Bodysurfer vs. Bodyboarder vs. Surfer vs. SUPs

by steve watts March 28, 2013

King of Pipe Competition

Who will win the coveted King of Pipe? Bodysurfers, Surfers, Bodyboarders or SUPs?

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Pipe Challenge, the IBA (International Bodyboard Association) added a spicy new competition to the event lineup: the “King of Pipe.” The “King of Pipe” was the 1st event of its kind to feature a variety of wave-riding crafts and riders. 

The line up included: 

  • Bodysurfer:              Mark Cunningham
  • Stand Up Paddlers:     Kainoa McGee and Kala Alexander
  • Bodyboarders:         Mike Stewart and Jeff Hubbard
  • Surfers:                    Jamie O’Brien and Bruce Irons 

On March 1st, 2013, a windy day at North Shore, seven guys paddled out into 8-10 foot waves to make history and have fun doing it. 

Standout Mark Cunningham showed off his “part human, part seal” legendary style of bodysurfing, charging deep into the reef break with a GoPro in one hand. The 40 minute competition included broken surfboards, broken paddles, endless barrels, and pure aloha stoke. Crowning of the King of Pipe was left up to the viewers who voted on the IBA’s Facebook page

In the end, it was Hawaiian waterman, Kainoa McGee that was crowned “King of Pipe” after pulling into and masterfully exiting a set wave Pipe bomb on his stand-up paddleboard. We welcome the dawn of a new era in wave riding competition! Now, who’s ready to see some handboards and handplanes in the next event?

steve watts
steve watts

Growing up in South Africa, Steve spent his youth dreaming of far off places. After spending eight years extensively traveling to many of the great surf destinations of the world getting dengue fever, having a near death experience from a falling coconut in mexico, Surviving a 15 foot drop on a handboard on a Nias bomb, jumping from every rock he could find without adequate health insurance. and comprehensively debunking the myth there are no waves in Thailand, even if they are small. He decided it was time for a a degree. Steve Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London with a degree in product design. He missed his graduation to go surfing in Californian, found a kindred spirit with Venice and never left

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