greatest bodysurfers from putting on an utter showcase.

Event 1, the Tag Team, was judged on length of ride, style and flow. Right from the word go it was a close contest; event organiser Rikki Gilbey of the East Sydney Body Surfers (ESBS) used his WAW handplane to score a 10.0 ride for his team, surfing cleanly across the entire width of the competition zone. But it was the South Coast Bodysurfers (SCB) who clinched the first event, with the likes of Adam Wright cruising in the pocket, making it through barrel sections and landing some lengthy rides, proving that their local knowledge was strong.

Event 2, the Tricks event, produced some unbelievable spectacles with Paul Khodor, from the ESBS, pulling off 2 complete forward flips, Chris Anderson, of the SCB, laying down the triple spin into barrel, Zac Handcock, of the Northern Beaches Whompers (NBW), the master of the ‘look mum no hands’ and Jack McRae, of the Wommin Wompers (WW), performing bodysurfing tricks so progressive they have yet to be named! Forward roll into full body dolphin breach!! What the?? But in the end, it was the ESBS that proved too strong and took out the event with and average score of 7.8/10

Zac Handcock by @ginger.fins

Zac Handcock by @ginger.fins

Rikki Gilbey by @ginger.fins

Rikki Gilbey by @ginger.fins

Paul Khodor by @ginger.fins

Paul Khodor by @ginger.fins

Event 3, The first of the Individual heats, contained a line up so strong, the atmosphere was electric. With the likes of Nicholas Brbot, Jake James, Jacob Rosenbrock, Chris Anderson and Zac Handcock battling it out, never have I heard a crowd go so wild at a surfing event! Rammed with the big guns of the bodysurfing world, it didn’t disappoint. Ultimately, it was WAW Handplanes team rider Nicholas Brbot, of the Bate Bay Body Bashers (BBBB), that claimed the win, utilising his fearless approach and biding his time out the back to score some crazy drops and setting his line on the bomb sets.

Event 4, the second individual heat and last of the surfing events was a history-making 25 minutes with world-class tricksters Jack McRae & Paul Khodor going head to head and again displaying unbelievable grace and perfection on the wave’s face, both surfers using their knowledge of the waves and trick utilisation to the max. Justin Spittle, the president of the SCB, scoring some solid barrels and taking some heavy drops and Alex Iping, aka Jesus of Narrabean, narrowly missing out on win after failing to pull off his ‘walking on water’ trick. In the end Paul Khodor, had the complete game and proved too strong and was rewarded with the win.

Event 5, The flipper dash. With the score so close, it came down to the flipper dash to settle it. A 50m sprint on the sand wearing competition swim fins, it was heart in the mouth moment. The gun sounded and it was last year’s champ and event organiser Rikki Gilbey of the ESBS that face planted first, those that made it off the line were evenly spread and it was a last-second burst and sensational dive by Julian Cottle of the BBBB that got the win, and by doing so taking his team to the top of the points ladder and thus crowing the Bate Bay Body Bashers as the Whomp Off Australia 2017 Champions.

Once the show was over, the South Coast Bodysurfers and Ecto handplanes presented their bodysurfing exhibition as part of Whomp Off and the Wollongong Fringe Festival. The exhibition displays all things bodysurfing from video, photographic prints and bodysurfing gear. Check it out as the exhibition is also open this weekend 23/24 of September 10-4

A word from the organiser: “Whomp Off Australia 2017 was a resounding success. My goal was to bring together Australia’s greatest bodysurfers and provide a location where they could show off what they can really do in a competitive team based setup, whilst maintaining a laid back and fun-focused atmosphere. I feel like we totally achieved this, and I cannot wait for Whomp Off Australia 2018 in Cronulla – the hunting ground of this year’s champions the Bate Bay Body Bashers. I would like to extend a massive thank you to all those that helped and supported the event this year, we couldn’t have done without you. See yewwww next year!”

Whomp Off Australia is Proudly supported by Coastalwatch

For more photos and clips of the event check out @wawhandplanes & @Whomp_Off_Australia on Instagram.

Nicholas Brbot by Adam Williams

Nicholas Brbot by Adam Williams

Jacob Rosenbrock by @ginger.fins

Jacob Rosenbrock by @ginger.fins

Paul Khodor by Adam Williams

Paul Khodor by Adam Williams

Flipper Dash by @ginger.fins

Flipper Dash by @ginger.fins

Whomp Off Australia 2017 group shot by Jemma Carlton

Whomp Off Australia 2017 group shot by Jemma Carlton


Tags: video , bodysurfing , whomp , australia , september , waw , handplanes (create Alert from these tags)

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