In 1971, inventor and surfer Tom Morey created the first bodyboard.
Now 50 years later, the UK Bodyboarding Association (UKBA) is revitalizing the sport and moving it forward in the British islands.
The UKBA is a non-profit, unincorporated association established to serve the British bodyboarding community through nurturing, developing, and bringing professionalism to the sport within the country.
The UKBA committee is all volunteers who fund their own membership costs and do not receive any financial remuneration for their work.
Each committee member shares the same passion for bodyboarding and the desire for it to be bigger, better, and stronger.
Born out of the simple desire to see the sport of bodyboarding grow across the UK, the UKBA made itself known to the wider community in December 2020 via social media channels and a single page
The proceeding months saw the initial team grow from three to 11 bodyboarders, all serving a variety of roles on the committee.
Affiliation and Competition
The UK has not seen a competitive bodyboarding circuit since 2013, and the sport is currently adrift without cohesive organization on a national level.
The UKBA will run UK Nationals Championships in Autumn 2021, with a look at creating a full nationwide tour encompassing England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland UK by 2023.
These events will feature open men's, open women's, junior, masters, development, and drop-knee divisions.
"Fundamentally, the UKBA is an open, accessible, and democratic organization and as such welcomes collaboration and input from any and all UK bodyboarders, groups and clubs," the official statement reads.
"The UKBA exists to help and support those who want to create clubs or run contests in their local area or region. It is an organization built from the ground up by bodyboarders, for bodyboarders."
As an affiliate partner with Surfing England, the UKBA promises to offer its members a unique, dynamic, and varied set of benefits for a small yearly fee.
Whilst primarily aligned with Surfing England, the UKBA is actively working on relationships with the Scottish Surfing Federation, Welsh Surfing Federation, Channel Islands Surfing Federation, and Irish Surfing.
UKBA has been officially recognized by the International Bodyboarding Corporation (IBC) as its UK partner with plans currently underway to host an IBC-sanctioned World Tour event in the near future.
"Not only will a World Tour event showcase UK bodyboarding and its waves to the world, but more importantly, it will provide an opportunity for our riders to test themselves against the world's best," adds the UKBA.
"Consequently, this will drive support of local business, both bodyboarding and tourism-related."
The UKBA knows that bodyboarding can serve as a positive and transformational force across the UK.
Thus, it recognizes the importance of development pathways for the community, not just the act of bodyboarding itself but the technical aspects of the sport, too, such as judging.
"The UKBA embraces the spirit of all equalities legislation and is committed to providing an open, welcoming, and non-discriminatory space for all bodyboarders," continues the UKBA.
"The UKBA will also provide a committee platform for bodyboarders from all four nations of the UK to share their input, suggestions
Bodyboarding is one of the most easily accessible of all the wave riding disciplines and brings untold joy to millions worldwide.
The UKBA wants to spread this positivity across the nation.
"The UK can become a major force in the world of bodyboarding, and the UKBA is here to create a lasting legacy for future generations of British bodyboarders to take up the sport," concludes the organization.