When: 7th September 2014, from 8.30am
Where: Chapel Porth beach, St Agnes, Cornwall
£: Free to watch (donations welcome). Registration to take part is now closed but more places may become available if beach conditions improve. The entry fee is £5.
What is it?
The annual World Bellyboard Championships take place in Cornwall on Sunday 7th September, at the National Trust’s Chapel Porth Beach.
The championships celebrate the traditional wooden boards used to ride the waves. The first surfing of this type, which we now call ‘bellyboarding’, is thought to have started in the very early 1900s. The board was a form of the Hawaiian ‘paipo’ board, copied by British soldiers returning from the Great War.
The event consists of a fun Expression Session, where a mix of former champions, seasoned competitors, novices and vintage fanatics start the day by showing off their surfing skills. Then the more serious World Bellyboard Championship heats take place. No wetsuits are allowed in the championships, competitors must wear bathing suits (vintage or modern). Competitors will be judged on the length of ride, directional changes with flow, wave speed and glide, innovative and progressive manoeuvres, and perhaps most importantly style, finesse and enjoyment!
The Museum of British Surfing will be back this year with their roaming mobile roadshow. Staff and volunteers from the museum will be on the beach to show off their fantastic collection of historic bellyboards.
Visitors can enter The Great Bellyboard Cake Off, presented by the Traditional Surfing Co. The competition is free to enter and judging will take place at 1pm on the day. Entrants may bake any kind of sweet cake, biscuit or bun. All the bakes will be sold off after the judging to raise funds for the National Trust and the World Bellyboard Championships.
The event is organised and hosted by the National Trust who look after the Chapel Porth coastal area. The World Bellyboard Championships have been running since 2003 and the event grows bigger each year. The event has been known to attract over 300 competitors and even more spectators.
Please note that dogs are not currently allowed on the beach.