Bodysurfing in Pipeline: how would it be to wipeout?

The holding period for the 37th annual Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic presented by Patagonia, Viper Fins & CTS Foundation, on the North Shore of Oahu, will begin February 16th , 2010 and will run through February 26th , 2010.

This half day event will be held when the conditions at Pipeline are the best available during the holding period (based on swell and wind direction as well as size). The preferred conditions for this event will be 6 to 8 foot (12' to 15' faces) West to North West Swell with favorable off shore winds.

Each year, for one day watermen (past entrants have included Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Tom Curren and Donavan Frankenreiter) from around the world come together and participate in a homegrown event in Hawa'ii involving Bodysurfing.

Bodysurfing, called he'e umauma or kaha nalu in Hawaiian, was first enjoyed by ancient Hawaiians at the break called "Pipeline" today. It is believed that bodysurfing at Pipeline was first inspired by the dolphins seen there, long before the invention of the surfboard.

While boardsurfing has evolved into a visible and highly competitive sport, the main draw to bodysurfing is still as it ever was - the intimate relationship between the ocean and the rider in what is considered by many as the "purest form of waveriding."

The Current champion Mike Stewart (Hawaii) will be defending his 2008 title against a field of seasoned waterman including Steve Kapela, Frederic David, Mark Cunningham and Keith Malloy at the Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic (due to permit conflicts, there was no 2007 or 2009 event).

Competitors must swim without the use of any type of board into extremely challenging at the world-class break known as Pipeline.

Pipeline is world-famous for its fast and powerful breaking waves over a shallow reef. Just as Everest is the gauge of all mountains for mountaineers, Pipeline is the ultimate test for wave-riders from all over the world, rewarding the best with waves of aesthetic perfection.

Thirty of the world's most dedicated bodysurfers will be on-call during the 11 day holding period. Depending on conditions, the competitors will have a one to two day window to compete at Pipeline without any surfboards. At the end of the competition, the top six bodysurfers will compete in an intense final push to determine the new champion.

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