The Evolution Of The World's Largest Bodysurfing Contest: Whomp Off Australia to Australian Bodysurfing Classic

The Evolution Of The World's Largest Bodysurfing Contest: Whomp Off Australia to Australian Bodysurfing Classic

Bodysurfing, a sport deeply rooted in Australian culture, has seen a significant resurgence in recent years. The Whomp Off Australia bodysurfing contest, which began as a local competition, has played a pivotal role in this revival. Over the years, it has transformed into the Australian Bodysurfing Classic, a premier event that attracts bodysurfers from across the nation and the globe.

Historical Overview

  • 2016: The inaugural event was held on the sandy beaches of North Narrabeen, NSW, and was won by the Wommin Wompers.
  • 2017: The contest moved to the south coast of NSW, where the Bate Bay Body Bashers emerged victorious.
  • 2018: The contest was held in Cronulla, NSW, and was won by Team DaFiN from Hawaii.
  • 2019: The event was held at Maroubra Beach, Sydney, NSW, and was once again won by Team DaFiN.

Rebranding and Expansion

In 2022, the contest evolved and was rebranded as the Australian Bodysurfing Classic. Narrowly won by Team DaFiN again, at Cronulla beach. The event has continued to grow in size and prestige, attracting over 140 competitors from around the world, across 16 teams. The competitors' age range is from 10 - 75 years old and includes many current and former world bodysurfing champions.

The 2023 Edition: A New Venue and Fresh Faces

In 2023, the Australian Bodysurfing Classic is set to be held in Kiama, NSW, on the 16th of September. This year, the teams to watch out for include:

  • Favourites: Team DaFiN, The Cobras, Budgy Boys, Bate Bay Body Bashers, and Gezza Maddogs.
  • Teams to watch out for: Tube 360 (Newport), Stocko Whompers, and the Ladies team.

Individuals Making Waves

Several individuals have made their mark in the bodysurfing world and are expected to shine in the 2023 edition:

  • Kealii Punley: Known for his smooth Hawaiian style and amazing body control in the water, Punley has been a dominant force in various bodysurfing events globally and will be on Team DaFiN.

  • Dane Torres: With all the bodysurfing tricks up his sleeve, from front flips to belly spins, Torres is a force to be reckoned with and will be on Team DaFiN.

  • Corey Sainsbury: His impressive bodysurfing highlights from places like Cape Solander showcase his exceptional talent. Although once a member of Bate Bay Body Bashers, rumour has it he will be competing again for Team DaFiN.

  • Lachie Rombouts: The spiritual leader of The Cobras, Rombouts is renowned for charging oversized waves along Australia's coast, on his bod and boards. His commitment and passion for surfing are evident in his performances, rewarded with sponsorship from O'Neill.

  • Rikki Gilbey: The founder of WAW Handplanes, Gilbey has been instrumental in promoting bodysurfing in Australia. His dedication to the sport and the environment is unmatched. With his life devout to bodysurfing, you just know he has all the tricks up his sleeve for East Sydney Body Surfers (ESBS).

Events Breakdown

  • The Length of Ride Event: Tag Team: During this event, every member of each team is required to score at least one wave. The focus is on the length of ride within the critical sections of the wave.
  • The Tricks Event: Tag Team: This event emphasizes the execution, difficulty, combination, and flow of bodysurfing tricks within the critical sections of the wave.
  • The Individual Heats: Each heat involves one bodysurfer from each squad battling it out against the other bodysurfers from within their pool.
  • The Fin Sprint: A relay race on the sand, where participants wear the fins they used in the water. A handplane is used as the team's baton.

The Impact on Australian Bodysurfing

The rise of such competitions has significantly impacted the bodysurfing scene in Australia. It has not only provided a platform for enthusiasts to compete but has also fostered a sense of community among bodysurfers. The event has played a crucial role in promoting bodysurfing as a sport, drawing attention to its unique blend of athleticism, connection with nature, and sheer joy.

Join the Celebration in Kiama

For all the enthusiasts and spectators, this is your chance to be a part of this grand celebration of bodysurfing. Head down to Kiama to witness the thrilling competition and cheer for your favourite teams. And don't miss out on the awards ceremony and after-party on Saturday night. It promises to be a night filled with fun, laughter, and camaraderie. Celebrate the spirit of bodysurfing and make memories that will last a lifetime!


The Australian Bodysurfing Classic, with its rich history and evolution, stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of bodysurfing in Australia. It's more than just a competition; it's a celebration of the sport and the community that cherishes it. As the event continues to grow and inspire more individuals to take up bodysurfing, the future of the sport in Australia looks brighter than ever.


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