Hubbard sticks up for bodyboarders

When the last name, “Hubbard,” is mentioned in conversations, it’s usually about bodyboarding and 23-year-old David Hubbard wants to help out other aspiring boarders to get that same type of notoriety in the sport with his newly created Boogie Nation Foundation.

“I just want to help out other bodyboarders who need that exposure to the rest of the world and I think if I can just give them some opportunities through the foundation, it’ll be good for them and the sport in general,” Hubbard said in a phone interview.

The 23-year-old finished up 2005 tied for 12th in the world, according to the International Bodyboarding Association’s website (www.ibatour.com).

His brother Jeff ended up just three spots back in 15th place, giving Kaua’i the top two marks in the state.

Boogie Nation will be in full effect tomorrow at the Kilauea Theater (free admission), 6:30 p.m., when Hubbard, Tim Hamilton, Adam Bice, and Bud Miyamoto, will be premiering the bodyboarding DVD called, “Boogie Nation.” “I’m excited because all the proceeds will go towards amateur bodyboarders in Hawai’i.

It’s almost like grants to actually support the amateurs. It’ll take them on trips to get exposure to the rest of the world or the opportunity to make something happen for them,” Hubbard said.

The DVD, produced by Hamilton, features bodyboarders from around the globe, with a special focus on Hawai’i athletes.

“It’s highlights the travels of some of the bodyboarders to places like Tahiti, Australia, South Africa, and even Iceland. Two amateur bodyboarders on Kaua’i have their first segments (Piper Llewellyn and Bud Miyamoto).

“It started off with wanting to bring something for amateurs to get excited about.

We wanted to create a video, but develop it as a non-profit thing, making sure everything goes back to the amateurs,” Hubbard continued.

The dream that started six months ago has now become a reality to Hubbard and his crew.

“It’s actualization. We’ve been thinking about it for a long time and to actually see it taking off, it’s really exciting to see,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard, who leaves for the IBA Tour next Thursday, April 13, is also giving people around the state and the world, a chance to see “Boogie Nation.” “We’re also going to O’ahu, Maui, and the Big Island. I’m also premiering it at several destinations around the world, like Australia, South Africa, Europe, and Japan,” Hubbard said.

T-shirts are in the works and many prizes will be available to all who attend tomorrow’s screening in Kilauea.

“The grand prize is airfare to O’ahu and a photo shoot for a bodyboarder, furnished by bodyboarders.corn,” Hubbard said. With only a few Hawai’i bodyboarders on tour these days, compared to when it first started, Hubbard wants to see more Hawaiians on the tour and his foundation is the first step.

“There’s definitely less focus on Hawaiian bodyboarders nowadays. It all started here, but once the industry started to fade, pros had to find other jobs and they left the sport, so there was a gap that wasn’t filled. Australians had a boost, so we gotta step it up to take back our limelight that we had,” Hubbard said.

Up next for Hubbard’s Boogie Nation Foundation is a Web site, which will be the place to go for information about the organization.

But for now, Hubbard’s just happy to premiere the “Boogie Nation” DVD around the world, with hopes of Hawai’i amateurs following in his footsteps, or fin prints for that matter.

I Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco.

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