Wave pools (just like any other surf spot) build communities – even if your name is Pond Scum

In some of the heavier settings in wave pools, the barrel can get pretty tight. Stand-up surfers, if not balled up tight enough, will get clipped in the head trying to squeeze in while bodyboarders have no trouble getting slotted. This scenario seems a bit like karmic justice.

Since the introduction of the Boogieboard from Tom Morey, the dedicated have had it tough. With so little flotation to paddle, it’s hard to compete against surfboards for those big, sloping set waves out the back. Consequently, bodyboarders tend to congregate around heavy, ledging slabs and semi-slabs. And now wave pools.

Pond Scum is a loose collection of prone surfers celebrating, well, being bodyboarders. The entity is the brainchild of Tim Volant, a Melbourne stone mason who lives near Urbnsurf.

“There was no dedicated page to bodyboarding and the boog-affiliated at the wave pool,” said Tim. “So being from there, surfing there and seeing the photos of the place, speaking to people etc, it was just an idea to put it all together on an Instagram page.

Tim says that because Urbnsurf is so photogenic the Insta page works really well.

“With the water colors, the sky, clouds, talented photographers, as well as colorful boards, wetties and fins, it all just comes together in a pretty sick visual language.”

Tim says that Pond Scum serves “The People” as in anyone who is affiliated with the bodyboarding community. A lot of the group feel like outsiders mostly due to the fact that, as he says, bodyboarders have been looked down upon in ocean lineups for years. Urbnsurf and other pools serve as the great equaliser.

And it’s fun.

“From the beginning of the pool, I’ve heard (also had myself) mixed emotions about paying for waves,” said Tim. “But I seriously believe that you’ll be walkng out after ya’ session with a guaranteed smile. If not from your session, but from watching a friend or family member having a sick time in a controlled environment if they’ve had a previous ocean scare.”

WavePoolMag will continue to focus on communities (however loosely defined) that spring up at wave tanks. Are you part of a crew? Drop us a line at [email protected]

Travis as photographed by Lucas Gardner (@lgardnerphoto)
Tim Volant creator of Pond Scum
Shane Britten Co-owner of Nomad Bodyboards
Chris Watson President of the Victorian Bodyboarding Club