Bellyboards are right up there with buckets and spades, windbreaks and the sound of an ice cream van as a pillar of the classic British Summer. Next Sunday, September 8th, the National Trust will be hosting the eleventh annual World Bellyboarding Championships just down the road from us at Chapel Porth. We’ve been involved with the Championships in one form or another for the past three years, exhibiting our surfboards and handplanes there, putting on bodysurfing demonstrations and sponsoring and producing prizes for various categories. Last year we built two prize bellyboards using macrocarpa timber from a storm damaged tree that had to be felled at the National Trust’s Trelissick Estate (the bulk of which we used to build a 6’10” Jetty for the National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign), but this year we are upping the ante; we will be giving away as a prize a place on a one-day “Build-Your-Own” bellyboard workshop. We will be running five of these group workshops over the next year, so the winner can enter the 2014 event on a board that they made themselves.
The World Bellyboarding Championships is a wonderfully British event, more akin to a village fete than a competition with the cake baking prize often more hotly contested than the action in the waves. Wetsuits are strictly banned, however if you happen to own a heritage woolen bathing costume you are positively encouraged to wear it and the two categories are divided into “Junior” for the under sixties, and “Senior” if you’ve got your free bus-pass. It’s a truly terrific event, and one that we’re proud to be associated with. Hopefully we can extend some peoples enjoyment and immersion in bellyboarding fun and the WBBC by offering the opportunity to make their own bellyboard to enter the 2014 Championships on. Details and dates of the workshop weeks will appear on the workshops page of the website from next Sunday, the day of the Championships. If you want any information before then though, then please call, e-mail, or catch us on the beach next Sunday where we’ll be busy sampling some of the amazing cakes.
Opening image by James Ram, courtesy of the National Trust.