Meet Hardy Fletcher: North Haven’s bodyboarding prodigy

North Haven whiz kid Hardy Fletcher.

NORTH Haven bodyboarder Hardy Fletcher was always destined to shred on a bodyboard.

Twelve-year-old Hardy was named after his dad Ben’s favourite bodyboarder, Ryan Hardy, considered by many to be the sport’s greatest of all time.

Hardy has shared his dad’s love of the ocean since he was three, participating in bodyboarding competitions since the age of seven.

Five years on, Hardy is proving that age is no barrier when it comes to chasing pits or hitting the lip.

His performances at the 2024 Box Fest carnival in Port Stephens in March had both officials and spectators buzzing, with the young waverider displaying a level of skill and precision well beyond his years.

Box Fest is one of Australia’s most prestigious bodyboarding events, held at the iconic Box Beach with its famed pumping waves.

The carnival runs for three days and showcases the best bodyboarders from across Australia and internationally.

Hardy was the stand out in the Grommets Division (Under 14s), winning with a score of 16.23, double the score of his closest competitor.

The North Haven boy wonder then continued to impress when he finished runner up in the Under 18 Junior Men’s Division of the same competition.

In May, at the Jeff Wilcox Memorial event held at Forster, Hardy set the bar high for his fellow surfers once again.

He placed first in the Under 14s (grommets), runner up in Under 16s (cadets) and fourth in the Under 18s (junior men).

Hardy told News Of The Area that competition participation is a “great experience”.

“I love getting out in the water, riding waves and making new mates,” Hardy said.

Bodyboarding has also offered him the opportunity to meet legends of the sport, including nine time world bodyboarding champion Mike Stewart and current world champion Tanner McDaniel.

Hardy shared the water with both surfers on a recent three-day bodyboarding trip, who provided lots of advice on technique, nutrition and life in and out of the water.

Hardy will showcase his talent in the upcoming NSW State Titles at Newcastle from 22-23 June.


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