In the 1980’s in Brazil a sport developed that was so similar to regular bodysurfing that it went unnoticed for almost a decade. Only in 1996, when a team of wave riders attempted to enter a body surfing contest did they learn that their sport was in fact not recognised as a discipline within the surfing totem.
Suddenly faced with an existential crisis, the sport’s core group of athletes and supporters locked themselves in a room, determined to not exit until they’d found a suitable name for their sport… and that is how the sport of Handsurfing started.
Click here to watch a 1996 Handsurfing Video on YouTube.
Said to have taken their inspiration from explosive Surfers such as Tom Carrol, Tom Curren and Martin Potter in the 80’s, the gang of Handsurfers (only practiced in a specific part of Brazil) tried to mimic the maneuvers they saw these surfers perform… only, they would do these with small boards strapped to their hands.
On boards reminiscent of small surfboards in shape and dimension, Handboards have a unique cross-over strap system that ensures your hand stays secure while blasting an aerial, floater or re-entry.
I think Handboarding takes real skill and is much harder than what it looks.
Perhaps its time to create a “Handsurfing Division” in bodysurfing contests…