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the inertia
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(Wednesday) 10.29.14

F*cking Spongers

Bodyboarding is one of those things that gets a bum rap a lot of the time, especially from surfers. “Dick draggers,” we call them. “F*ckin’ spongers,” we mutter, “why don’t those boogers stand up?”  But my God, there is an entire contingent of lunatics on bodyboards, getting almost zero credit and consistently doing shit that no one standing up would do. For years, they’ve been the unsung heros of slabs – most of them were first discovered and ridden by bodyboarders. I like to think of them as a paving crew, of sorts, paving the way for surfers on surfboards, showing them that yes, this way can be ridden. A paving crew full of some of the most insane people on any kind of board.

Lewy Finnegan’s one of those guys. The film above follows Lewy from Northern Western Australia to the Southcoast of NSW from the ages 16 through 20. When he was 16, Finnegan was charging. When he was 18, he was still doing it, just a little harder. Now 20, he has turned into a full-fledged lunatic, throwing himself off ridiculous wedges with little to no regard for his own safety. And I love it. If Lewy Finnegan’s a dick dragger, then that should be surfing’s newest term of endearment.

Lewy Finnegan // Teenage Years from Stricko on Vimeo.

 


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  • BH-EastToWestCoast

    Most people/surfers say, you start out learning to ride by lying down on a “boogieboard” then you eventually grow up and learn to stand up and surf. I was the opposite, started out surfing on a custom 5″ Ashton, as well as doing standup on my Mach7-7 -back in the early 90′s-and then started to focus and hone my skills as a bodyboarder. I just enjoyed riding prone and dropknee, as well as standup, more so than surfing. I felt you were able to perform more maneuvers on a bodyboarder rather than surfing which is pretty much just cutbacks and floaters, although aerials have progressed much in the past decade or so. Anyway, to disrespect BB’s is just ignorant because we charge and go just as harder, if not harder than most surfers.

    • EC2WC-BdyBrdr

      I also want to add the fact that I guess I’ve been lucky where surfers have only shown mutual respect for going out on big days, to the point where we have cheered each other on while dropping in on 15-20ft+ waves. I will say, however, that it seems like the west coast surfers have much more animosity towards bodyboarders, even the ones who seem to have the skills of a novice- that truly are terrible.

      • nick

        @EC2WC I have animosity against spongers because their are designated areas where spongers should be and shouldn’t be. Spongers shouldn’t be out at softer spots and should go out to heaving slabs like Horseshoes. In fact, I get crap from spongers for paddling out at that spot and I know of others spots that you just can’t go to if you are a surfer. Overall it takes less talent to bodyboard and really anyone can do it. There is so much of a safety blanket compared to surfers so ya surfers deserve to talk smack on bodyboarders because you get up on a knee like a novice kook surfer would.

        • benr

          Only form of surfing that should be denigrated and scorned uses a paddle, sail or motor and then only if they try and invade a spot where conventional surfing is being applied. Sponging is pure close to the source fun turning walled junk into fun and magic and the best part it’s ALWAYS over head AND YES I surf on anything but a SUP.

          • Alex

            Wouldn’t you want to get a beater board or something like that for those occasions?

          • benr

            Some days prone surfing or even boardless is better.

        • benr

          Only form of surfing that should be denigrated and scorned uses a paddle, sail or motor and then only if they try and invade a spot where conventional surfing is being applied. Sponging is pure close to the source fun turning walled junk into fun and magic and the best part it’s ALWAYS over head AND YES I surf on anything but a SUP.

  • Mitt Romney

    I went from skateboard to boogie board to surfboard, started learning to surf before I was driving a car. I learned a lot about the ocean,the way the waves break,late drops,generally on a boogie you learn how the ocean works and I wouldn’t change a thing,I don’t care if you surf,kneeboard or bodyboard…sometimes I will ride a longboard in on my knees checking out all the fish swimming around.Whatever it takes to get your “stoke on” love for the ocean is what it’s all about just get out there!!!


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