What started as a vision to get surfers of all ages together in a relaxed competition, has grown into a flourishing community group harking back to a similar club from a decade ago.
The idea for Bungan Boardriders came from best mates Luca Elder and Joel Shanahan, two years ago.
“At the time we saw huge potential out of such a young group of boys and girls - younger than us, in their teens or younger.
“Our aim was and is, to keep the Grommies stoked with a monthly competition to head towards. Moreover, our aim was to create a tighter, positive community around surfing rather than an aggressive line-up, that is sometimes the bitter sweet reality of our sport,” explains Joel.
The pair took their concept and energy to an elder local, Steve Hansen, who had a lot of involvement with sporting clubs in the past.
With his expertise and assistance, the original idea developed, ‘above and beyond’. “We had our debut year in 2016 with around 100 members and our second year has kicked off with a bang - over 120 talented surfers between the ages of seven and 65 years, across seven divisions,” adds Joel.
He says the club has already made its mark with many Bungan Boardriders boasting that the club’s competition day is the best day of the month - and they intend to keep it that way.
“Luca and I remember growing up and seeing a bunch of the older local boys hosting a monthly comp down at Bungan, near the surf club - much like we do now.
“It’s remembered as a relaxed monthly comp run by a group of mates which is awesome - most likely it was the early inspiration for Luca and myself.
“In our debut season last year, we had one of our eldest veterans come to rego day in an original Bungan Boardriders shirt from over a decade ago. It was cool to see the stoke was still present amongst the elder locals at Bungan and hence, with a bit of hustle, we’ve managed to not only get an over 40s division but an over 55s division too,” he adds.
Boardriders is for the Bungan community and Joel says that in the last 12 or so months they’ve seen a huge change in the dynamics in the water. “Luca and I see our 10-year-olds sharing a yarn with our competitors in their 60s. Everyone knows everyone now and the overall energy in and out of the water is vibrant,” enthuses Joel.
He said they’ve had an enormous amount of support over the past two years since the club’s inception. That includes the commitment shown by competitors showing up on a monthly basis, helping with set-up, the daily processes of BBQ duty, judging and more, right through to pack-up. Also from the parents, who stick it out through the rain hail or shine the club is prepared to put the kids through.
Joel says there has been tremendous corporate support. Last year, the club had more than $10,000 worth of prizes to share and this year it is looking like even more.
“What we offer is the classic Aussie family beach culture rather than competitive surfing which has been taken on board by local businesses.
“It’s been awesome to see support offered for boys and girls of all ages - it’s what keeps the kids coming back which is upmost!” says Joel.
For more information:
Luca Elder (President): 0420895534
Joel Shanahan (Vice President): 0452288527