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March 15, 2019 3 min read

ALOOOOOHA! When you think of a tropical island paradise & big waves, there's perhaps no place better than North Shore of Hawaii in winter.

That's why 60 of the world's best bodysurfers on the planet are heading to Oahu to compete in the OG of surfing events, the Pipeline Bodysurf Contest, which kicked off in 1971.

The Banzai Pipeline, Pipeline or Pipe, is a legendary reef break with a rich history and spirit for bodysurfing.  It's essentially, the birthplace of tube riding, bodysurfing or Kaha Nalu in Hawaiian.

"For nearly sixty years, this frightening gift of nature has stood out as one of the most challenging and perfect waves on the planet. While first believed to be unconquerable, Pipeline soon became the wave by which all others would be judged." Surfline Forecast Team

For bodysurfers this heavy wave is the ultimate challenge. As it's best known for its steep, fast and powerful barreling waves, which breaks into shallow water just above sharp reef.  No doubt making The Pipeline Bodysurf Contest, one of the largest, and most intense bodysurfing competitions out there.  Slyde is stoked to have our partner Sean Enoka of Kaha Nalu Hawaii competing, alongside team riders Dylan Biggerstaff, Sunny Chamblee, and Keali'i Punley

"Bodysurfers launching into the tube at Pipeline resemble daredevils blasted from a cannon." Catharine Lo

The 14 day holding period for the annual Pipeline Bodysurf Contest presented by the North Shore Lifeguard Association, DaFin, and RVCA will begin March 21 and will run through April 3rd 2019

The 1day competition (which rumor has might now be a 1.5 day comp) will be held  during the best conditions based on swell, wind direction, and size. The preferred conditions for this event would be 6 to 8 foot (12' to 15' faces) West to North West Swell with favorable off shore winds.

When we asked Keali'i what he's most looking forward to for the event he said...

"My most stoked part about the Pipeline Bodysurf Contest is getting all the bodysurfers together from other islands, states & countries from around the world to bodysurf EMPTY Pipeline! This is one of the best bodysurfing contests I say in the world.  Not just because of the beautiful barrels it creates, and its potential in & out sections, but the dangers which could be large size waves, the reefs have caused countless injuries and a few deaths.  The contest takes everything to a whole other level, with the high level skills are required & needed, and techniques & endurance to handle rough current especially if its consistent. The best of the best are usually in this contest. You can’t just think anybody can put a pair of fins on and hop out at PIPE! But that’s just what makes Pipeline so special.. the excitement & nervousness that makes you feel some type of way."

Competitors & beach goers a like will see why Pipeline is one of the most world's most filmed and photographed waves of all time.

"The waves are so close, you can sense the exhilaration of the riders, and you can feel the pain of the wipeouts," says legendary bodysurfer Mark Cunningham.  

I'm so stoked to be traveling to Pipeline Bodysurf Contest for the 1st time, to witness the phenomenon first hand in 2019:)  And want to take you along for the ride...

Watch the adventure unfold HERE→

 Bodysurfer at Pipeline Oahu HawaiiCover image by Philip Kitamura above image Joe Nickerson

Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, Bluefly.com However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.



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Not sold on it

I had really high hopes. I have been able to use the Bula on a couple good days. I'm liking my old board better so far. But will try it a couple more times before I return it just to be sure. I have none of the below issues with my Enjoy planer, and thinking of going back.
1. The dam thing is not secure on my hand. No mater how tight I make it. It litterally pops off my hand while on a wave. Its getting really anoying having to constantly pay attention to it.
2. I switch my hand depending on the wave direction. It's tough for me to get a grip on the nose, pull it off then pull tightly on other hand in time. I've missed a couple good ones because of this.
3. The pad that goes accross the top of my hand doesnt cover my whole hand and the seam starts to rub on my hand and is uncomfortable.
4. Not a huge deal but wasnt happy that there were some small cosmetc defects on the board. Eslescially for the price
5. The board bag is kind of ridiculous. Its huge and picture on website isnt to scale, but I probably just wont use it. It was basically free.

I think the only thing I can say positive is I think it has good control... after getting used to the angle I need, and may be a bit more bouyant to pull me out of water for speed. But i need to try it a few times more and figure out how to keep the dam thing on!

I am giving these to my grandsons at the end of the month. I am sure they will love them.

Hand slyde

The leash works amazing i won't go out without my leash on....

Bula hand board

This handboard is exactly what I was looking for. The size and craftsmanship is fantastic! I have gotten some great rides with this board. Super fun.

Ready for the Senior Tour

I received my Slyde Phish just before 2 weeks of gloomy weather. Now that I’ve had a chance to road test it, I can’t wait to get back in the water.

Growing up in Long Island NY, body surfing was my first wave gliding experience. Typically we would drive straight to shore so surfing the diagonal has been a learning curve.

I look forward to many great sets this summer.

Matthew Papish (59)
Laguna Beach