Elijah Medling, U-18 WA State Bodyboarding champ The WA State bodyboarding titles will take place in Gnarabup on February 24th with the best bodyboarders from across WA competing for a chance to represent WA on the National Stage. Last year Albany’s Elijah Medling took out the U-18 title beating a stacked field of the best young bodyboarders to represent WA in the nationals where he placed fifth in a solid effort. “It was a good comp but we definitely need more of them because this year there is only the one and last year there could only be one because of COVID,” he said. Medling encouraged other bodyboarders to make the trip to Margaret River or Perth to participate in the competitions. “It would be great to see some more people out and involved in it to get the numbers up each year so they do a few more comps because it’s not as popular as surfing,” he said. “I know there is a few crew who boog down here and I’m the only one in the past few years that’s gone up.” “I think people prefer free surfing because there is no pressure involved in it and they can launch whatever they want without worrying about landing it. “ Medling will be missing this year’s competition but would be stepping up into the open men’s category. “The fact that it’s at Margaret River is pretty cool so there is a better choice of wave, you will be able to pull bigger moves and get deep and do cooler stuff,” he said. “It’s just a great way to see more people get down and do the comps so hopefully there is more than one each year. “It would also be cool if they could do a comp in Albany, even if the Albany Boardriders could do a bodyboard division that would be pretty cool.” Facing Monsters faces another win It seems to be raining awards on the Facing Monsters team. The WA surf film featuring Kalbarri-born and Denmark-based Kerby Brown has racked up awards for Sound, Cinematography and Storytelling and is now the best surf film at the Australian Surfing awards. “Facing Monsters was five years in the making and involved a talented and tight-knit group of people across filming, location, editing, sound and production,” said executive producer Susanne Morrison. “We had the huge responsibility of telling someone’s personal story, a family story, in our hands and everyone felt that deeply along the way.” Facing Monsters is available to watch on iTunes, Xbox, Google, Fetch, Amazon and Vimeo. Isi nominated for WA Junior Sports Star of the Year Denmark’s Isi Campbell continues her rise through the sporting ranks with a nomination for Rebel Junior Sports Star of the Year at the WA Sports Star titles. Isi has been on a run of form lately, notching up recognition for her aerial manoeuvres at Stab High Indonesia, taking the WA Under 18 Girls championship, notching silver for Australia at the International Surfing Association World Junior Championships in El Salvador and the She’s Electric Award at the Australian Boardriders Battle. The awards will be handed out on February 23rd in Perth. Taj Burrow Inducted into the Hall of Fame Yallingup’s Taj Burrow became the 45th inductee into the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame. Taj has been a staple character of Australian surfing since he was hailed as a child prodigy. He competed on the Championship tour for 18 years where he won 12 events in his career and was ranked second in the world twice. He retired from a career on the CT in 2016 and now lives in his home town of Yallingup. Australian Surfing Awards Curator Nick Carroll said Taj Burrow had been among the most creative and successful Australian surfers of the past 30 years. “Taj was born in Yallingup, Western Australia and was destined to surf — both his parents surfed, and took turns looking after baby Taj on the beach. “Taj has marked his surfing life in many other ways than competition. “His brilliant creative performance style influenced a whole generation of kids worldwide and he is an enthusiastic backer of youth surfing — his Taj’s Small Fries junior event, held in Yallingup each year, is a mainstay of grommet world.” Surfing Australia CEO, Chris Mater said It was a pleasure to welcome Burrow to the Hall of Fame. Jack Robinson, Surfing Australia’s Male Surfer of the Year. WA’s Jack Robinson has been awarded Male Surfer of the Year at the Australian Surfing Awards. The award comes as Jack caps off a top-five finish in the world for 2022 with a sizzling start to his 2023 world title campaign in Hawaii. Robinson said he was stoked to receive the honour again this year. “Thank you guys so much for the support,” he said “I wish I could be there, we’re in Hawaii at the moment. “Hopefully next time we can hold it off for a little bit longer so we can get home in time. “It’s super cool and I look forward to inspiring the next generation to surf.” Hurley pro Sunset Beach Hurley Pro Sunset Beach wrapped up on Monday with Brazilian Felipe Toledo taking out San Celmente’s Griffin Colapinto in a final that came down to the wire. A lull in the swell during most of the finals saw both surfers sitting on single scores for most of the 30-minute final with the climatic final five minutes packed with action as both surfers went wave for wave. Felipe’s razor-sharp rail game won the day with both surfers posting excellent heat totals in the climactic final minutes. The women’s finals saw more consistent waves with Australian Molly Picklum edging out Florida’s Caroline Marks for the victory. Picklum notched up two consistent 5-point scores to take the win over Marks who despite posting the heat’s highest scoring wave of 7.50m couldn’t find the consistency to match Picklum. The returning Australian has stepped back on tour looking like a seasoned professional this year after falling off the tour at the mid-year cut in Margaret River last year. So far she has posted two solid event finishes and is tied in the top spot with Hawaiian Carrissa Moore. WA’s Jack Robinson retains his place on top of the men’s rankings with a solid quarter-final finish despite being relegated to the elimination round where he narrowly escaped a 33rd-place finish. The Tour will now head to Portugal before coming to Australian soil with Bells Beach and the Mid Season Cut looming in Margaret River come April. Social Media Highlight This year’s social media highlight comes courtesy of WA lensman Billy Cervi. Glisten features a cast of exceptional talent from WA and around the country shot over one day at a WA wave in a tube-filled super session. Cervi described the surf as one of the most magic sessions I’ve ever witnessed myself. “I called it Glisten because of how the wave sparkles and lights up,” he said.