Heatworks Pro: the trick works

The Heatworks Pro has begun today with Knights Beach providing some thick three to four foot barrels for some of the worlds best Bodyboarders.

It is a case of five times lucky for the event, with Knights Beach miraculously coming through with the goods for the fifth year in a row, showing why it has become one of the favourite stops on the Rebel Sports Bodyboarding Pro Tour Calendar.

A light offshore wind and a building Southerly swell allowed for world class riders like David Winchester, Mitch Rawlins and Dallas Singer to showcase their bodyboarding skills in the epic conditions.

South Australian expat Eli Beach made the return back to his home break for the event and showed how valuable local knowledge is, blitzing the field in his first heat with a dominating win.

“It definitely helps growing up surfing the place and I really hope to win,” said Eli.

Hot favourite Mitch Rawlins progressed through the early rounds and eagerly anticipates the Knights Beach event every year.

“We always get great waves and great weather so it really makes me look forward to coming. The set up is awesome and it’s such a natural amphitheatre so it really encourages the boys to go hard out there.” Said Mitch.

“It can be a bit tricky, but I really want to win, that’s what I came down here to do”

Story of the day involved young Knights beach local, Carlo Petrou who surfed in a man on man heat against Mitch Rawlins and almost came through with a victory.

“Yeah there weren’t many waves out there and Carlo almost had me if he didn’t come unstuck on one of them so I was pretty lucky in the end. It’s great for the young guys down here to have the chance to surf with us and we love coming down here” said Mitch.

Receiving a round of applause for his efforts in the epic heat, Carlo said, “It was an awesome experience to surf against one of the best in the world and it was good to get close in the end and almost beat him”.

Number one seed Mark Parsons from the Central Coast has been in outstanding form, and has continued his hot run with highest heat score of the day with an 8.17.

UK bodyboarding: Barber's going to boost your skills

Rob Barber’s Bodyboarding School benefited from the best surf of the year last weekend. The renowned Fistral Beach served up a clean 3-4ft, perfect for the pupils to develop their sponging skills. The famed Tolcarne Wedge also provided 2-3ft peaks with usual quick take off and fun ramps to boost off.

In total 11 bodyboarders from all over the UK attended the coaching weekend, which ranged from beginners learning the basics right through to sponsored competitors honing airs and spins.

The coaching provides a safe introduction to the sport for novice riders, with instruction from British Surfing Association (BSA) certified coaches that also hold lifeguarding qualifications. The coaching encourages confidence, sea safety, paddling out, wave selection and riding skills. Head coach Rob Barber said: “We aim to offer well-rounded tuition that help our pupils learn in a couple of days what would have usually taken a couple of years.”

Adam Luck, from Guildford, and Fiona Daniel, from Bristol, had never got on the boog before, but after some initial coaching both learned quickly and saw fast improvements in their riding over the weekend, both getting out back, riding un-broken waves and demonstrating good trimming style. Fiona was awarded with a ThreeSixty Bodyboard Magazine T-shirt for putting in the biggest effort of the weekend, showing that bodyboarding is just as fun for the women as it is the men.

The group was also joined by Steve Hall, Under-18 British Champion, and Tabby Fox, one of the top ranked girls in the country. Tabby was awarded a new NMD board for best improvement over the weekend, which saw her land her first roll - a move she has been trying to master throughout her career so far.

Video analysis was taken throughout the sessions by pro surf photog Matt Hawken which later allows the riders to see their performance in the water. Head coach Rob Barber reviews the video footage with the class and offers advice and further teachings on each individual’s progress. Rob Barber said: “Using slow-motion and freeze framing it is way easier to break down paddling techniques, wave selection and specific move coaching. It is the most invaluable coaching tool, and delivers great results every time.”

Aidan Salmon, assistant coach, said: “The excellent surf conditions at both beaches allowed the bodyboarders to gain experience in different types of waves and the way they break. It has been great to coach such fun, enthusiastic people, and to see their overall improvement.”

Every rider received a stuffed goodie bag from event sponsors ThreeSixty Bodyboard Magazine and NMD, a coach’s report of their performance, and DVD footage to take home. At the end of the weekend many of the riders swapped email addresses and were looking forward to sponging again on future trips.

Ben Harris, 21, from Falmouth, said: “I made lots of friends, it was a superb weekend ... I can’t wait to book my Morocco trip with the guys from Rob Barber’s Bodyboard School."

There is usually a good mix of ages and abilities as well as individuals, couples, and friends on the course. The nature of the sport helps the group gel, and strong fun camaraderie between everyone soon appears. The social side of the weekend is always a highlight, and includes a barbecue at sunset on the Saturday evening when tales of waves caught often grow longer as the beers flow...

Rob Barber's Bodyboarding School also offers coaching holidays to Morocco, Gran Canaria, Bali, Central America and Ireland.

Wales Coaching Weekend
For the first time ever, Rob Barber’s Bodyboard School will be holding the next coaching weekend on the beautiful Gower Peninsula, home to Llangennith Beach, on September 11th/12th.

Newquay Coaching Weekends (£119) will take place on the 18th/19th September and 16th/17th October.

Stars of the Waves: Espinho has great waves

The best Portuguese and international bodyboarders are going to meet in Espinho, in the North of Portugal, for the "Stars of the Waves".

The event will showcase 20 invited top bodyboarders to show their tricks and skills.

The "Stars of the Waves" will be held on the 18th and 19th September in one of the gnarliest wave spots of Portugal.

Espinho can deliver huge swells and perfect right waves near the local pier.

Stay tuned with SurferToday.com/Bodyboarding for more updates.