Not Hawaii: Mike Stewart surfs freezing, onshore beachie with fans
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 November, 2013 - Hundreds of UK bodyboarding fans greeted Mike Stewart the 9-time world bodyboarding champion as he visited The Bodyboard-Depot in Newquay, 14th November and joined the bodyboard-depot team riders in riding huge onshore waves at Tolcarne beach.
It was a blustery November day with howling north westerly gales yet it didn’t deter the UK’s bodyboarding fans from coming out in their droves to meet the 9 time world bodyboarding champion Hawaiian Mike Stewart and Australian charger Tom Rigby.
The strong winds and chilly temperatures didn’t faze Mike the consummate professional from tackling the waves at Tolcarne beach and wowing the fans with his incredible fitness, skills and silky smooth style. Mike signed autographs, posed for hundreds of photographs and answered interviewers questions before leaving the beach and heading to The Bodyboard-Depot where hordes of fans waited to meet him and get all manner of things signed, from hand planes to t-shirts.
Mike also officially launched the brand new Bodyboard-Depot.com website which offers a huge range of bodyboards, accessories, bags, swim fins, bodyboarding lessons and bodyboard coaching holidays abroad. Mike commented “It’s great to see such an avid bodyboarding scene in the UK, it’s 20 years since my last visit and it is great to return and meet some of the crew that I met all that time ago”.
Rob Barber, owner of the Bodyboard-Depot added “There is no bigger legend in the sport to launch our new online shop, we are really stoked that all the British bodyboarders have come out to support him and had the chance to meet such a bodyboarding icon”.
After the frenzied signing session Mike and Tom faced a room full of fans to complete a question and answer session with questions ranging from his experiences of challenging 50 foot waves off the coast of Maui to his inspirations, his proudest moments and his most feared world tour competitors. Mike had the room engrossed as he related the series of events that led to him catching his first wave at the revered big wave spot ‘Jaws’.
It involved him missing a plane, receiving sad news of a colleague dying and then the amazing combination of perfect ocean conditions; it was a touching, mesmerising story that the bodyboarders who were present will remember for a long time to come. Mike also gave great insight into the technical details in his new range of Science Bodyboards.
Mike is the international face of the sport of bodyboarding, a pioneer of big wave surfing and inventor of new manoeuvres, Mike drew the blueprints, dug the foundations and then laid the blocks of modern day bodyboarding, influencing hundreds of thousands in the process.
Despite knocking on the door of his sixth decade, the Hawaiian still competes on the world tour at the highest level, routinely beating other riders who grew up with posters of him on their bedroom walls.
Mike and Tom finished the day by trying their first ever Cornish pasty, their reaction ‘totally delicious’. Next stop Ireland to hunt down some of the world’s biggest waves to challenge.