It's about life - not "lifestyle"
The years go by and I grow weary. I could hardly look at bodyboards in 2002, knowing what could have been. Is bodyboarding dead or dying? Probably not. The bodyboard as a product is just too easy: cheap, safe, durable, comfortable, affordable. Those who keep at it will move up in board quality and price. New kids come in every year. It's a godsend for rental businesses.

In short, the sheer economics of the product will keep it alive, and unfortunately living at the bottom of the performance totem pole. This will ensure an exodus of riders and talent every year as well. Stories that airlnes have started charging to carry bodyboards at the same rate as much larger surfboards won't help.

A handful of people will be so good that they will have the chance to make some sponsorship money for a couple of years. In the U.S. this absolutely pales in comparison to what the standup surfers get - I've read interviews of low-echelon pros whom I've never heard of who, according to reporters, make upwards of $40,000 a year USD. This will never happen for bodyboarders, and since the standard performance bar for waveriders is now to "get paid to surf and travel", well...not much in bodyboarding to fire the imagination.

There are those out there, however, who don't need to stoke their fires with money. Sometimes no money can buy one hell of a lot of freedom. Freedom has it's own rewards. Take a look at this recent photo of some of Dale Solomonson's triplane bodyboards. What you see isn't the deck - it's the bottoms of the boards. Compare them to what you may ride. Know the materials are similar, but different. Know they were created a thousand miles away from Orange County.

Know they were created almost 20 years ago...
Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright Dale Solomonson.