Mike Stewart: defying Shark Island with his unique surf line

The Shark Island Challenge is a brand. If you've never surfed the infamous Cronulla bodyboard spot near Sydney, Australia, you've never tasted some of the world's toughest wave conditions.

The event is back again. The 2012 NMD Shark Island Challenge, a major bodyboarding specialty event on the IBA calendar, has two waiting periods seeking the optimal one-day swell in either period.

The first waiting period is from 24th April–14th May, when we then break for the South American leg of the IBA World Tour, and the 2nd waiting period is from 20th June–28th July.

The 18 competitors invited, plus two successful trialists, will follow 2011’s event format of one day of competition.

Ryan Hardy from WA, who won the event in 2005, will be on hand to showcase his talent, as will Ben Player, the two-time world champion and two-time Shark Island champion.

Andrew Lester, Mitch Rawlins, Jeff Hubbard, and Mike Stewart are some of the names on the invitee list.

If you fear Shark Island, do not ride this wave. The perfect Shark Island barrel demands you wait on the outside peak. The wave shapes up in the form of a pushy 5ft bowl.

The take-off might be easy, but the secret lies in what lies ahead. That perfect 5ft bowl all of a sudden starts to evolve into a solid 6-8ft towering wedge of death.

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