Gallery 1 by Ken Pagliaro
Check out more of Ken’s work at his website.
Gallery 2 by Swell Lines Mag
Check out more of Ken’s work at his website.
On March 28, 2017 Pipeline was taken over by some of the best bodysurfers on the planet for the North Shore Lifeguard Association’s annual bodysurfing contest. The NSLA carried on the 40+ year tradition of holding a Pipeline bodysurfing contest for the original surfing tribe. Due to the late-season holding period, the surf isn’t always classic pipe conditions, but this year contestants took advantage of a beautiful day and overhead swell. Mike Stewart was able to take down another title in the talented field. Three very talented photographers provided us with a comprehensive gallery of stoke. Please contact them for prints and enjoy.
Oceanside Pier- Saturday Aug. 20th 6am:
Local buoys read 6ft. at 16 seconds from the SSW. The beach on both sides of the Pier quickly filled with tents and bodysurf fins as an international contingent prepared to kickoff the 40th Annual World Bodysurfing Championships.
Competitors ranged from 12 to 75 years old and from California, New York, Hawaii, Brazil, Australia, France and Britain. They discussed strategies and the inevitable, dreaded current. Solid south swells tend to create strong longshore currents at open beachbreaks like Oceanside. The contest weekend certainly had plenty. Competitors on the south side started their heats 200-400 yards down the beach, expecting the strong drift. Some heats saw numerous competitors wash through the Pier. But the surf remained good to very good throughout the entire weekend.
With Team Kaha Nalu Hawaii making the trip, the unexpected appearance of Mike Stewart, first time contestants from around the world and California’s best…the overall level of bodysurfing was extraordinarily high at the 2016 WBC.
On Saturday night, Swell Lines hosted an event at the nearby Spring Hill Marriott. Tim Burnham screened his fantastic documentary “Dirty Old Wedge” to the delight of the crowd. They laughed, gasped, cried and sat on the edge of their seats. We also planned to honor Viper Surf Fin inventor, Fred Simpson, for his contributions to bodysurfing and the World Bodysurfing Contest.
After the movie, we called a panel of seminal bodysurf figures to the front for a question and answer session. Including Fred Simpson, Mark Cunningham, Mike Stewart, Tim Burnham, JT Nickelson, and Teddy Bandaruk. For us here at Swell Lines Inc, the opportunity to bring Fred, Mark, Mike and an international crew of bodysurfers together to celebrate bodysurfing and the Ocean was a dream come true.
Somebody asked Mark about bodysurfing Teahupoo. “Eh there’s just too much water moving for it to be a great bodysurfing wave.” Mike sharply interrupted, “It’s a perfect bodysurf wave. So much potential.” We all see the Ocean a but different, but certainly Mike’s perspective is especially unique.
Next, Scott Hubbell honored Fred for his years of dedication to the WBC with a beautiful ceramic bowl lined with breaking waves. Tim Burnham gave Fred a one of kind, gold plated Viper Fin plaque. Then an older gentleman rushed to the stage, took the microphone in an impromptu moment of honor. He introduced himself as a friend and former coworker of Fred’s at Xerox. He told the story of Fred’s revolutionary Wedge bodysurfing style. Apparently, in the late 60’s, Fred was rushing through the Xerox offices, slipped on the floor, his necktie then caught in a filing cabinet, one of his hands reached out to break his fall and his other hand formed the now classic chicken wing from his hip. “The Fred” was born.
Men’s Age Group Winners:
12-14 Alexander Makshanoff
15-17 Dylan Biggerstaff
18-24 Cole Margo
25-34 Alexander Vicente
35-44 Matt Solomon
45-54 Mike Stewart
55-64 Mark Cunningham
65+ Jim Isaac
Women’s Age Group Winners:
12-17 Lauren Padilla
18-29 Makena Magro
30-44 Scotti Shafer
45+ Briguette Wiedemeyer
Men’s Grand Champion
Women’s Grand Champion
Team Champion (7th straight)
*Special thanks to Tim Cassinelli, Scott Hubbell and their crews for an excellent contest!
Not sure who it is, this guy caught this one wave all the way to the Beach Park. Shot at Pipeline. Sure he was stoked.
Larry Russo is a legend. He’s always smiling. Larry pulled out this cap from his car he said it was Team Hawaii bodysurfing hat back in 97. He was stoked that day, we scored good Pipeline.
I shot this photo of Todd at Pipe on a crazy day. Only a few people were out there. The conditions were dangerous, strong currents and everyone was getting sucked over to Off the Wall. We saw this set coming and I remember yelling at Todd “Gooooo!” That was an easy 8ft Pipeline set. After this wave, Todd came over to me and told me that he ate shit mid-wave and had the best, worst beating of his life and took the next 2 waves on the head. Pipeline is no joke.
Todd is one of the elite watermen. He’s always out at huge Pipe and Rockpiles. I have always looked up to him. I do beach workouts with him every Friday, that guy has so much endurance and he’s a world-class swimmer. I shot this photo after he got second at the lifeguard bodysurf contest. He’s very comfortable in the ocean.
Point Panics is my favorite wave on the South Shore. I try to go bodysurf more during the summer. That’s Kaleo dropping into a fun one from the outside, he knows that wave like the back of his hand. Make sure you don’t drop in on him and bring no surfboards when you come down to Point Panics.
Kaleo is a wave magnet. This guy is all about bodysurfing and good times. I love taking pictures of him. Kaleo always makes sure the boys get enough waves and let you catch some waves all the time. Uncle takes care. I shot this after we had a fun session at Pipeline. There was about 50 people in the water that day. We got out of the water and I shot this photo of him. Shot this on black and white film.
Point Panics. This was shot on the biggest swell of the year at Point Panics last year, not sure who he is.
This was late season this past winter. I saw Uncle Mark bodysurfing Gas Chambers and riding all the way to Pipe. I saw him get out of the water and asked him about his session. He was stoked. There wasn’t many people in the water that day and snapped a few photos of him.
When Pipe is super crowded Pupukea sandbar is perfect with only a few people, it’s a really fun wave.
On April 22, 2016 the Wedge documentary, Dirty Old Wedge, premiered to a sold out theater in Costa Mesa, California. Director, Tim Burnham chose to premiere his debuting film effort within the Newport Beach Film Festival. The local surfing community embraced the move as the NBFF added several more showings, all of which were consequently sold out. After the movie ended to wild ovation the crew gathered outside before heading over to a local gallery for food, drinks and a rolling slideshow by Ron Romanosky.