World Bellyboard Championships

This Sunday, 5th September, is the 8th World Bellyboarding Championships, held at Chapel Porth in the south of England.

The World Belly Boarding Championship (WBBC) was first started in 2002 at Chapel Porth by Martyn Ward and Chris Ryan as a memorial contest to the late Arthur Traveller, a Londoner who holidayed with his wooden board at Chapel Porth every year. From its humble beginnings with only a handful of competitors it has now grown into the World Championships we see today with over 200 entrants.

From the beginning it has been a very simple, back-to-basics comp – no wetsuits, no leashes and no swim fins. A bit of wood and a swimsuit is all you need, you don’t even need to bring money as the entry fee is free.

Rules include this one about swimwear “Bathing costumes only, no wetsuits allowed. Wetsuit/neoprene boots acceptable (if weever fish are present)”.

It looks like SO much fun!

P.S. I went and read about weever fish

Beware of a little sandy coloured fish that lives in the English Channel. It spends most of the time actually buried under the sea bed with just its venomous dorsal fin showing above the sandy bottom. On the rare occasions when it is plentiful, rows of erect black triangles decorate the sandy floor of the sea bed.

Woe betide a bather who steps upon a buried fish. The pain is usually described as excruciating as the spines embed into the human flesh and discharge their venom. The pain is at its most intense for the first two hours when the foot goes red and swells up and is then it feels numb until the following day with irritation and pain that may last for up to two weeks. Sometimes, the spine breaks off in the foot and it will cause discomfort until it is removed.