The Future of Bodyboarding // Contextual Essay

The future of bodyboarding incorporates many factors which I am passionate about. Whilst creating this DA, I originally aimed for one 10 minute video, however I think that this content is genuinely useful for bodyboarders and therefore I created 3 videos and 5 interviews, covering many topics and recommendations for the future…

Contextual Essay

As stated in my pitch: “Throughout this digital artefact, I’m going to consider what the future of bodyboarding might look like through numerous predictions. I will observe the history of bodyboarding and attempt to make some predictions for the future. I will also include in-depth research of the current information on these technologies and their impact and issues.”

This is what I have done, as I have created a series of videos about the Future of bodyboarding by conducting background research, interviews and creating my own predictions for short, medium and long term. Further, I created 4 interviews with professional bodyboarders.


Throughout 3 video essays, I have explored the past, current trends and have made predictions for the future. I have done this by “analysing problems and issues by examining current trends and past data, then [proposing] potential solutions based on what is practical and possible and preferable” (Week 6 lecture). These predictions have been placed within short, medium and long term time-frames as follows:

Video 1:

The first video I looked into the technology behind wave pools and cameras, what they look like in 2020 and what they may look like in the future.

Short term:

  • Wave pools will be included into competitions
  • Wave pools will have tracking cameras, used to not only film bodyboarders but also provide more data
  • GoPros linked directly to Instagram or bodyboarding only platform
  • Size of surf cams will decrease and start to be built into boards and wetsuits

Medium term:

  • Test-bed boards, allowing faster prototyping
  • Cameras could evaluate performance
  • Customisable waves on command within wave pools
  • AI could create surf clips for you
  • AI cameras to coach bodyboarders
  • Personal profiles at wave pools
  • Wave pools in every city

Long term:

  • Cyborg – “eyeborgs” societal norm to have cameras implanted into eyes
  • Built in Bluetooth

Video 2:

Looking into the past, present and future of surf forecasting and the impact is has on bodyboarding as well as the struggle of what is preferable. I also discussed the future of materials and environmental impacts.

Short term:

  • Invention and implementation of more surf cameras
  • Cameras should only be placed in already populated beach breaks – not hidden, special breaks
  • Eco-friendly materials

Medium term:

  • More wave pools could ease the crowds
  • Customisable bodyboards in real time, not per order
  • Cameras within bodyboards
  • Fin molds

Long term:

  • Creating our own boards/wetsuits/fins
  • Technology which can help to keep the sea clean (inspired by movie 2040)
  • Faster travel = more waves accessible, quicker trips
  • Safety and performance enhancing wetsuits
  • Cyborg extension of fins as feet, ability to breathe under water

Video 3:

“Futurists do not ignore the present” – Alvin Toffler 1970

 “Affect change now, not just at some later point” – Chris Moore, 2020

The video discussed what I would like to see happen locally, nationally and globally, starting now. 

  • Social media presence in clubs, promoting club members
  • Women joining more clubs
  • “Girls go bodyboarding” days
  • Beach clean ups 
  • Competitions held at wave pools
  • Coaching clinics and academies
  • Bodyboard festivals
  • Supporting bodyboard brands
  • Implement bodyboarding as school sport/school talks 
  • Increase funding
  • Focus on future generations
  • Incorporate bodyboarding into tourism advertising
  • Eco-friendly


Within my beta, I was able to identify a reliable feedback source and ultimately my main audience. Posting in Vintage Bodyboard Collectors enabled me to gather some of the current trends, as well as thought provoking ideas for the future.

I created mind maps and sketched of any ideas that I had, and put them into a google document, where I listed the topics which I decided to focus on. Many of these topics came from my pitch, however after my beta feedback I was able to zone in on specific topics of interest.  The doc eventuated to become my video scripts, which I then voice recorded and added videos/images/sketches to create the videos.


methoodology 30 50 years sketch

For my digital artefact, I needed to do extensive background research on numerous topics. It was amazing that some of my recommendations already exist in some form, such as the “eyeborg”. I included lecture content, academic and media sources throughout the videos and often referred back to Wendell Bells theory of what is probable, possible and preferable. I also ensured to refer back to my Beta and Pitch, as I had already collected some great sources under each topic. Research included technology which is available now as its unlikely “To have the right information to come up with a viable plan of action for the future” (Chris Moore, week 4 lecture)

I also recognised that I could make connections in my videos to previous work, including Women of the Waves, which I am a co-founder of.

My digital artefact has a major focus on the “preferable” element of Wendell Bells theory. I ensured to make these predictions with consideration of bodyboardings culture and ways to protect it (as seen in the surf forecasting topic). Video 3 enables bodyboarders to become aware of “what alternative actions they can possible take and what the probably consequences of their particular acts will be”.

preferable futures

Further, I considered what I learnt within the week 4 lecture, which includes Wendell Bells 9 major purposes, and created a mind map on how my DA can incorporate them.

9 purposes



Platforms & Feedback/Analytics:

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Audience & Utility:

Bodyboarding is a niche sport and therefore it’s future is important as the numbers have declined. The public utility of this DA, is to somewhat pinpoint what bodyboarding looks like in 2020 and where it may be headed, in hope to inspire bodyboarders to continue to build back the numbers in the sport.

It is important to consider Sardar‘s discussion on how it is easy to lose control on the outcome, as there are always elements which are left out. This helped me to let my mind wonder,  as many of my ideas are too complex to completely control.

sardar quote

Further, Elenora Massini stated that futurists must “undertake a project, in which you persuade the world to move towards a more pluralistic future through creative and imaginative analysis and productive action. A futurist must do as well as imagine”. As I considered my audience, I found that it was best to divide the videos into a mini series, specifically to dedicate a video to the “now”. This allowed me to encourage and persuade bodyboarders to take these initial steps for our future. A stated by Wendell Bell, “no theory of society and social change is complete if it does not incorporate the idea of the image of the future”.  I wanted to be able to truly create an idea of the future for bodyboarders.

Trajectory of DA

As bodyboarding is a passion of mine, I took time to consider Elenora Masini’s theory that the “future must not only be foreseen and dreamt of, but chosen and built”. This encouraged me to create different topics so that I could incorporate these predictions, as well as link them to what we can do now, in order to build them.

Pitch > Beta

  • Cut down amount of topics to more specific ones
  • Find audience and feedback loop
  • numerous videos to one video

Beta > DA

  • 3 videos + interviews (I understand this was a lot of work and greatly exceeded the 1500 word equivalent, however I am passionate about bodyboarding and feel that this DA is more than just a uni project).
  • Specific focus on local, national and global recommendations

DA > Future

  • There’s an increase in surfers adding a bodyboard to their quiver, meaning that surfers and bodyboarders may even mesh together. This is a topic I’d like to explore in the future


Future Cultures Challenge:

“If you focus purely on prediction you are unlikely to have the right information to come up with a viable plan of action for the future.” – Chris Moore

I was able to address the challenge by making numerous recommendations for the future. A majority of the recommendations I made incorporate things we can do now, as this is a focus of Wendell Bells Futures Thinking theory. I have explored the past and current trends, as well as what other bodyboarders would like to see change in the future.  I have considered the possible, probable and preferable elements in each of the recommendations for the short, medium and long term future. Further, I have made numerous recommendations within the short, medium and long term future.

DA and Contextual Essay References:

ABC News 2016, ‘More Plastic Than Fish in the Oceans by 2020’, ABC News, weblog post, 21 January, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Dickerson B 2019, ‘Wave Pools Worldwide’, Wave Pool Mag, weblog post, 12 February, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Donahue M 2017, ‘How Colour Blind Artist Became the Worlds First Cyborg’, National Geographic, weblog post, April 3, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Ghose T 2017, ‘Meet the Eyeborg’, Live Science, weblog post, June 14, viewed June 9 2020, <>

Moore 2020, BCM325 Multiple Futures Part 2, online video, 23 February, YouTube, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Moore 2020, BCM325 Futures Thinking: Trajectories and Planning Part Two, online video, 17 February, YouTube, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Moore 2020, BCM325 Futurists, online video, 9 March, YouTube, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Movement Magazine 2018, ‘The Next Wave’, online video, 25 November, Facebook Watch, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Rahmani, M, Mason, M.G, Karimian, T & Hajiloo, M 2014, ‘Investigating the potentials role of water-sports tourism in attracting tourists in rural areas case study’, Research Gate, No. 1, pp 1820-1829, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Rejcek 2019, ‘Future of Aviation Will be Greener and faster than Ever’, Singularity Hub, weblog post, 26 December, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Sardar, Z 2014, ‘Welcome to Postnormal Times’, Futures, vol. 5, pp 435-444, <> 

Surfer Today 2014, ‘Polaroid Cube Challenges GoPro in the Surf’, Surfer Today, weblog post, August 19, viewed 9 June 2020,,just%2035mm%20(1.37%20inches).>

Surfer Today 2018, ‘Surf Lakes Is Already Making Waves in QLD’, Surfer Today, weblog post, October 26, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Surf Rider Foundation 2018, ‘Hawaii Passes First Ever Ban on Reef Harming Sunscreen’, Surfrider, weblog post, 7 March, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Surfer Today 2019, ‘Ben Player Rides Surf Lakes’ Biggest Waves So Far’, Surfer Today, weblog post, August 20, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

Surf Lakes 2019, ‘Ben Player Testing Out The Island at 5 Waves Surf Lakes’, online video, 29 August, YouTube, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

URBN Surf 2020, ‘URBN Surf Melbourne Bodyboard Kings’, online video, February 20, YouTube, viewed 9 June 2020, <>

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