Texas Tube Tour 2021






(Most photos courtesy of Tom Prince)

2020 was a challenging year by all accounts.  Lockdowns, fear of Covid at an all-time high, outbreaks, etc., and people stopped traveling.  Most people that is!  

Because of the drought of international travel and long-awaited surf trips, our family took the opportunity to travel domestically last year to take advantage of cheap air tickets.  BSR was on our list of destinations.  Texas Tube Tour was the brainchild of this hunger for surf travel.  As you might have seen from our account of last year's trip HERE, it was a rousing success, so of course, we decided to do it all again, this time bigger and better!  

BSR Surf Resort has established itself as THE place to go if you want a cheap, short surf trip with guaranteed waves.  Surf teams train there on the regular and every world-class surfer worth their salt, or in this case, "non" salt, has ridden BSR's freshwater wedges at some point.  

Bodyboarders have mined the goods as well, and some groups like the Boogie Nation crew from Kauai, and many others make regular sojourns to Waco, Texas.  BSR has new ownership too, and they've expanded their season and amenities accordingly.  You can now ride from March through December (make sure your 5mm, booties, gloves and hoods are at the ready!) if you're hearty enough to handle the cold late autumn months.  

Private bookings like our Texas Tube Tour event allow us to book out the pool entirely for our group for two 8-hour days, and that means we get to select from a menu of waves!  2021's event featured 24 slots (some of which were shared by two riders). 


(Another year with an amazing group of bodyboarders!)

We split the 24 into 4 groups and began the festivities on Monday, October 4th with the "Lower's" wave.  This was just to warm everyone up and get those who had never ridden BSR a chance to get the feel for it.  Most riders picked it up fast, though some were confused as the wave pushes out away from the wall, coaxing them to turn in the wrong direction.  Eventually everyone figured it out and some even picked up on the poaching technique!  See HERE for more info on that.  

After half an hour of rights and another half hour of lefts, we started the "custom wave" sessions.  This is where things got interesting.  We literally had the ability to change the wave with every rider's turn, but eventually, most riders gravitated toward the more bodyboarding-friendly offerings of the Waco Wedge and the Double Barrel.  

The Waco Wedge features an easy "chip in" takeoff with a chunky lump of water lurching in front of you and pitching into either a short, intense little barrel, or if you gunned it through, a fun little ramp- your choice!  Some preferred their Wedge as a right and some as a left! 

   
(Aaron Batula finds the shade)

 
(eBodyboarding's Tommy D with some stoogie action)

One of our crew, BSR veteran Trevor Ellis insisted that we try the Double Barrel.  No one could make the wave initially until Trevor coached us on how to ride it, and before long, several of us were hooked!  It involves taking off on a small finger of lip right next to the wall and high-lining in full planing position toward the other end of the pool, almost paralleling the wall.  The deceiving bit is that the ramping wedge at the end of the wave hasn't even appeared yet, so you have to maintain your line and speed with the knowledge that it's coming.  Sure enough, a huge chunk of water emerges from the wall in front of you, and if you've maintained your line correctly, you'll have ample speed to drop it down and quickly turn up into the ramp (or stall for the barrel) and catapult into the flats at crackneck speed.  The water is about 12" deep where you land, so precision is key to prevent contact with concrete! 

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(eB's office manager Gianna Simonelli plumbs one)
   

(Ted Mullen locked in)

The Double Barrel provided thrills and spills galore for those of us that rode it.  Others stuck with the Wedge and still others wanted more time on the Lower's setting to throw all their bags of tricks in one ride.  

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(Nik Gero throws an air reverse)


(Vicki Reale steep and deep)

While last year's Texas Tube Tour ended in facial abrasions, knee and elbow scars and even a broken kneecap, this year's event thankfully yielded just some "reef" rash on a few knees and elbows, but no permanent damage.  

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(eB Operations Manager Josh Wright setting up for the launch)


(I found my fountain of youth)

We scored sunny, warm weather, water temps in the upper 70s, and even had two catered meals prepared by BSR staff.  In-between food and drink could be had thanks to the Surfside Shack next to the wave pool, and some of us even came a day early and partook in the wakeboarding action!  

Most agreed that the boogie camaraderie was the icing on the cake, meeting up with old friends who all shared a history in the sport, but none was more inspiring to the crew than our buddy Ron Ziebell.  An icon at the Wedge for many years and one of California's top riders, Ron scorpioned at Wedge in 2007 and broke his back, rendering him unable to walk without assistance, and his bodyboarding efforts have been difficult.  We were all stoked when Ron signed on for Texas Tube Tour.  Cheers roared across the pool when Ron, with the help of others, was launched into his first Waco Wedge and got barfed out the end, showing that Ron hasn't forgotten how to plumb a barrel.   

(RonDog Ziebell recaptures the magic)

The smiles on everyone's faces told the story.  Texas Tube Tour 2022 happening with TWO different trips due to popular demand.  Check our BODYBOARDING TRAVEL page for details so you don't miss out on this bucket list destination!  


(Virginia Beach's Bob Hovey showing his 4 decades of boogie experience)

 
(Trevor Ellis in the funnel)


(Kris Espinosa was the standout of the trip)


(Chad Stickney mixed it up with some prone, DK, and mat riding!)

 
(Kieran Reale holding it down for the grom patrol)

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(The man behind most of these photos and ex-pro Tom Prince with style points)


(Ex-pro and our videographer extraordinaire Brian Press setting it up in another bowler)
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