Today I’d like to speak about one of the best surfers in the world, Mike Stewart: 9-time bodyboarding champion, 13-time Pipeline Bodysurfing Champion, smart, happy, friendly, sharp and if pushed to the limits, a relentless brawler, Stewart is for many of us a reference in the world of surfing. Both for surfers and bodyboarders, he is just a legend, a legend that spends most of his time in El Frontón, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.
Born in Kailua-Kona, Honolulu, the Big Island of Hawaii on 1963, Mike Stewart started bodyboarding regularly at the age of 13. Moved to the big island in 1973 where he met Tom Morey, an expat surfer from California, who rapidly became his mentor and “father”.Stewart is so famous as he invented several of the tricks of current bodyboard. The Aerial 360 is his own, as well as the famous Barrel Roll. In the early 80’s he even had time to go to University, although he only stayed two years as he felt that his future would be mingled with Surfing, and so he went Pro, and only years later he won more than 100.000 dollars in several championships.
In 1987 he received a full-lenght Surfer Magazine profile and in 1991 the magazine asked their readers with an article named “Is Mike Stewart the Best Surfer in the World?” Plenty of readers acknowledged he certainly deserved such a title, but many others, especially the ones who thought Bodyboarding was an intrusive sport, started saying that he was a “spongerider” or “speedbump.” Leaving these old school surfers behind, the truth is that Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian admitted to be inspired by Stewart, even though it wasn’t the same sport. True surfers know there is very little difference between surfing and bodyboarding, especially when you see a blond kid riding a 20-feet wave on a bodyboard at Teahupoo…
Both him and Ben Severson were regularly seen at Tahiti’s Teahupoo in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, and then started riding 20-foot-plus waves of Oahu’s North Shore. Then in 1993 he became the first bodyboarder to ride Jaws on Maui. In 2014, aged 51, he ramined a top rank Pro bodyboarder. Want to learn to surf and Bodyboard and become the next Stewart? Visit Atlantik Surf. Let’s enjoy his videos.