"Bodysurf means to forget your life issues. Imagine you are with your full body in a tube feeling the speed and the brutal sound of wave blasting."
Bodysurf is surfing without a surfboard: all you need is your own body. The origin of bodysurf is unknown, however it might be possible that people were inspired to imitate wave-riding by animals such as dolphins and seals. We asked the guys at 5thAvenue Surfers to give us a little insight of what they're doing.
What is Bodysurf? And how did you guys get into it?
Bodysurf means to forget your life issues. Imagine you are with your full body in a tube feeling the speed and the brutal sound of wave blasting. It is hard to explain, you need to feel it, but certainly is better than stay at home in your underpants eating Chocapic, watching TV.
We were doing bodyboard for a long time before making our own hanplanes. One day, we saw pictures on Instagram of people surfing with handplanes and we decided to make ones using skateboards.
What's the difference to surfing for you?
Surf is cool but bodysurf is underground. There's no money involved, there's no career. Swimfins (to optimize propulsion), a handplane in your bag, a Shorebreak… and you're ready to bodysurf. The speedo is optional.
How did you come up with the name "5thAvenue" ?
We usually surf on a fishing village, which is perfect because if the conditions are good it comes a shorebreak wave good for bodysurf. The name of the street in front of the beach is 5ªAvenida (5th Avenue in portuguese). It is funny because the neighborhood is very modest.
Are there many people doing bodysurf?
We are 3 ninjas in our crew, but there is more people bodysurfing in Portugal, about 50 or 100 persons surfing with the body.
Handplanes are optional. But what are they for and how long does it take to create one?
To have fun! With a handplane is more easier to grab the wave line and gives more speed. When the waves are to small a handplane helps you to catch the wave.
I never do the process at once. One day I make the shape of the handplane and on the other I carve the logo and varnish it. If someone wants the handplane costumized it takes longer.
We made this video called "SHAPE" that shows the process of making an handplane.