Bodyboarding: difficult times for pro riders

Professional bodyboarding is living one of the most difficult seasons in the history of the sport. Nevertheless, there are good examples of how competitions can be run. Isn't it time to imitate good practices?

Bodyboarding fans are confused. The IBA World Tour 2014 has been cancelled, but its Facebook page keeps posting insipid messages. The website is a disgrace: two blocks of ads, and a short message with a mistyped word.

The newly-formed Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) promised a revolution in the World Tour but, in the first six months of the year, only the Pipe Pro was run. How can a professional sports circuit survive with events being held with a six-month interval? In the medium term, it will not be impracticable.

Why is the IBA World Tour still posting messages? Why are there two brands doing the same thing? Will there be a change of the guard at the end of the season?

What Alex Leon, Mike Stewart and friends did was great. In other words, pro bodyboarders saved the sport from sudden death. But the truth is that, today, it is not enough. It's time to make or break.

Time to abandon the old IBA World Tour rule book (yes, a champion can still be crowned based on the previous season's results), to get a decent communications plan rolling, to improve the official website, to negotiate valid and feasible contracts with venues.

There's no need to invent the wheel. The Australian Bodyboarding Association (ABA) has put out a fantastic 2014 Pro Tour. A great website, an impeccable event calendar, video and news releases, and a totally professional attitude throughout the season.

A professional world tour must involve the fans, the athletes and ultimately, the industry and the sponsors. In 2014, national bodyboarding competitions across the globe will teach a few lessons on how to get the train moving, even in the most difficult economic scenarios.

It's time to make or break. Otherwise, bodyboarders will end up celebrating the ISA World Bodyboard Championship (WBC) as the most important event of the year.

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