Ultimate Fantasy Champion: 6 Riders We’re Gambling On In Kiama

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Rejoice: competitive bodyboarding ain’t dead. Maybe. We’re not sure. It depends where you look. Predictably, the competitive bonfire rages on in Europe and South America – proof in the last two tour stops at Arica and Itacoatiara, both successes in their own right. Yet in Australia, the enthusiasm for the competitive big leagues is more akin to the tepid flame of a communal ciggy lighter – gassed out, weak, close to being extinguished.

But the next world tour stop – to be held in the punchy beachbreaks of the quiet Aussie suburb of Kiama, NSW – could change all that fast. Add a fresh competition format that has the potential to make even the ankle-high grovelling of the Qualifying stops half interesting and, perhaps, it seems the storm clouds are finally parting for the APB.

Whether you’re a) counting down the days to the first tour stop, STACT app primed and at the ready; b) didn’t realise another leg was about to begin and are scrambling for updates; or c) too busy flipping cars at regional bodyboarding premieres to give a toss, we’ve got you covered - with our slightly vague crystal ball predictions for the front-runners of the third World Tour stop. A motley crew of riders we’re banking on to steal the show Downunder.

Pierre-Louis Costes

Pierre is pretty much unstoppable when the waves are on. The man is hands-down the best bodyboarder in the world right now, with or without a comp rashie on. It’s hard to imagine that podium not being adorned by the Frenchman.

Tanner McDaniel

The childhood protege is finally living up to his name. With his maiden World Tour victory at one of the most memorable Arican events since GT rolled onto dry rock. Tanner has certainly come a long way and is right up there as a strong World Title contender for this year - and the fun left wedges of the South Coast will definitely play into his favour  

Amaury Laverhne

Moz is serious about bodyboarding – a little too serious for some, perhaps, but it’s this intensity for competition and his years beating out the world’s best in all conditions that makes him one of our more permanent fixtures. 

Tristan Roberts

Tristan looks to have honed his left skills twice over in the off season. He’s come a long way over the past few years, from a promising upstart to a fully-fleshed competition machine. His maiden voyage to Australia could prove fruitful, thanks in part to the powerful beachies and gains-providing braiis of South Africa. 

Iain Campbell

The way Campbell tackles both his competitive career and business obligations (see: sponsorship tagging Insta post madness) is methodical. Everything is calculated, and prepared. The current World Champ also has a new board sponsor under his arm, so expect the unexpected. Which, as far as overused lines go in sport-prediction-based articles go, is pretty expected. An allusion to the subject matter? You decide.

Lewy Finnegan

Lewy’s performance in the upcoming film, 3 Amigos, is one for the ages. It’s a clear indicator he’s at the forefront of the world’s next-gen, excelling in waves large and small. Let's hope the presence of his fellow “amigos” on the South Coast will help boost his performance on the big stage.

The Wildcards

Mitch Rawlins, Dave Winchester, Ben Player, Jase Finlay, Andrew Lester and Jeff Hubbard... are you kidding me?! If we were betting men, our money would be on one of the aforementioned big-wigs. Any one of these super humans could really shake up this title race. The new format should make for some quality viewing so be sure to tune in.