Caribbean Bodyboarders fighting for a cause at DK Wars Barbados
On Saturday, August 18, 30 Caribbean bodyboarders took part in Barbados’ first official DK Warz which was held at Soup Bowl, Bathsheba but was then moved Cole’s Bay, St. Philip in the afternoon. What DK stands for is Drop Knee,which is an upright technique of riding a bodyboard that was created by Hawaiian, Jack Lindholm. But what makes a DK Wars competition unique is its ‘Winner-Take-All’ format, where the riders put up a pot of money as an entry fee, ride for the whole day with no judges or time restriction and at the end of the day the riders come together and choose a winner from pictures and videos taken during the day. Whoever is the winner takes home the prize money. Started by Chris “Won Ton” Taloa in 2010, these events have gained popularity throughout the global bodyboarding circuit.
As par of the event, local organizer, Allan Alleyne decided to team up with the International Bodyboard Association (IBA) to use DK Wars Barbados as an official charity fundraiser for Puerto Escondido (The Mexican Pipeline) whichwas ravaged by Hurricane Carolotta earlier this year. Allan talked to Adrenaline Sun about DK Wars Barbados.
Why did you decide to hold this event in Barbados?
This event was done with the sole purpose of bringing the Bodyboarding community in Barbados together as one. Also since our Bodyboarding Association has been dormant since 2005 we have not had an all bodyboarding contest. This event is also different from the regular contest, where the riders make all the decisions, from where the event will be held to who is the winner on the day.
When you announced the DK Wars, what was the support like?
When this contest was announced the support was great. Not only was the support coming from the bodyboarders in Barbados but we got tons of support from bodyboarders in Guadeloupe, Martinique, USA and Hawaii. It wasn’t a matter of time before we had some serious interest from the Guadeloupe bodyboarders.
How many competitors took part?
A total of 25 competitors came out on this day including eight bodyboarders who flew in with their families from Guadeloupe for the event. A lot of supporters and family members were also on hand.
Tell me about the vibe?
The vibe of the contest was so good! Pure positive vibrations the entire day. With this style of contest there was no pressure on any rider, so everyone was mellow. Words cant express how happy I was to see everything come together on the day. It gives hope for what can happen in the next years regarding our bodyboarding scene here and how Barbados can just blow up from this sort of support.
DK Wars has some pretty interesting rules… or lack thereof?
DK Wars is simple; there’s no heat format like in a regular contest, its free surfing. The winner of the event will be the person who ripped the best the whole day. There was no profit made from the event! All the money pooled minus the cost of the t-shirts was given to the winner.
So who ripped the best?
There was no doubt that Paul Larrier was the best on that day. The things he was doing were just amazing.
Tell me a little about the charity side of it?
The fundraiser is hosted by the IBA. Its called Salvemos Puerto, which means Save Puerto in English. The IBA has a World Tour and one of the stops on the tour is Puerto Escondido, Mexico. When Hurricane Carolotta affected the area earlier this year, all the lifeguard towers on the long stretch of beach and most of the houses in the town were destroyed. The IBA decided to do a fundraiser to try to help raise money for the community.
Other than this contest how were funds raised?
The fundraising events done so far were the sales of the Salvemos Puerto t-shirt and packs that include products from some big bodyboarding companies in Australia and USA. Also, a lot of photos and signed boards from the professional riders and art has been auctioned on Ebay to assist.
What has the response been like?
The response for this fund is good but it could be way better. The target was US $100,000 to help the community while running an event. So far they have raised about US$ 50,000. More is needed also so as to broadcast the event live. It is estimated that for an IBA event over 300,000 are logged on to the live webcast. If all of the people only give $1 US dollar, everything would be okay, but it isn’t that easy.
How can others assist?
People can give assistance by logging on to the IBA Worldtour website and donating some funds or buying a pack or t-shirt.
Can we look forward to any more DK Wars?
For sure. This can be done anytime! The riders just have to come together and decide to do it, you don’t need sponsors to run it! The next official DK Wars coming up are in New Jersey sometime in the early September and in Makapn’u, Hawaii on November 3rd. The next official DK Wars Barbados will be next year, it will be bigger and better!
Any last words?
Of course! We will like to thank everyone who came out on the day to support. From the riders in the contest to the spectators and families on hand, especially all the Guadeloupe bodyboarders and their families who flew all the way here for this event. We would also like to thank all of the sponsors who kept a smile on everyone’s face at the end of the contest: Irie One, Uneasy Riders, Zed’s Surfing Adventures, Atlantic Bodyboards, Toobs Bodyboarding, Custom-X Bodyboards, Anomaly Bodyboards and Tuttle Custom Designs. A special thanks goes out to Shane Lono from Hawaii for his great help in getting a board sponsor.
Photos by Alan Alleyne, Cynthia Bonnet, Adrian DeFreitas and Zangeif “Life” Demera