No, instead, an iconic name brand recently revived and thus so turning a quarter century old, (more than a great majority of you reading this) is headed to the equivalent of what St. Andrews represents to golf or l'Alpe d'Huez to Lance Armstrong. Turbo Bodyboards is coming to Pipeline, on the North Shore of Oahu and are the 2009 sponsor of the event. Banzai Pipleline to be more precise. Where men ride mountains and fly high.
Turbo Bodyboards, now based in New South Wales, Australia and managed by brothers Gregg and Glenn Taylor, who combined as masterminds behind head of operations and design bring years of knowledge and are extremely proud about the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro event which is another landmark achievement since putting the brand back together in 2007.
A quick ride back in time to 1983 finds you in an époque where an enigmatic fellow named Russ Brown was frequently found standing up on boards he craftily put together, using alternative vinyl tops and hard PVC bottoms. His innovations and eclectic views soon earned him the moniker Captain Turbo, which he quickly embraced and used in a very successful advertising campaign.
Scott Bodyboards, along with both stock and custom shaped boards by Brown were viable alternatives to the Morey brand whose hard-line “our way or nothing” attitude rubbed many wrongly. Brown developed the brand and inspired several other worldwide companies, including Australia’s pride, Manta bodyboards. Like Tom Morey, founder of the Original Morey Boogie, Brown has since left the sport and limelight over a decade ago.
Fast forward to 2009
The Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro also coincides with and celebrates the launch of the new Turbo Surf Designs site which is now live and filled with its history, products, photos and profiles of an extremely diverse range of team riders. Several will be competing and each brings a different feel, style and goal in attitude in their performance and exposure during the event.
For Turbo’s newest addition, Andre Botha of South Africa, now 27 years old, everything about the event is sacred. Pipeline marks the very spot in which he captured his first world title ten years ago in one of the most competitive finals ever. Botha, an extremely versatile rider is one of a tight knit group who really are on another plain when conditions are heavy and life threatening.
Two elements synonymous with Pipeline and hopefully present during the events waiting period which falls between February 16th through the 27th. No longer the prodigious child who each morning, systematically could be found pushing his bike towards Pipeline well before everyone else. Today, Botha is leading a clean lifestyle, motivated and knows very well at least another Pipeline title is at his grasp.
Eight principal islands make up the better part of the Hawaiian chain. Each one simmering with established riders and even more free spirits that can act as dream breakers of many. Jacob Romero comes from the island of Maui where waves can be plentiful, but besides a handful of spots, not entirely conducive towards bodyboarders. Romero, now 23 years of age spends most of his time on Oahu to finish up his studies and progress his riding.
Since moving to Oahu a couple years ago, Romero has gained critical experience in bigger surf and combines that with a quick, aerial based prone riding style which has moved him near the top of the US Professional rankings. Romero will take his expanding big wave experience into the event, riding the iconic Turbo IV board, which he feels as perhaps the best board he’s ever ridden.
A quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one's actions and tastes represents the word “style”. Mason Rose exudes these traits and more with every breath he takes. A child of the world now, but originally from Port Macquarie, (where Turbo Australia HQ is) Rose, a mere 29 years old is a drop knee wizard. He continually looks up to his childhood idols, when in fact, they are the ones that are blown away by the lines he draws all while keeping many of the old school foundation which was based on power, speed and carving.
When he’s not busy doing full, round house cutbacks at Rocky Point or inspiring future generations as they watch him master Lighthouse Point at home, Rose is pretty busy on the worldwide hip-hop scene which has taken him around the world. Two different passions, each bringing out extreme forms of style and expression. For Rose, the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro is the event where he can go out and express without distraction.
These three riders share one common bond, knowing the equipment they bring into the event has been crafted with the industries best and innovative materials. Elements to boost their already soaring confidence as already seen during many free ride sessions at Pipeline, Off-the-Wall and other spots on the North Shore. They will be joined by Mike Murphy who impressed many last year with his big wave riding skills.
Gregg Taylor, Director of Turbo Surf Designs, was quoted as saying "we are very respectful that the roots of Turbo Bodyboards are in Hawaii and we will always respect the Hawaiian Islands as the spiritial home of this iconic brand" Turbo Bodyboards are determined to honor the legacy of Russ Brown (Captain Turbo) with a continued passion for quality and innovation. Where better to showcase this passion than the most prestigious event in the bodyboarding world, the Pipeline Pro."
The event also is a milestone for the IBA Tour as they too have launched their new website. Some of its feature capabilities will be a live webcast, interaction with riders, free content and more. A copy of the Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro entry form can be downloaded for those interested.
The Turbo Bodyboards Pipeline Pro is the first stop of the 2009 IBA World Men’s Tour (WMT) and consists of proposed events in Australia, Brazil, and Europe.