- 28 May 2013 | Bodyboarding
Mike Stewart, the best bodyboarder of all time and one of the founding fathers of the sport, is celebrating 50 years at the highest level. The blond and serene wave rider is a key figure in the development of bodyboarding as a planetary water sport.
Mike Stewart was born on the 17th May, 1963, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Before the deaths of Winston Churchill and Malcolm X, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy and before the first manned mission to land on the Moon.
In 1967, when he was only 4 years old, Mike rides his first wave with a bodyboard. In 1976, already in Kailua-Kona, the young wave rider meets a very important personality, the inventor of bodyboarding and future sporting godfather - Tom Morey.
By the early 1980s, Mike Stewart had abandoned the classic drop-knee position and developed the prone riding techniques. The first tricks were actually invented by the young waterman: aerial 360s, barrel rolls, reverse airs, etc.
Surfers tried to get bodyboarding into the second-class carriage. They were spongers, boogers and speed bumpers. The question was that Mike Stewart was too good and surf magazines had to ask: "Is Mike Stewart the best surfer in the world?"
When asked who was the best wave rider in the world, Tom Curren, the legend of surfing, answered: "Mike Stewart surfing Pipeline. Surfing doesn't get any better".
The truth is that Mike Stewart would win nine world bodyboarding tour titles, with victories in 1983, 1985, 1987 through 1992, and again in 1995. Pipeline, his favorite spot, would be the arena of multiple event wins. Mike Stewart is one of the few riders named "Mr. Pipeline".
The Hawaiian champ never stopped searching. In 1987, Mike Stewart is the first man to ride the dangerous Teahupoo wave, in Tahiti.
In the last 20 years, the 9-time world bodyboarding king has been developing his Science Bodyboards, coaching young talents like Tanner McDaniel, escaping shark attacks, teaching how to pick the right bodyboard, starring in surf movies and spreading the stoke all over the world.
At 6' (1.82m), Mike Stewart is still pushing the sport of bodyboarding forward. At least for the next 50 years.