After sitting down for conversations with the top-ranked teams of Brazil, Chile, and France at the Iquique Para Todos 2015 ISA World Bodyboard Championship, I decided to take a look at the other side of the competitive spectrum.
Just like the Olympics themselves, for every powerhouse contender you will find a team in attendance that is just happy to be present and represent their country as best as possible. In that regard, the WBC is no different. Some countries are unable to field a full team. In some cases, a country is represented by only one person. In 2015, this is the case for Team Italy.
Davide Dante is from Ostia Lido, just south of Rome. At age 30, he has been bodyboarding for fourteen years. His home break of Punta Ovest is a beachbreak with multiple left and right peaks and, on the good days, some fun barrels.
I caught up with Davide in the competitor’s area at Punta 1 following the conclusion of competition on day four. Unfortunately, Danti was eliminated from competition two days prior and, as a result, Italy was the first nation eliminated from the field of competition. Despite this fact, Davide has been at the contest ever day watching the heats.
Davide and I pull up a couple of chairs and jump into our conversation. He talks about how the bodyboarding in Italy is a relatively small group and that the wave riding community is roughly 95% surfing. He went on to explain, “I wanted to represent Italy because we do have a bodyboarding community and I want people to see that.” He continues, mentioning that he is enjoying his opportunity to travel and explore Chile. I ask him, “What have you been doing with your time in Iquique?” He talks about doing some sight-seeing, but explains, “Every day, I’ve kept training and watching the competition. I can personally attest to this.
The day before, after the contest ended for the day, we ended up bodyboarding together at Punta 1. We both get a good laugh about the crowded line-up. We discuss the competition itself, and what he will take away from this experience. “Surfing with some of the best guys in bodyboarding has given me motivation.”