The Boardriders Battle Is Bringing Value Back To Surf Clubs
Boardrider clubs around Australia are getting ready to showcase their best in the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle series.
The competition – which was launched on 7th August 2014 by Surfing Australia – is the country’s biggest grassroots boardriders event series with $120,000 in prize money.
More than 100 of Australia’s best boardriders clubs will compete in eight State qualifying rounds starting in October, with the goal of making it into the two-day National Final at Cronulla in January 2015.
The series is officially sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), which means Australian ASP World Championship Tour surfers can represent their local boardriders club at respective State qualifying events and the National Final. And many champions are jumping at the chance to support where they came from.
Five-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore says boardriders clubs have played such a significant role in the development of Australian surfing and continue to help surfers reach the next level in their careers.
“I am a huge fan of the boardrider clubs in Australia,” she says. “I wouldn’t have been able to hone my skills or develop my game so young without being a part of the Snapper Rocks Surfriders club, and to this day I am still a proud member.”
With Gilmore, Joel Parkinson and Wayne Bartholomew among the members list at Snapper Rocks, it’s not hard to see why this club is the defending champion of the Boardriders Battle.
Bartholomew, who is now coach there, says the new event’s already achieving iconic status.
“The inaugural event brought the best of the best to the National Final at Cronulla earlier this year and I have no doubt all the great clubs throughout this land are setting their sights on unseating Snapper Rocks as the nation’s premier club,” he says.
“The regional play-offs are super hard fought in their own right, and for those fortunate enough to battle it out over the Australia Day long weekend at Cronulla it is a nail biting, rollercoaster ride, as every option, every judgement, every hack, counts towards the big prize. Even coaching one of these matches is not for the faint hearted.”
While winning individuals, teams and clubs get some of the $120,000 prize money, the event is also incredibly important for club promotion and exposure. As surf legend Joel Parkinson puts it, the Australian Boardriders Battle is an “amazing event and experience for everyone” that really shows off the best of clubs around the country.
“It’s great that boardriders clubs get this sort of exposure at an event as big as this,” he says.
The competition kicks off on 4th October 2014 with an event on Scamander Beach in Tasmania before travelling all around the country til the top 20 compete in Cronulla next year.