What’s the Womper?

Coastal Point • Submitted: Pro surfer Kalani Robb gets deep in the barrel on the Womper in California.Coastal Point • Submitted: Pro surfer Kalani Robb gets deep in the barrel on the Womper in California.The crew from Catch Surf will ride just about anything. Since launching the “Womper,” however, they’ve been dropping in on the summer shorebreak riding pretty much nothing at all.

The 16-inch miniature bodyboard is the newest creation from one of the industry’s leading innovators, offering wave-riders a new way to get wet.

“That’s really what we’re all about,” said Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage. “Any board that we offer is about fun. We like to chart our own path and keep the product unique.”

Not only is their newest product unique, it’s versatile as well.

Designed to add another element to wave-riding, where the rider paddles into the wave and then glides with the Womper out front as it breaks, the board has evolved to cater to all demographics.

From Catch Surf pros, including Kalani Robb and Jamie O’Brien dropping in at Pipeline, to local legend Bill Baxter in Bethany, and even to kids looking for their first bodyboard — those who have tested it out have said that everyone can find a use.

“It’s like a little Boogie Board, too,” said Atlantic Shoals Surf Shop owner and lifelong surfer Fletcher Birch, noting that the board has been a hot item so far this summer.

“I’ve got a 2-year-old, and he rides his in the pool. It just enables the kids to get in the water and have fun on something else, which is awesome. Even the better guys — they’re grabbing those because they can bodysurf easier now.”

“It’s a great little board for the shorebreak around Big Sussex,” added Baxter. “You can go out and get some fun little barrels — especially in Bethany, where you can’t surf or skim when the lifeguards are on duty.”

Savage also noted that his niece and nephew (ages 3 and 5) use the board in the pool or carry it to the beach, while Baxter went on to say that, while it’s a fun board in the shorebreak, he often likes to cap a surf, skim or “winch” session with a Womp ride, even when a swell hits town.

With the board having been developed in California and tested out at various breaks around the world, when the waves are good, Womper riders can often find themselves with maximum tube time and the ability to use a Go-Pro camera for potential cover shots.

“The Womper is 16 inches of floating fun that can be ridden multiple ways to enhance your bodysurfing sesh,” said Catch Surf photographer Chris Monroe (a.k.a. “@beefs_official” on Instagram). “Use it like a hand-plane or a mini-bodyboard to drive through the tubiest of tubes.”

Right now, the board comes in six different colors, including hot pink, military green, sea foam, blue steel, neon lime and black.

However, Savage said the company has big plans for the board’s future, including new color and design options, pro models and, possibly, even some Womper contests.

They’ll take a break from their annual “Get Wet Tour” and stop in Delaware and Ocean City, Md., this summer, with most of the team organizing a trip to Japan. But rest assured that the East Coast tour, usually ranging from Maine to Florida, will be back in 2017.

“We’re gonna come in bigger and better than ever before,” Savage said. “We’re going for the best tour that Catch Surf has ever put on, in 2017.”

This summer, the Womper can be found in all local surf shops carrying Catch Surf products. It retails at $36. For more on the Womper, or Catch Surf, check out www.catchsurf.com.