For better or worse, 2015 was a hell of a year in bodyboarding.
Throughout the year we witnessed some of the most amazing feats ever performed on 42-odd-inches of foam.
So we decided to let the mouse clicks do the talking and crunched the google analytics numbers to find out what were the most popular pages on our website for the year, whether it be a news article, interview or video.
Here are the results…
Sunshine Coast’s Michael Novy is not one to shy away from a challenge – even if it could potentially leave him with severe injuries, or worse. When the gallery of professional surfers, bodyboarders and photographers signalled for him to pull off the back of this mammoth wave at The Right – fearing that it was a closeout – Novy instead did the one thing that came naturally to him and charged it. The result: one of the most amazing waves ever ridden at The Right, and what Novy himself describes as the best wave of his career. See the footage here!
Nick Gornall’s action-packed look back on 2014 was one of the best videos of the year despite coming out way back in January! Watch Gornz attack waves in South Coast, Brazil, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Tahiti and South Australia with reckless abandon. Despite some impressive clips coming out later in the year (including an epic tow-assisted 720 reverse) this film by James Kates (aka Jimbo Slice) was hands down the Gold Coaster’s most popular video of 2015. Watch it again here!
After releasing the hugely successful “Teenage Years” in late 2014, many would forgive Lewy Finnegan for having a less popular follow up clip in 2015. But the WA shredder went above and beyond in his 2015 highlight reel, showing off some of the biggest and heaviest barrels ever ridden on a bodyboard. The clip went viral across bodyboarding, standup surfing, and mainstream media as well as catching the eye of bodyboarding’s newest fan Kelly Slater, who had this to say about the clip: “Boogers charge. And find better waves. Shit.” If that hasn’t made you click the play button on this clip then nothing will. Watch here.
Regarded as “the godfather of bodyboarding,” anyone that has ever picked up a bodyboard and slid inside a barrel knows of the legendary Hawaiian waterman. And anyone worth their salt knows that when Mike talks; you listen. So we asked Mr Stewart to give us the five most important waves of his illustrious bodyboarding career, and you guys lapped it up. Just another piece to the puzzle inside the mind of bodyboarding’s greatest athlete. Find out his choices here.
Brazilian big wave bodyboarding specialist Kalani Lattanzi paddled his way into history back in May during a ginormous swell that rolled into the Mexican surfing mecca of Puerto Escondido. As the only bodyboarder in the lineup, and joined by legendary big wave surfer’s like Mark Healy, Kalani paddled into what was arguably the biggest wave ever paddled on boogie. He lost a fin and broke his leash in the ordeal, but still managed to walk away with his life and a whole lot of media attention. We can only wonder what is next for the former Latin American bodyboard champion. Read our interview with Kalani here.
J-Rom has a serious love for boosting and flipping on the boogie. So when this photo surfaced of the flying Hawaiian alley-ooping over a standup surfer during a session at Honolua Bay, we had to share it. Photographer Charles Huard was standing on the cliffs to capture the action. “No “blackballs” in Hawaii, you either learn to play nice or go home, My friend Tex getting snaked by a mat guy, then getting the Alley Oop treatment, I could hear them both laughing there [sic] asses off after this wave. Honolua Bay.” See the full sequence here.
Shark mania was in full effect around Australia and the world after a seemingly endless torrent of reports of attacks on bodyboarders and surfers. The most famous of these attacks/encounters was when professional surfer Mick Fanning came dangerously close to a large Great White on live television during the final of the J-Bay Open in South Africa. The story went global, with just about everybody in the world hearing the news. As a result, Fanning was paid $75,000 to appear on 60 minutes and describe the ordeal. But rather than pocketing the money, Fanning selflessly donated it to Ballina bodyboarder Matt Lee, who suffered major damage to his legs in an attack earlier in the month. The money was used to go towards Lee’s expensive surgery costs. Read the story here.
When the “swell of the decade” marched its way up Australia’s West Coast, there was only one place that the world’s top big wave surfers wanted to be: The Right. And while the sessions that ensued made way for some of the biggest, heaviest and downright scariest waves ever witnessed in surfing history, there was one wipeout that left many shaking their head in disbelief. We’re not sure if Damien Martin has ever been inside a tornado or had a ton of bricks fall on him, but this wave at The Right would probably be a similar experience. And what is more shocking, Damo paddled away from the thing unscathed. Hats off to you brother! See the amazing footage here.
When bodyboarder Jorge Tirando grabbed his GoPro, his 9-month-old son, and went out to get a barrel, little did he know that his footage would be seen around the world. We like to claim that our magazine was the first to expose this clip, which has subsequently been subject to news reports, morning shows and hot debate all around the globe. The clip has 2.1 million views on its Vimeo page alone, that is not taking in the other news sites and re-uploads. Tirando’s baby barrel may go down as the most viewed bodyboard clip in history. And with good reason, just look at the little shredder’s face when he gets in the barrel!
When looking back at the dramatic footage caught by Hawaiian filmer Matt Castiglione, one cannot help but wonder just what might have happened to pro surfer Evan Geiselman if Andre Botha was not in the right place and the right time. The footage has been viewed millions of times, with many surfers, lifeguards and average punters agreeing that Andre’s almost superhuman effort to hold Evan’s water-filled body above the water during wild Pipeline conditions were key in saving the Florida native’s life. The footage, released first by Riptide, attracted nearly 60,000 page visits alone. And that is not including the follow up articles including the initial report, an interview with Andre, and Andre and Evan meeting for the first time. All up this story brought in more than 120,000 visits to the Riptide website and was clearly the biggest news story in bodyboarding for 2015. We are just glad that what could have been such a tragic event, finished with such a positive ending. All hail Andre!