Surfer at sunset public domain image by Kanenori on Pixabay - free for reuse
Making A Splash: The Most Popular Water Sports Of The 1980s
by Jane Duncan, freelance writer
31 January 2022
The Thrill of Wakeboarding
Enhanced and cropped public domain image of a neon green wakeboarder (free for reuse). Original wakeboarder image by B360RidingShirts on Pixabay
Bodyboarding Builds Momentum
Interest in bodyboarding, or boogie boarding, also peaked in the 1980s, buoyed in part by its accessibility. Bodyboards cost less than surfboards, and the sport often appealed to novices as it seemed less technically inclined than surfing.
Bodyboarding also had its star players. Mike Stewart is a nine-time world champion bodyboarder who was also an enthusiast of bodysurfing, another hit of the 80s, and of big-wave tow-in surfing. It was 1980 when Stewart won the first of his nine world titles and invented the gyroll maneuver.
The 1980s were a watershed of neon wetsuits, loud boardshorts, and the even louder roar of boat engines. In fact, it's hard to imagine having memories of the 80s that aren't awash with ocean waves, beach smells, and water sports action. In today's busy world, it's encouraging to see that there are many people still finding the time to hang ten and enjoy the sports that oceans and water inspire.