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December 15, 2015 2 min read

Bodysurfers Defy Chills - This Day in 1991, An Article by the Los Angeles Times

24 years ago today body surfing was still cool (and continues to be cool today). How do we know this? Slyde came across a series of old Los Angeles Times articles written about the love of our sport and the movers and shakers of the sports time. These articles left us with a sense of nostalgia for golden days, secrets and scandals from an older generation, and questions left unanswered.

Body surfers Defy Chills

On December 15, 1991 the Los Angeles times released an article about “Bodysurfers Defy Chill to Compete in Contest,” with quotes and information from legend/ long time lifeguard  Bob Burnside and other lesser known competitors. The article was mostly based on the fact that Bob Burnside is not only over the age of 55, a killer body surfer, and not afraid of a little cold water. Burnside describes the sport, "It's as close as you can get to being like a fish, You're emulating a seal or a dolphin." We later hear from other competitors ranging from all ages and genders and their views on the sport, one even claiming it to be that it’s for the more mature and self disciplined. We agree, obviously.  


Shocking We know !

Our questions are then further looked into in an article that is published almost a year and half later by the same Los Angeles Times. Where Burnside appears again with more; telling us of his secrets. One of them being he actually cheated in earlier competitions. How'd he do it? A mermaid. SHOCKING WE KNOW! He follows up his scandal with a statement, "I have a little mermaid out there that guides me around. She tells me where to go and when to go. Without her, I'd be a little minnow in a pool of sharks." A pool of bodysurfing sharks that is…

Is that Mark Cunningham or are you just happy to see me?

Later in the article what we can only assume is quite possibly Mark Cunningham's long lost twin Mike Cunningham comes into the picture. He  is mentioned not only in the article but then is further linked in yet another articlewritten by the Los Angeles Times, this time three years earlier than the first. This so called lost brother can only be confirmed by the last name and an obvious shared surf skills that runs through their blood, they have both won many a competition. Although no information can be found further on said lost brother, nor confirmed.

Just keep the Stoke flowing 

Essentially what we can take from these is that really what our newer generation of groms needs to keep the stoke and surf going is a mermaid and dna that may or may not be linked to mark cunningham- and an article in the Los Angeles Times to go down in bodysurfing history! Where you get any of those is still to be answered?


Adam Whitten
Adam Whitten

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See the Stoke

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Hand slyde

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