South Australia's Competitive Revival

South Australia's Competitive Revival

Tuesday 21st of May 2013
We chat to Dylan Beach about his recent win, and the revival of the S.A.B.C.

The South Australian Bodyboard Club was reborn this Saturday past, holding their first successful competition in years at the iconic home of S.A bodyboarding: Knights Beach. Dylan Beach, the man spearheading the club's revival, was also the man to walk away with the victory, riding with style to take down 25 other competitors. We were able to have a chat with Dylan about the state of South Australian bodyboarding, it's exposure in bodyboarding media and his future plans for the S.A.B.C. 

All images / press release courtesy of S.A.B.C

RT - Firstly, congrats on taking out the S.A.B.C comp! It looks like you had one of the biggest fields in years. How did it feel to secure the win?
DB - Thanks! It felt really good, I wasn't really expecting to win. The waves deteriorated and the other guys were all surfing so well throughout the day, I was just lucky to get a few good wedges to give me a good score. But I was stoked regardless. As you said, we had the biggest turn out in recent times for any competition in S.A. We worked pretty hard the last couple of months to get it happening, so to see it all come together and run in good waves, with a bunch of good riders who were all surfing amazing just made my day. Winning definitely did top it off for me though! 

There’s been a fairly lengthy hiatus in South Australian local competition. How did this come about, and for how long has it been dragging on? 
Yeah, there was a lengthy gap between drinks for competitive bodyboarding in S.A. We ran a few comps two years ago with the club but they were pretty unsuccessful. I think the biggest factor was that Surfing S.A had just gone through a big change up, and they wanted to keep things low-key. Because of this, noone could put their hand up and try anything. At the end of last year I got sick of nothing happening, so I worked alongside Onboard Surf shop and Surfing S.A to get a club back and running. The response was huge, with the biggest turn out we've ever had. Everyone was so stoked to have the events going again! We're working on the next event which should be even bigger and better in coming months.


The West Coast of S.A seems to get most of the attention in bodyboarding media, but we would imagine that most of the riders live closer to Adelaide. Where would you say the hub of S.A bodyboarding is?
Yeah, it's crazy to see the west coast getting so much attention. Its definitely where most of the SA guys head to for some good waves. But as you said, the majority of riders live in Adelaide or on the south coast, so Knights is sort of the hub of bodyboarding in S.A. Most of the comps are held there and its pretty consistent and close for everyone to get to.

South Aus has some great riders, but it's not often you see them reach the higher levels of bodyboarding. Why do you think that is? 
I think the biggest problem is that our waves have received a lot of exposure and the pros are pretty much on every swell down here now. So when a magazine gets images of lesser known S.A riders and images of pro riders, the pro rider images will get run 99% of the time. Then, noone wants any similar images because there's been so many run in recent times. We definitely have guys that chase comps though. Marshall Watson, who has finished top 16 on the Aussie tour a couple of times and recently won the national titles is a good example. Often sponsors just don't get to see these guys put in the hard yards and the potential that they have. Also, because there are not as many bodyboarders down here as compared to other states, the level of competitiveness is lower, compared to N.S.W and QLD. Without that, you don't have as much drive to push yourself to the next level. 

Where do you hope to see the S.A.B.C in five years time? 
My main objective behind the S.A.B.C is to provide well run events, giving the guys down here a channel to experience competitions and help them progress. In 5 years time, I would love to see the club with a strong and supportive membership base - I think that's my number one goal. One of the aims for the club is also to help out the guys that want to progress to the next level. I would love it to be strong enough to help those guys get to events, attract sponsorships and get the best bodyboarders down here to surf in events like we had previously with the Knights Beach Pro. Hopefully it can be done!

mash roll

The boys at S.A.B.C also chucked out a press release about the event - check it out below. 

The biggest field of competitors in recent history gathered at Knights Beach on Saturday 18th of May for the first round of the SABC, and were greeted with groomed 2-3 foot wedges rebounding off the famous rocks.

The scene was set for a perfect day of bodyboarding as the 26 strong competitors hit the water for round 1. The early rounds demonstrated why South Australian bodyboarding has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, with standouts Jasper Ashmoore, Matt Henwood, Dylan Beach and Alistair Corston all surfing with style and power to progress through.

The mix of experienced bodyboarders and younger up-and-comers were also great to see in round 1.Young Ben Rayner and Charlie Mason showed that they have the skills to turn a few heads, demonstrated perfectly through Mason’s impressive deep barrel to perfectly executed roll out into the flats. A highlight of round 1, and contender for wave of the day.

The next round gave the guys who were unlucky in round 1 a second chance to progress through to the quarter finals. Open Men’s National Champion, Marshall Watson was surprisingly in this round, but demonstrated why he is a force, boosting one of the biggest moves of the day off a solid wedge. This earned him the wave of the day and a spot in the Quarter finals. Other standouts include Victorian expat Michael Fields, who drew clean lines and linked maneuvers that impressed judges and spectators. A special metion must go to Mitch Wildman, who has improved out of sight making it into the Quarter Finals, and Andrew Manners, a surfer turned bodyboard enthusiast who competed in his first bodyboard contest and impressed everyone.

set up

With stacked quarter final and semi final heats, experience shone through with Jack Thomas, Dylan Beach, Alistair Corston, and Matt Henwood all adapting to the conditions and ensuring they cemented their spot in the final.

As conditions slowly deteriorated, the final competitors hit the water to make the most of them. Starting strong, Thomas landed a strong roll off a good sized wedge to state his claim in the final. Corston kept himself busy, taking off on any opportunity and managing to link some scores together to get out of the blocks. 

Beach managed to gather momentum with a carving reverse, linking it to a strong roll to start his heat off. It appeared to give him some confidence as he caught a nice looking wedge, flipping off the bowl and giving him a high score to build upon. At this point it seemed as though Thomas and Beach were battling it out until the final horn was heard. 

At the end of the day Dylan Beach secured the victory, closely followed by Jack Thomas, Matt Henwood and Alistair Corston.