It's better than nothing. Bodyboarding US announced the creation of the California Bodyboarding Tour, with three stages locked in for 2021.
Competitive bodyboarding is going through one of the worst phases of its 50-year history.
After the structural revolution that led to the end of the APB Tour era and the establishment of the IBC World Tour age, a pandemic struck the world.
All national, continental and international competitions were suspended and canceled, and professional bodyboarding dove into a period of darkness.
For the first time in decades, there were no world champions crowned in 2020 and 2021, and nearly no events held regularly.
Bodyboarding's gloomy days are not over, but there's a glimpse of hope.
The Good Old BIA Tour
For many years, the Golden State had a lively and highly successful bodyboarding circuit for professional and amateur riders.
The BIA Tour kept the sport alive in California, the spiritual home of the bodyboard.
Bodyboarder International Association (BIA) was an idea of Patti Serrano, the most active woman in bodyboarding history.
The Costa Mesa-born entrepreneur founded Bodyboarder International Magazine (BIM) and BIA after what she calls her "Morey Boogie years," i.e., between 1976-1981.
BIA events had hundreds of competitors, professional judging, and regular media coverage.
In the late 1990s, Serrano sold BIM and BIA.
The BIA Tour continued through the 2000s before eventually fading away and disappearing around 2016.
California Bodyboarding Tour: A New Era?
The newly-formed California Bodyboarding Tour is a seed planted while the United States - and the planet - still struggle to survive a global pandemic.
For 2021, the organization will run three events.
The first contest will take place in Santa Cruz, followed by an event in Imperial Beach and a final stage in Ocean Beach.
The 2021 California Bodyboarding Tour will run six divisions: open men, open women, drop-knee, masters, under 15 boys, and under 15 girls.
The inaugural circuit is supported by the California Bodyboarding Alliance, the NorCal Bodyboarding Association, the Imperial Beach Bodyboard Crew, and San Diego Bodyboarding.
East Coast bodyboarding legend Steve Jackson will be working as an announcer for all three events.
The California Bodyboarding Tour could be a turning point for the future of the sport. Hopefully, it is here to stay.
2021 California Bodyboarding Tour | Schedule
Stage 1: Santa Cruz | October 2
Stage 2: Imperial Beach | October 23
Stage 3: Ocean Beach, San Diego | November 13-14