Professional competitive bodyboarding is paddling through choppy waters, as a new group of event promoters decided to run a new world tour.
Danny Hernandez, one of the organizers behind the Frontón King, announced the creation of the International Bodyboarding Corporation (IBC).
The new sports body was launched during the live webcast of the 2020 Lurin Pro, held in Peru.
How? In an unorthodox way. Suddenly, while viewers were watching the show on their computer screens, the APB logo was replaced by the IBC insignia.
So, what is the International Bodyboarding Corporation?
According to Hernandez, it is a non-profit organization that will run the 2020 world bodyboarding tour and, in the social networks, it is being presented as the IBC Tour.
But does the IBC have any relation with the APB, or is it a "rebel tour"?
Terry McKenna, the man who served both the IBA and APB World Tours, revealed that things are not looking good.
"The APB is going through a transition period with the previous management handing the reigns for the world tour to the group of promoters to manage," McKenna told SurferToday.
"Unfortunately, the transition has not gone as smoothly as we would have liked."
"Mike Stewart, Jeff Hubbard, Ben Player and most of the world's best riders, including Joana Schenker who is representing the women, have been negotiating for some time now with the new management team led by Arturo Soto."
"We built the APB for the riders - it's their association, and they own the assets, so when the new group of promoters decided in all their wisdom to change the name of the association, it was a shock to everyone."
"The last thing this sport needs is another name change from the governing body."
"My Time Is Coming to an End"
Danny Hernandez and the IBC have already underlined that "the APB will become a riders' union." So, there are clouds ahead.
"There has also been a power struggle regarding the ownership of the assets. So, it's not the greatest outcome at the moment, but we are hopeful that things will come together in the future," notes Terry McKenna.
Terry McKenna is, apparently, tired of all the turmoil.
And he might be calling it quits soon, after years and years of dedication to the bodyboarding world.
"I'm not exactly sure if I will be involved in any capacity apart from running the Kiama contest in 2020," adds the former APB operations manager.
"I have had a wonderful experience being involved with this sport, lots of challenges, and it made me think outside the box many times."
"But I think that my time is coming to an end, and I'm not sure if the new promoters will even use me this year in any capacity."
"Either way, thanks to everyone out there who I met along the way and to all the fans of the APB who made our first five years so incredible."
"Let's see what the future holds."
The year 2020 kicked off with an event sanctioned by the IBC (Lurin Pro) but will also see an event running under the APB logo (Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational).
The future of professional bodyboarding is at stake.
Hopefully, the sport won't need to go through the same problems that nearly killed kiteboarding in the recent past.