Senior Editor

The Inertia

The war between bodyboarders and surfers goes back a long way. Despite that it’s just two different ways of riding a wave, there’s always been a bit of a rift. That rift is generally voiced a little louder by the stand-up side of the coin, but bodyboarders have long been quietly going full send on waves deemed un-surfable before the stand-up kind of surfers rode them.

For years, they’ve been the unsung heros of slabs – most of them were first discovered and ridden by bodyboarders. I like to think of them as a paving crew, of sorts, paving the way for surfers on surfboards, showing them that yes, this wave can be ridden. A paving crew full of some of the most insane people on any kind of board.

Of course, Nazaré isn’t a wave that’s never been surfed before. It’s pretty crowded, in fact, given the size and consequence of the waves that break there when it’s big. But one bodyboarder in particular is well suited for it: Pedro Levi.

Levi is no stranger to waves with heavy fists, and he’s been chasing heavier and heavier ones as the years go by.

“With determination in his heart and a bodyboard under his arm,” wrote Above Creators, “Pedro embarked on a quest not just for personal glory, but to etch his name in the annals of history by attempting to ride the biggest wave ever on a bodyboard.”

It’s no easy feat, obviously, and Levi thinks that riding a giant wave on a bodyboard is harder than riding one on a surfboard. According to him, it’s “because bodyboarders lying down don’t have the legs and knees to absorb the speed impacts while riding at high speed like surfers do.”

The video isn’t a recent one, but it’s one you might’ve missed. Shot on March 12, 2020, it shows Levi’s journey to ride the biggest wave of his life on a bodyboard.


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