A recent even in Peniche, Portugal attempted to answer the question of surfing vs bodyboarding once and for all. But did it?
The rivalry of surfing vs bodyboarding has maybe existed since some Polynesians chose to ride alaia (the original finless surfboards used in pre-colonial Hawaii) lying on their bellies as opposed to standing up. I doubt it, though. I’d compare surfing vs. bodyboarding to skateboarding vs rollerblading (inline skating) or what BMX vs mountain biking or freestyle once was. Maybe striking vs grappling if you follow MMA. It’s just something that happens when two similar sports become established among young dudes. One side calls the other “gay”, they occasionally (or often in the case of MMA) fight, but it’s not exactly the Palestinian – Israeli conflict or the Irish Troubles, is it?
Still, pitting Portugal’s top pro surfer Vasco Ribeiro against multiple time European bodyboarding champ Hugo Pinheiro on one of the country’s most famous waves was bound to stoke the fires of rivalry, right? It’s also funny, because both competitors’ first and last names rhyme with the other.
So what happened at the specially arranged Red Bull Tow Out in Peniche?
Unlike normal surfing competitions, Portugal’s surfing vs bodyboarding showdown had both competitors pulled out via jet ski – a la Garrett McNamara – onto the waves at Superturbos. Hugo and Vasco jostled, threw each other’s boards out of the way and generally got rad. Do people still say that?
Vasco said: I think there might be some rivalry between the surf and bodyboard, but for me mutual respect comes first. I think we have many differences, but after watching Hugo in action I felt very inspired!
And Hugo said: The most important thing is to keep feeling the pleasure of being in the water and even disputing the same waves and doing amazing things. Vasco did very well.
(source: Surfer Today)
They then drove home in the same car with the word’s “e viveram felizes para sempre” (and they lived happily ever after) written in the dust on the hatchback or combi or whatever it’s called.