Pierre-Louis Costes: he found the barrel in El Flopos | Photo: Jimenez/APB

The 2018 Arica Bodyboard Cultura kicked off at El Flopos, in Chile.

Perfect six-foot barrels greeted riders on the first day of competition. The main event is on, and the world's best bodyboarders debuted the new heat format.

Alex Uranga suffered a massive rib injury and had to be removed out of the water directly into the hospital. Iain Campbel also injured himself and ended up with five stitches on the head.

"Thank you for all the messages and calls. I am okay and will keep competing tomorrow. I wasn't the only casualty today. All the best to Alex Uranga on his recovery," said Campbell.

"El Flopos left me completely in shock after hitting the rocks. I wasn't expecting this, but after a check-up in the hospital, everything is okay. Let's see if I can get back to the water," added Uranga.

The wave at Ex-Isla Alacrán is fast and furious and required speedy rides down the line from the athletes. Campbell and Trials winner Yoshua Toledo secured two excellent scores with a few near-perfect air reverses and flips.

Dudu Pedra locked in the highest score of Round 1 - a 9.25-point wave - followed with by Amaury Lavernhe with an 8.50 wave.

With the new Grand Slam Series (GSS) competition format, all 32 riders will surf three four-man heats over three rounds, and they are forced to take the risk in each wave.

Each bodyboarder will need to aim for three high scores over three rounds. At the end of Round 3, the top-scoring 16 riders enter Round 4, a man-on-man elimination series.

The same man-on-man clashes continue until a champion is crowned.

2018 Arica Bodyboard Cultura | Top Three-Wave Scores, Round 1

1. Iain Campbell (RSA), 21.25
2. Yoshua Toledo (CHI), 21.00
3. Amaury Lavernhe (REU), 20.60
4. Pierre Louis Costes (FRA), 19.90
5. Kevin Torres (CHI), 19.75

Brad Spencer, Annissa Flynn, and Daniel Tarapchak have taken out the 2018 World Flowboarding Championships, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

+ Surfing News