[NEW WEBSITE] – ITSAtandem.com

Eh oui, qui dit nouvelle année, dit vacances pour UWL, mais aussi qqs mise en ligne de projet pour UWL-Communication 🙂
Alors j’ai le plaisir de vous présenter le new website de l’ITSA.

Alors n’hésitez pas et allez voir ce petit bijou à l’adresse suivante : www.ITSAtandem.com

Et pour visualiser l’historique de l’ITSA il suffit de lire la suite.

TANDEM SURFING FROM THE BEGINNING

Tandem surfing started at Waikiki as the early Hawaiian surfers frolicked for endless hours on their surfboards. Both men and women surfed then and it seems natural that they also rode tandem. The first photographic record of tandem surfing was in the 1930’s. The Waikiki beach boys would take the tourist women out for rides on their boards. To give them a more exciting ride and to show off for those watching on the beach, they would pick the gals up into a shoulder sit and probably even do shoulder stands. Another reason to do “lifts” on a tandem board is that while tandem surfing with an untrained girl, it is actually harder to turn and control the big tandem board with her standing on the deck. As soon as she is hoisted up on to his shoulders, the guy can ride and turn the board as though he were surfing alone. .

Two California surfing legends, Pete Peterson, considered to be the best all around surfer-waterman and tandem surfing champion of the 1960’s, and Loren Harrison, a surfing pioneer and outrigger canoe paddler, first went to Waikiki in 1932. There they learned tandem surfing from the beach boys and brought it back to Calif. They both tandem surfed in the ‘30’s through the 1960’s. There were small tandem events at the early San Onofre Surfing Club contests, but the first big tandem contest was at Makaha Hawaii in 1954. In those days, only the top male competitors tandem surfed. The elite of the sport was entered in the tandem event: Pete Peterson, Rabbit Kekai, George Downing, Walter Hoffman, Tommy Zahn and Black out Whaley. At that time, the tandem lifts were very basic and relatively easy, so normal size girls were ok. Now, 46 years later, the lifts have evolved into complicated routines with intricate balance that requires small athletic women or girls.

By the late 1960’s it became quite an advantage to find a very small female for a tandem partner. Since the guys are all different sizes, a “weight rule” was adapted that required the female partner to be no less than one half her male partner’s weight. The 1960’s were an exciting time for tandem surfing. Many of the biggest names in surfing participated in tandem surfing. Pete Peterson brought many new lifts that he learned from a famous place called Muscle Beach where acrobats and weight lifters used to work out. Steve and Barrie Boehne invented some of the most popular lifts used today. The list of tandem lifts grew from the basic 6 to over 25 by 1970, making the sport much more interesting to do and watch. For years, a beach girl or your wife could be your partner, but recently in competition it has become necessary to find a girl with professional gymnastic training to do the difficult arm to arm variety of handstands that are now popular. Even so, nearly every lift that is being done now had been done by 1970. In the early days, teams only did one lift on each wave they rode. To get an edge in competition, Steve and Barrie were the first to combine several lifts on one ride. They specialize in transitioning from one lift to another while Barrie remains in the air without restarting from the board. This Style of tandem surfing has become the standard for competition, but creates difficulties for the judges who seldom have knowledge or training in tandem surfing. Inexperienced judges usually miss the technicalities.

Through the 1950’s and early 1960’s the Makaha International surfing championship was the unofficial world contest of surfing and it always included a tandem event. For years it was the only surfing event shown on U.S. national television. Teams from Hawaii, California and Australia would enter. Hobie Alter, Mike Doyle, Bob Moore, Don Hanson, Hal Sachs, Rabbit Kekai and Leroy Achoy would compete. In most cases, except for married couples, the guys had so many different partners through their careers, that when referring to the early teams, usually only they guy’s name is mentioned. It’s a shame, because it’s the girls who are the real show. Their courage, poise and balance make tandem surfing fun to watch. In the early years no team ever won the Makaha contest more than once until Steve and Barrie (the first married couple to compete) won it six times in a row. The prestigious Makaha International no longer exists; the only tandem event at Makaha now is the locals, Buffalo long board contest.

The wonderful thing about tandem surfing is that you can take a girl who has never surfed, out to ride waves. She can instantly get rides that would ordinarily take years of practice to achieve. For the guy, who has probably been surfing for many years, the extreme excitement of his first ride has long been forgotten, and being a guy, he probably doesn’t get real emotional about it or express it so openly. Only the very few guys who do tandem surf can marvel at the very emotional and verbal response that women have in their first experience surfing. It is such a pleasure to share this experience and their excitement is a reminder of what a wondrous sport surfing is.

There are so few sports that men and women can participate in together where each is an equal partner, the skills are learned together and nether can perform without the other. Now that the lifts have become so difficult, the girls’ special skills are absolutely essential. The great reward in tandem surfing comes from the years of learning and practicing the tandem lifts. That great feeling of accomplishment when you put it all together: take off, bottom turn, trim for speed and leap into some radical overhead lift. You have confidence in each other, and together you achieve what used to seem impossible. The lifts have evolved since the 1950’s, some borrowed from other arts as ice-skating and adagio dance, and they have been passed down through three generations of tandem surfers.

There was a brief period in the late 1970’s when the sport actually died out. No teams were tandem surfing and there were no tandem contests. Only Steve and Barrie did it alone at San Onofre and in Mexico. They decided to actively recruit new people into tandem surfing. They have spent the last 25 years teaching new teams all the techniques and secrets that they developed to do the many fun and varied tandem lifts. Their coaching has been given freely all over the world. “We help anyone, even our competitors, because once there were no competitors and we have learned that it is better for the sport to grow than to keep our techniques a secret just so we can win contests”.

Because of the efforts of Rell Sun and Jericho Popler, in 1979, 1981 and 1982 the Makaha International Contest was brought back and the television coverage gave tandem a rebirth. Several teams started in Hawaii and by 1995, there were a dozen teams in California.

In France, Alain and Dominique Rousseau as well as Christophe Reinhart and daughter Valentine were the first. There are several new young teams now in France. They are led by Rico Leroy and Sarah Burel who have a strong background in Adagio style gymnastics and who are quickly becoming competitive on an international level. These teams have formed a French tandem surfing federation who practice together and help train new members. Rico has also invented some of the most popular lifts used today and he created the ITSA (International Tandem Surfing Association). He developed new rules, computerized scoring system and coordinated a pro tandem tour (WTT) in many different countries.

In 1996, Steve sent an instructional tandem video to Australia to help develop the sport there. In fact, Chris de Aboitiz and his partner Merideth Saunders, of Australia, surprised the tandem world by winning the 1999 world title. Danny Cortazo with his Olympic gymnast, partner, Svetlana added a whole new dimension to tandem with their variety of arm to arm lifts. Tandem surfing remains a very elite sport with perhaps only thirty teams participating world wide.

For a decade, the most prestigious event for tandem was the Biarritz Surf Festival. It was considered by all the tandem teams around the world to be an honor to be invited. Europe and the beautiful city of Biarritz were a dream for us to visit. The surfing community is so warm and welcoming. No event was more fun. The whole atmosphere of the tents, bands, night surfing and surfing legends was fabulous to be a part of. Robert Rabagny set an example for the surfing world that the sharing of our surfing culture, heritage, and pageantry is as important as competition. Everyone envied the style of the Biarritz Surf Festival.

Now, the most prestigious events for tandem surfing are the ISA World Championship and the ITSA World Tandem Tour. Those events were conceived and organized by Bear Woznick and Rico Leroy. The venue of the ISA world title is the Queens reef at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. This event has caused an explosion in tandem surfing in Hawaii. Teams around the world practice for months to perfect their routines for this competition because everyone wants to compete in Hawaii, the birth place of tandem surfing. The first winners of this new event were Brian Keaulana and Kathy Terada, both from Makaha. The next winners will also be able to claim the title of World Champions for one year.

In 2007 the World Tandem Tour took place in 5 different countries (Hawaii /Maui, Australia / Noosa, France / Seignosse, USA / Huntington, Spain / Santander) and saw the victory of the greatest team of the year and the come back from THE lady, Blanche Yoshida & Kalani Vierra. They also won the ISA World Title in August in Waikiki (Queens).

In 2008 the World Tandem Tour will take a new dimension and will allowed more competitions. A specification book has been created and coefficient (stars) will be given to contest who give good price money and professional judging. The results of the tour will be given with a minimum number of contests participation. Events 6* (50%) +1.

ITSA is now recognized as the reference for the Sport and each major country get is own representative. The main goal of ITSA is to develop the activity of Tandem surfing, promote it and professionalize it.