Gas Bay in Margaret River showcased its prowess as a premiere wave location, welcoming some of WA’s finest bodyboarders for the 2024 Think Mental Health WA Bodyboard Championships presented by Good Earth Surf over the weekend.

Gas Bay didn’t disappoint, offering hollow tubes and big ramps to challenge and inspire seven State Champions who were crowned in near perfect conditions yesterday. Competitors from across Western Australia converged to compete in the clean and consistent 3-4 feet waves, delivering an unforgettable display of high-performance bodyboarding.

Contrasting conditions saw riders have to adapt to reach finals day, with large unruly surf on Saturday making the going tough, but finals day allowed for great scores and performances across all divisions that hit the water.

Margaret River’s Ben Veitch used his local knowledge to perfection, catching the best waves in the Open Men’s final and executed his manoeuvres with precision. Veitch flipped and rolled his way to a two-wave combined total of 15.94 (from a possible 20), to claim the blue-ribbon Open Men’s State Title, his first since 2019. 

Veitch was thrilled to take the win in front of friends and family, defeating former professional Chad Jackson (DUnsborough), Ashden Garrett (Margaret River) and Jake Metcalfe (Balcatta).

“Gas is a premiere bodyboard wave and it really showcases our sport,” said Veitch. “Critical wave riding with hollow sections for tubes and airs, it’s doesn’t get any better than competing when the waves are pumping.”

Dual Australian Champion Ebony Schell (Mindarie), secured her fifth consecutive State Title with a commanding performance in the powerful waves. Schell who recently returned from her first International Bodyboarding Corporation (IBC), event in Morocco, threaded tubes and rolled through big sections to claim the victory ahead of Dunsborough’s Rio Clarke, posting good and excellent scores with ease.

“It was so nice to be out in the water and sharing the lineup with Rio” said Schell. “I’m looking forward to chasing my third Australian Title and competing in more international events in 2024.”

Veteran competitor Chad Jackson (Dunsborough), was the standout performer of the event, dropping some of the biggest scores of the weekend and showing the new generation of WA bodyboarders what was possible. Jackson charged the biggest waves and landed some of the biggest moves on his way to defending his Over-35 Masters State Title. 

Jackson posted a combined total of 15.17 (from a possible 20), which included an excellent 8.67 and backed it up with a 6.50, to take down Ben Veitch (Margaret River), Brendan Gabel (Scarborough) and Sean Oberholzher (Yallingup). 

“I’m stoked to defend my 35’s Title and it’s been a really great weekend all round,” said Jackson. “I’ve got a sore shoulder and tender ribs after surfing so many heats, but it’s all worth it when you score waves like we’ve had.”

Sean Oberholzer (Yallingup), defended his State Title in the Over-45 Grand Masters division, demonstrating excellent wave selection and clean finishes on all of his rides. Oberholzher was too strong for Glenn Schell (Mindarie), Barry Hammond (Dunsborough), and Brad Neervoort (Craigie).

Kyle Schubert (Leschenault), claimed his maiden State Title in the Under-18 Junior Boys category, with Barry Hammond (Dunsborough), taking out the Drop Knee division. While Paul Baur (Duncraig), flew the flag for the new generation of WA bodyboarders, emerging triumphant in the Under-14 Grommet Boys division. 

WA’s long history of producing world-class bodyboard talent continued with the Think Mental Health WA Bodyboard Championship presented by Good Earth Surf offering competitors an opportunity to showcase their skills on a pathway to the Australian Bodyboard Titles set to be held later this year.

“Congratulations to all our State Champions and competitors for a truly exciting display,” said Surfing WA Events Manager Justin Majeks. “Surfing WA has and will continue to support bodyboarding here in Western Australia, we have the waves and the talent to showcase this amazing form of wave riding.”

You can keep up to date with all the action by following Surfing WA’s social media platforms or by checking out www.surfingwa.com.au

And remember, whether you’re on land or in the water, safety always comes first. Surfing WA reminds all competitors and spectators when you’re chasing waves, stay focused and ditch the distractions – #NoTxtNoWrecks.


Open Mens:
1. Ben Veitch (Margaret River) – 15.94
2. Chad Jackson (Dunsborough) – 11.83
3. Ashen Garrett (Margaret River) – 9.90
4. Jake Metcalfe (Balcatta) – 5.67

Open Womens:
1. Ebony Schell (Mindarie) – 23.67
2. Rio Clarke (Dunsborough) – 10.94
*combined totals from 2x finals

Drop Knee:
1. Barry Hammond (Dunsborough) – 10.66

Over 35 Masters:
1. Chad Jackson (Dunsborough) – 15.17
2. Ben Veitch (Margaret River) – 13.57
3. Brendan Gabel (Scarborough) – 8.06
4. Sean Oberholzer (Yallingup) – 7.00

Over 45 Grand Masters:
1. Sean Oberholzer (Yallingup) – 11.44
2. Glen Schell (Mindarie) – 8.56
3. Barry Hammond (Dunsborough) – 8.30
4. Brad Neervoort (Craigie) – 5.90

Under 18 Junior Boys:
1. Kyle Schubert (Leschenault) – 10.67
2. Karn Williamson (Carramar) – 5.33
3. Blair Hille (Mindarie) – 3.17
4. Stirling Stilwell (Cottesloe) – 2.83

Under 14 Grommet Boys:
1. Paul Baur (Duncraig) – 5.83

About Think Mental Health:
The Think Mental Health education campaign is part of a comprehensive approach in Western Australia that aims to build mental health and wellbeing and reduce mental health issues with a view to reducing Western Australia’s suicide rate. The Think Mental Health education campaign’s focus is on assisting the Western Australian community to connect with the best information, support and services for their particular situation, without duplicating the good work already being done. For more information be sure to checkout: www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au


Other News