Tamega and Wingnut: the bodyboard fraternity

"Holding On" is the first ever feature length bodyboarding documentary about the Skid Kids.

The Skid Kids were a group of friends from Cronulla, Australia, who fought the early bodyboarding discrimination with a rad lifestyle and a profound passion for the sport.

In the late 80s, early 90s, three friends Dave Ballard, Matt Percy and Nathan "Nugget" Purcell started riding the notoriously dangerous waves of Cronulla on boogie boards.

With their rebellious attitudes, tough family lives and lack of financial support, they were labelled by the media as the Skid Kids, a label that would also eventually be applied to Adam "Wingnut" Smith, Mark Fordham and Christian "Rissole" Rigucinni.

"Holding On" - directed by Simon Bruncke, Trent Beattie and Chad Waldron - tells their story, but it also documents the evolution of bodyboarding from when surfers and surfing dominated the world's crowdest line-ups.

Skid Kids: young, rebels and bodyboarders

The Skid Kids were the first to ride Shark Island, a wave previously deemed unrideable. With time, they started gaining the respect they deserved from classic board riders while inadvertently spearheading the monumental rise in bodyboarding's global appeal and popularity.

"They were definitely doing their own thing, and how they wanted to do it. And there's something pure in that. They embodied that spirit of freedom, and they weren't afraid of the ramifications of what they did," underlines nine-time world bodyboarding champion Mike Stewart.

The Skid Kids were rebels with a cause: bodyboarding. They went on a rollercoaster ride of parties, big waves, competition successes, lucrative sponsorships and exotic overseas photo shoots and boycotts. They just completed their mission.

"Holding On - The Skid Kids Story" features over 30 interviews with Mike Stewart, Guilherme Tamega, Jeff Hubbard, Ben Player, Damian King, Chaz McCall, Chris Stroh, Derek Reilly and more. The film will premiere in November 2015.

How is it that the entertainment machines, filmmakers, creatives, authors, and artists, which have churned out thousands upon thousands of stories, in seemingly every genre, topic and medium imaginable hasn't yet given wakeboarding a story? No movie? No book? No graphic novel?

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