Dave Hubbard steals the show at the 2019 Bodyboarding US Festival

November 26, 2019 | Bodyboarding
Dave Hubbard: he both the open men's and open drop-knee divisions at the 2019 Bodyboarding US Festival | Photo: Tony Prince

Dave Hubbard has taken out the inaugural Bodyboarding US Festival, at Ocean Beach, in San Diego, California.

The event gathered around 109 professional and amateur bodyboarders from all over the United States, including Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico, and at least six other countries.

Athletes competed across six divisions: pro open men, pro open women, pro open drop-knee, amateur junior men, amateur junior women, and masters.

There was no shortage of waves during the two-day contest run by APB North America and Bodyboarding US.

Both organizations are working to revive and raise awareness for the sport of bodyboarding in mainland America, and this is their first effort.

It was the first professional bodyboarding competition in nearly a decade in San Diego, California.

A Historic Weekend for the Future of Bodyboarding

And you could say it was a tremendous success. Both Saturday and Sunday saw much-anticipated conditions - sunny skies and three-to-five-foot waves breaking close to the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier.

Anthony Leone, president of APB North America, was pleased with the way the event went down.

"The event as a whole has been really exciting. I've been extremely happy with the conditions and the welcoming atmosphere of Ocean Beach in general, and we're delighted to be able to put this together," said Leone.

Bodyboarding's most famous couple - Jay and Vicki Reale - competed in the event and have both finished runner-up in their respective divisions.

"At least we're consistent! It was an incredible weekend! It is always a pleasure to hang out with our bodyboarding family!" expressed Jay Reale.

Vicki Reale: performing a beautiful bottom-turn at Ocean Beach, San Diego | Photo: Tony Prince

Competition Time

But the standout rider of the 2019 National Bodyboarding Festival was undoubtedly David Hubbard.

The veteran put on a flawless performance in the pounding surf and snatched, not one, but two trophies - the pro open men's and the pro open drop-knee divisions.

Hubbard, an eight-time world champion, was the only rider in the event to receive a Perfect 10, a feat he accomplished in the drop-knee semifinals.

Some of the first-ever professional bodyboarders competed in the masters division (ages 40 and up) in the weekend's festival, including Tony Prince, Scott Evans, and Lani Mucha.

Roger Waller, also one of the pro bodyboarding pioneers, attended, and well-known athletes Brian Press and Reale also competed in masters.

Prince, 61, won the "Old Salt Award" for being the oldest competitor, beating Mucha in seniority by more than six months. And he even found time to take the best pictures of the event.

"I'm totally stoked that the APB North America held this contest here in Ocean Beach," added Prince, a native of San Juan Capistrano, California.

"For pioneers like myself that have been competing since the late 1970s, we had so much fun getting together with people that enjoy the same sport as us and have a love for the ocean."

"So we got a chance to have a reunion of people and see the next generation - and for people my age, the next generation after that - ripping up the waves here in Ocean Beach."

In the pro women's competition, Valentina Diaz took the first place spot.

"I am tremendously grateful and happy to take the champion's title. It was an incredible championship, full of bodyboarding legends and incredible waves. Congratulations to all the up-and-coming competitors," expressed the Chilean rider.

The next Bodyboarding US Festival will run November 21-22, 2020, once again in Ocean Beach.

Nick Borgens: the DK battles were unreal | Photo: Tony Prince

2019 Bodyboarding US Festival | Results

Pro Open Men
1. David Hubbard 15.67
2. Bob Kithcart 12.40
3. Daniel Worley 11.53
4. Marcelo Freitas 9.80

Pro Open Women
1. Valentina Diaz 12.24
2. Vicki Reale 8.37
3. Monica Dell Amore 7.47
4. Danniela Benitez 2.97

Pro Open Drop-Knee
1. David Hubbard 10.37
2. Bud Miyamoto 8.87
3. Nick Borgens 7.10
4. Daniel Worley 4.97

Amateur Junior Men
1. Scotty Plowden 13.07
2. Ethan Ohr 11.60
3. Kai Stern 10.00
4. Micah Land 6.10

Amateur Junior Women
1. Melody Stevens 9.07
2. Katlyn Tuttle 5.10

Masters
1. Andrew Ebert 13.10
2. Jay Reale 8.63
3. David Long 8.60
4. Seikiti Shinmon 5.63

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