Challenging fears at The Box

March 31, 2011 | Bodyboarding
The Box: not much time to think

Yes it's shallow, yes it's fast and yes it's dangerous. Meet the infamous Box, in the Margaret River, Western Australia, where the best bodyboarders in the world prepare to gather for the second stage of the 2011 IBA Grand Slam Tour.

For the first time, the top 21 riders in the world will be joined by three wildcards and eight trialists and the Australian national ranking from the Rebel Sport Pro Tour will count towards qualifying for the Grand Slam Series, in 2012.

"This event is going to be jaw dropping", says IBA Tour manager, Terry McKenna. "Pipe was a great way to launch the tour but this will be the first event that IBA will showcase the new format so its going to be amazing to watch history in the making".

So, there's only one way to challenge The Box. Go for it. For many years, this wave was considered unrideable. While surfers thought it was impossible to stand up and trim the optimum surf line, bodyboarders decided to give it a go in a right-hand reef where swells come out of deep water on to a short and shallow shelf.

The Box is heavy stuff so the main event wildcards were selected amongst the elite of bodyboarding: Mitch Rawlins (Australia), Spencer Skipper (Hawaii) and WA charger Chad Jackson (Australia), Lewy Finnegan and Davis Blackwell. "The best riders in the world are following this tour and this is what I want to focus on this year after a few years of making movies and chasing big waves", says Mitch Rawlins.

"I love this break", says Jeff Hubbard. "It is the ultimate arena to showcase high performance bodyboarding and I’m pumped", he added.

The event will also be broadcasted live on Fuel TV, in Australia, as well as on the IBA website. The action will begin on April 11th with a three-day trials, at Gas Bay. This event will allow for unlimited riders to compete for the eight prized trials spots in the main event.

With two of the top 24 riders unavailable, this has opened up two additional spots in the main event with Chad Jackson picking up the extra wildcard meaning that there will be eight spots going through from the trials.