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Team Blacksheep

This is a blog dedicated to pushing the sport of bodysurfing.
Honk the horn. Call the Police.

Anonymous asked: Looking to purchase my first pair of turbos. Any recommendation on the sizing? i'd imagine tight right?

Yeah…right on player! I’m a size 35 waist and wear a XL in turbo…it fits me just right.  If you plan on bodysurfing a lot, you might want a buy a few. They are only going to last you one summer at best. 

You also might want to buy a lot of condoms…because dudes in turbos get laid. Just sayin’

Don’t worry… @sluttyviking did copious amounts of stretching before he turned into teenage mutant ninjas turtles arch enemy…SHREDDER!!!!
Here we go. Summer is almost upon us…May 1st is almost upon us. Why is May 1st important? Well, if you don’t know much about Wedge…then I’ll tell you. May 1st is the start of blackball season. No boards allowed between 10am and 5pm. Who cares.
I care about South swells and kicking it with the Nu-Cru, Team Whitesheep, Team Blacksheep, the Wedge Crew. This year will be an exciting year — as they always are. Lots of new faces. Lots of people who think they know Wedge, or just want to find out about it. Lots of people who don’t know the dark underbelly of bodysurfing. OOOOOOoooohhhhh. Sounds spooky. It’s not — BUT it is real. Everyone is all smiles on the sand but the water is a different story. 
Buy a hand plane. Grow your hair out. Start a blog. Post some photos on instagram. You’re a bodysurfer now. See you down there.
#thecleansing2014

Don’t worry… @sluttyviking did copious amounts of stretching before he turned into teenage mutant ninjas turtles arch enemy…SHREDDER!!!!

Here we go. Summer is almost upon us…May 1st is almost upon us. Why is May 1st important? Well, if you don’t know much about Wedge…then I’ll tell you. May 1st is the start of blackball season. No boards allowed between 10am and 5pm. Who cares.

I care about South swells and kicking it with the Nu-Cru, Team Whitesheep, Team Blacksheep, the Wedge Crew. This year will be an exciting year — as they always are. Lots of new faces. Lots of people who think they know Wedge, or just want to find out about it. Lots of people who don’t know the dark underbelly of bodysurfing. OOOOOOoooohhhhh. Sounds spooky. It’s not — BUT it is real. Everyone is all smiles on the sand but the water is a different story. 

Buy a hand plane. Grow your hair out. Start a blog. Post some photos on instagram. You’re a bodysurfer now. See you down there.

#thecleansing2014

"People often ask me “How do I become a great bodysurfer?” Here’s your answer: Be independently wealthy or a teacher. Both of those occupations can afford you the time needed to tackle bodysurfing greatness."
- Thomas VanMelum
Pipeline meet @nameshawthorne .      He made out with a girl on the beach right after this. #twotimer #micropipe #dirtyoldwedge #pipeline #bodysurfing #bodysurf #torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew

Pipeline meet @nameshawthorne . He made out with a girl on the beach right after this. #twotimer #micropipe #dirtyoldwedge #pipeline #bodysurfing #bodysurf #torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew

Anonymous asked: Can you recall a day when you got your ass handed to you by mother ocean? Explain?

Not a whole day, but certainly moments. LOTS OF THEM — and it brings me to a bigger point. PUSHING THE ENVELOPE.

If you aren’t failing, you’re not pushing. If you’re not pushing, you’re going to get boring. I’m constantly trying to push — and because of this I eat shit all the time. I currently hold the title of “Best Wipeout of The Year” for the Wedge Crew, and have held it for 3 years straight. That’s not a joke. 

Shit, at the PIpe competition I took off way too late and way too deep on a wave and got gobbled up alive. Other than Mike Stewart’s GREAT waves, it was probably the most memorable wave — in a bad way of course. The point is this:

Get the basics down. Once you have that, start experimenting. You’ll fail a million times. But if you’re lucky, your failures might lead you to one ground breaking success — that’s all you need. Zero in on that success and fine tune it. 

PS I just finished writing this and remembered a WHOLE day I got my ass handed to me, Rockpiles in 2013.  I’ve written about it many times here…although I’ve never shown the video of me getting my ass handed to me. Maybe I will pull it out.

Anonymous asked: Can you make the water hot again? My turbo's getting antsy.

Fingers crossed for El nino this summer. There will be so much turbo action girls won’t come down to the beach because their hoo hahs will hurt from too much of us.

Anonymous asked: Yeah I know hand boards and wetsuits are lame but so am I. 40 years of doing this and I still suck. But I dont care cuz I love it and it makes me happy. I just bought a synergy tri suit hoping the extra buoyancy and silicon might help me get slippy. And I'm looking at Zoggs hand paddles to maybe help with speed and lift. (I dont lie spending $ on a bespoke handboard when a cafeteria tray seems to work fine) Maybe an outboard strapped to my ass. Thoughts?

My initial thought was “Where was your head at when you wrote this?” Maybe I’m dense but I can’t understand what you’re trying to say in half of this. I’ve never said hand boards are lame, and I love wetsuits. 

If you’ve been bodysurfing for 40 years and you still suck (your words not mine), I feel confident that a tri suit with extra buoyancy isn’t going to work any magic. Ha. 

I’m just giving you a hard time but I seriously don’t know what you want my “thoughts” on. Although I will admit your post was entertaining. 

It’s been hot. Thinking about summer. #skiesoutthighsout
Has anyone been keeping tabs on this el nino summer possibility?!?!? Ho man, if it pulls through it could be a pretty crazy summer for Mother Wedge — maybe even Auntie Point Panic. Ho BRA! That would be amazing.

It’s been hot. Thinking about summer. #skiesoutthighsout

Has anyone been keeping tabs on this el nino summer possibility?!?!? Ho man, if it pulls through it could be a pretty crazy summer for Mother Wedge — maybe even Auntie Point Panic. Ho BRA! That would be amazing.

"I am not a crook!"
In my head it was perfect: Shoot into a giant closeout barrel while wearing a Nixon mask, and filming it first person with a hand plane and a gopro. Simple. So I put the mask on and slip out of the house without anybody noticing, onto the beach, and toward Off the Wall. The waves are double overhead…no biggie.
My first hurdle to overcome: people are staring at me like I’m an idiot who is going to get rescued. Probably because I am an idiot (but I’m not going to get rescued!). So I get over that embarrassment. 
I’m at the water’s edge. Where the hell do I put all this stuff / gear? Ok, strap the hand plane on. Attach the gopro to the hand plane. And the mask? Fuck it. Stuff it in my turbo. Tie it tight. Hurdle 1b to overcome: people are staring at me stuffing a Nixon mask into my pink turbo.
Ok. Hand plane is on, gopro is secure, and bulge is solid from mask stuffing — time to swim out. There’s no clear channel and it’s reef all the way, so I’ll just take my time, take a bunch of waves on the head, and then I’ll be fine. Nothing new here. 5 minutes later I’m almost to the critical point of where the waves are, getting ready to make my hard push past everything. Take one look back at the house, and everyone is on the deck staring at me. Fuck. So much for incognito — better not screw this up. Well, at least I am out here alone.
Wait…there are two surfers paddling out now. Fuck. Just act cool and say hi to them. “Hi guys.” 
Good job.
Ok how is this going to work? I’m just going wait for the perfect wave. Throw the mask on over my head, go blind, and hope everything works out. 
10 minutes go by…me looking for the perfect wave…swimming around trying to get into a good spot so I can take off on a wave blindly.
A SET!!! Welp, it’s now or never. Pull the mask over my ears, swim out to the wave, and do the same thing you’ve done a million times…except with a mask…and a hand plane. Don’t forget to hit record on the gopro.
AND I’M OFF! Fuck Peter Pan — I’m flying. Face of the wave is a little bit bumpy holding a hand plane but who cares. Everything is perfect. Get ready for the giant close out barrel. WHOOOOOOOSH!
Long story short, because I couldn’t see, I was cutting up the wave way too high. I carved up so high, the hand plane dug into the water and flew off my hand then everything proceeded to go over the falls — go pro — hand plane — my limbs. I was instantly separated from my possessions (except the Turbo). Kiss the love, showing it some love and pop up pretty quick. SHIIIIIIT! I just lost $400 worth of stuff. No joke, a split second later, the hand plane along with the gopro popped up right in front of my face. WOO! A scream of relief. 
After searching for the Nixon mask, I found it on the inside 20 minutes later. Do I have video of all of this? Yup. I’ll post it later when I give it an edit.
VanMelum

"I am not a crook!"

In my head it was perfect: Shoot into a giant closeout barrel while wearing a Nixon mask, and filming it first person with a hand plane and a gopro. Simple. So I put the mask on and slip out of the house without anybody noticing, onto the beach, and toward Off the Wall. The waves are double overhead…no biggie.

My first hurdle to overcome: people are staring at me like I’m an idiot who is going to get rescued. Probably because I am an idiot (but I’m not going to get rescued!). So I get over that embarrassment. 

I’m at the water’s edge. Where the hell do I put all this stuff / gear? Ok, strap the hand plane on. Attach the gopro to the hand plane. And the mask? Fuck it. Stuff it in my turbo. Tie it tight. Hurdle 1b to overcome: people are staring at me stuffing a Nixon mask into my pink turbo.

Ok. Hand plane is on, gopro is secure, and bulge is solid from mask stuffing — time to swim out. There’s no clear channel and it’s reef all the way, so I’ll just take my time, take a bunch of waves on the head, and then I’ll be fine. Nothing new here. 5 minutes later I’m almost to the critical point of where the waves are, getting ready to make my hard push past everything. Take one look back at the house, and everyone is on the deck staring at me. Fuck. So much for incognito — better not screw this up. Well, at least I am out here alone.

Wait…there are two surfers paddling out now. Fuck. Just act cool and say hi to them. “Hi guys.” 

Good job.

Ok how is this going to work? I’m just going wait for the perfect wave. Throw the mask on over my head, go blind, and hope everything works out. 

10 minutes go by…me looking for the perfect wave…swimming around trying to get into a good spot so I can take off on a wave blindly.

A SET!!! Welp, it’s now or never. Pull the mask over my ears, swim out to the wave, and do the same thing you’ve done a million times…except with a mask…and a hand plane. Don’t forget to hit record on the gopro.

AND I’M OFF! Fuck Peter Pan — I’m flying. Face of the wave is a little bit bumpy holding a hand plane but who cares. Everything is perfect. Get ready for the giant close out barrel. WHOOOOOOOSH!

Long story short, because I couldn’t see, I was cutting up the wave way too high. I carved up so high, the hand plane dug into the water and flew off my hand then everything proceeded to go over the falls — go pro — hand plane — my limbs. I was instantly separated from my possessions (except the Turbo). Kiss the love, showing it some love and pop up pretty quick. SHIIIIIIT! I just lost $400 worth of stuff. No joke, a split second later, the hand plane along with the gopro popped up right in front of my face. WOO! A scream of relief. 

After searching for the Nixon mask, I found it on the inside 20 minutes later. Do I have video of all of this? Yup. I’ll post it later when I give it an edit.

VanMelum

Sexuality Re-examined in the Surf Industry ( . Y . ) | The Inertia

A little something I wrote for The Inertia.