- 14 February 2014 | Bodyboarding
The strangest professional bodyboarding season of all time kicks off on the 14th February, 2014, in Pipeline, Hawaii.
Tension can't be hidden. The first waves of 2014 will be ridden in a completely new format. Born from the ashes of an institution named International Bodyboarding Association (IBA), a new circuit has emerged to save the honor of professional prone riding.
The Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) didn't have time to breathe. In less than two months, the organization led by Mike Stewart and friends managed to put up the APB Pipe Challenge 2014.
Don't expect high-end live streams, popular commentators, extraordinary video highlights, regular prize purses, and trendy contest websites. However, the spirit of competitive bodyboarding will remain untouched because Pipeline will crown another champion.
There are problems ahead for the Association of Professional Bodyboarders. You can't rely on the pleasure of riding waves, in order to get the top names in the sport available for all stages.
Sponsors are scarce in the bodyboarding world today, and flights are expensive. You can't get a middle-ranking athlete supporting an entire pro season with contest prize money.
Ryan Hardy has pulled the plug. He will focus on freesurfing, films, travels and new tricks. Other riders will follow.
The IBA World Tour hiatus is not good for the sport of bodyboarding. The price paid will depend very much on the way Mike Stewart, Jeff Hubbard and Alex Leon get the train running in the first semester of 2014.
The APB Pipe Challenge 2014 runs between 18th-28th February, at Banzai Pipeline, on the Hawaii's North Shore. The Trials are surfed between 12nd-16th February.