Sand dune

An UK trainee doctor from Derbyshire has lost his life while boogie boarding down the sand dunes of the Hokianger Harbour area, in New Zealand.

The accident happened in the Opononi beach, near a dune known as the 'suicide hill'.

The man, aged 23, suffered severe head injuries and was airlifted to the Whangarei Hospital in a critical condition.

Sand surfing is a very common sport in this dune area.


Ryan Hardy wins the 2009 IBA Pipeline Pro 

In clean 4-6 feet surf Australian Bodyboarding legend Ryan Hardy has won the first event of the 2009 International Bodyboarding World Tour in Hawaii.

The Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro was held over three days in what can only be described as “Perfect Pipe” with the worlds best riders all vying for the 2000 Championship points up for grabs.

“I am stoked to win the first ever Grand Slam with the guys standing next to me” said the elated Hardy.

“It can be pretty nerve racking sitting on the beach for a few days waiting for your heat to come up, watching guys getting the best waves of their lives”

“But surfing against guys like this made it easier to relax and push myself at the same time”

Second place went to Frenchman Pierre Luis Costes. He opened up the final with a solid mixture including an 8.50 that saw the other riders needing a two-wave combination to get the lead.

Hardy waited until the 18th minute of the half hour final to strike.

A long deep tube ride followed by a gigantic roll netted him a 9.43 average that left him still lingering in second position and then within a few minutes he found another tube and this time back-flipped out of the end bowl.

From that point on he was always going to be hard to beat.

Third place went to Brazilian Guilherme Tamega and fourth place was Dave Winchester from Australia.

The IBA World Tour now moves to Brazil in April for two events back to back.

Dave Hubbard

After five days on hold the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro got underway again today and the gods were smiling upon us with perfect 8 – 10 foot sets wrapping along the famed reef.

It was evident the night before that we were in for something special when you could hear the swell pounding the coastline on the other side of the Kam Highway.

Organizers called the event on at 7am and by 8am the beach was packed with onlookers claiming the best vantage points.

The event started with round five and from the get go the seeded surfers set a blistering pace.

Damien King (Port McQuarie, Australia) Toby Player (Avalon, Australia) and Rueben Quinones (Puerto Rico) were the standout’s of the round taking giant drops and scooping perfectly into the gapping tubes with style and finesse.

“Its so perfect out there, I am just having fun” said Toby Player.

“I just want to make it through as many heats as possible so I can surf big empty Pipe with three other guys”

Round six took the event to a whole new level. 

Riders like Alistar Taylor (Sth Africa) Dave Crowley (Australia) Spencer Skipper (Hawaii) & Gustao Entrudo (Portugal) blew minds with a combination of high-flying moves and deep tube rides.

On his opening rider Skipper drilled his head into the reef and came up with his lip in shreds, only to continue onto a win. He was eliminated in the next round after a quick trip to the doctor for stitches.

The day ended on a high when the IBA back 12 and the 4 Wildcard hit the water against the inform qualifiers.

The highlight of this round was the amazing comeback of former childhood prodigy Garth McGregor (Newcastle, Australia). As a youngster McGregor was touted as a potential World Champion but he decided that he wanted to chase big waves instead of the fame and glory of the Pro tour.