Bodyboarding: the future is bright

Gregg Taylor has embraced a very important challenge for world bodyboarding. The entrepreneur and passionate rider is the new man behind the new IBA Pty Ltd, the company that will take the bodyboarding tour to a whole new level. had the exclusive opportunity to exchange a few ideas with Gregg Taylor.

This is the first part of the interview with the new leader of the International Bodyboarding Association.

1. Why did you decide to embrace the new IBA challenge?

First and foremost I am a passionate bodyboarder who has been riding for over 20 years. Like many involved in the sport, I have watched with frustration as the sport struggled to reach its full potential.

I am motivated to make a lasting difference in the sport which is my passion. Four years back I took a more active role in the Bodyboard Industry, via a role with a global Bodyboard brand (Turbo Surf Designs).

Through our sponsorship of IBA World Tour events such as Pipeline (Hawaii), I experienced firsthand how the events and the tour were managed.

It was clear that while the existing organization had some very talented and passionate people, they lacked funding and were stuck in a vicious cycle of fighting for financial survival.

This lead to short-term decisions that had to be made but ultimately were limiting the growth potential of the sport.

I was in the fortunate situation to have 15 years of experience in global business and felt with my industry knowledge, contacts, and prior experience, I was as well paced as anyone to make a positive change.

2. What is going to change in the IBA World?

2011 will see a significant change to the IBA Professional World Tour on every level. The World tour will be split into the Grand Slam Series (GSS) and the Global Qualifying Series (GQS).

The GSS will feature the top 24 ranked professional riders in the world, who will be joined by 2 wildcards and 6 riders from a GQS event to form a field of 32 competitors for each Grand Slam event.

The GQS will be open entry and will follow the GSS to most locations along with having its own set of locations. The number of GQS events will be greater though ultimately the top 8 riders from the GQS will qualify for the following year's GSS.

The GSS will feature 8 events at the premium wave locations around the world and will feature an exciting new format.

The new format will see the field of 32 compete in 3 rounds of competition prior to the first stage of elimination. The waiting period and the number of contestable days have been increased.

The result being, the best riders in the world competing in the most technical waves in the world.

A professional full-scale media production team has been appointed to follow the IBA World Tour to catch all the action.

This will see a high-quality live webcast produced with each event, along with daily event highlights. An eight (8) part documentary will also be produced featuring each of the events, their locations, and the athletes.

We are also fortunate to have contracted the services of Steve Robertson as the Media Manager, to ensure this quality content is made available to the media worldwide.

There will also be a renewed focus for the Women’s World Tour and the Drop Knee World tour, which both play a key role in the sport of Bodyboarding.

3. How far can bodyboarding go in the next years?

This is the question everyone is asking and I have my own strong views, though ultimately it will be a challenge for the IBA to prove up bodyboarding’s potential.

We have a number of factors playing in our favor, the key one being that the IBA World Tour is unified and the IBA controls each of the events and the rights attached to them.

This has significant benefits and appeals to corporate and media partners.

Read the second part of the interview with Gregg Taylor.

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