If you need more proof that age is no barrier, look no further than Mike Stewart.
At 52 years young, the nine-time world champion has taken down some of the best bodyboarders in Hawaii to win the Pro Men’s division at the IBA Hawaii Big Island Challenge at the weekend.
Held in superb 4-6 foot glassy conditions, Stewart was on fire for the third stop of the IBA Hawaii Tour, winning every heat on his way to the final.
The Hawaiian bodyboarding legend won the final with 16.5 points ahead of David Phillips (13.56 points), Sammy Morretino (11.84 points) and Mack Crilley (7.5 points) in fourth.
“I was very selective,” Stewart said after his victory.
“I also really applied myself on every wave I caught even if it didn’t end up being a great wave.
“The fact that most of the waves were hollow I think played to my advantage as I was able to do combinations of moves in and around the tube, something I have quite a bit of practice at.”
It is not the first time Stewart has shocked many to beat some of the best bodyboarders, after winning the Arica Chilean Challenge IBA World Tour event back in 2009.
Stewart has also been an organizer for the four event series that challenges Hawaii’s bodyboarders.
“The idea of this tour is to present a forum for bodyboarders of all disciplines to come together and exchange ideas and challenge each other’s skills,” he said.
“I want to push the level of riders to be the best they can be. Competition can teach you how to improve your strengths and shed light on your weaknesses and ideally how to be composed and mindful under pressure. These are useful life lessons.”
Meanwhile in the Junior division, it was Kauai’s Tanner McDaniel who fought off strong competition to steal the win over rival and tour leader Kawika Kamai.
The next Hawaii tour competition is on Oahu on the west side, December 18, the weekend before Christmas. That event will decide the 2015 overall Kellogg’s IBA Hawaii Tour Champions.
Gallery – All photos by Mike Cerrone
MIKE STEWART 16.5 1st
DAVID PHILLIPS 13.56 2nd
SAMMY MORRETINO 11.84 3rd
MACK CRILLEY 7.5 4th
TANNER MCDANIEL 17.07 1st
KAWIKA KAMAI 16.33 2nd
PEYTON ODA 12.73 3rd
BRYCE HOLLIS 8.67 4th
SAMMY MORRETINO 16.5 1st
COLE HANSEN 14.6 2nd
DAYTON WAGO 14.13 3rd
KALEO HUDDY 13.26 4th
DAVID KELLY 15.74 1st
JIMMY HUTAFF 15.33 2nd
BEN SEVERSON 13.33 3rd
KEITH SASAKI 11.77 4th
PAT CALDWELL 10 5th
HARVEST BURNS 6.17 6th
SAMMY MORRETINO 14.67 1st
ROB KEYSER 8.16 2nd
MACK CRILLEY 7.34 3rd
LANDON GASPAR 6.84 4th
DAYNARA TABIL 12.5 1st
MAHINA GERRITY 5.5 2nd
TIFFANY YAMAGUCHI 3.43 3rd