Gavin Colman of Cronulla, Australia completed a perfect week of competition by winning both the Open and Senior divisions at the 2007 Kneeboard World Championships at Santa Cruz' Steamer Lane Jan. 9-13. Colman, who won every heat he surfed during the five-day competition, used an explosive vertical attack to win last Saturday's Open final in glassy 4 to 6 foot surf.

At the awards presentation, the soft-spoken Colman, 35, acknowledged the contributions of kneeboard shapers to the sport and honored the memory of the legendary Australian kneeboarder and shaper Albert Whiteman. After a hiatus from kneeboarding Colman said, "I came back to kneeboarding to set an example for the younger generation which is gaining in numbers and talent. When I was 15 I was surfing against Novokov, Farrer, Smith, Parkes and other legends. It was motivating for me to be competing with these highly competitive kneeboarders and giving them a run in the contests." Colman is excited, re-energized and wanting to lead by example. The tide has turned for Gavin. For his efforts, Colman received the $3,000 first prize and the title of Kneeboard World Champion.

San Clemente's Barry Baker surfed brilliantly and finished in second place - the highest placing by an American since Albert Munoz took second in 2002 at the Queensland, Australia World Title contest. Australia's Matt Gallagher and Baden Smith finished third and forth respectively.

More than {{{100}}} competitors participated in the 2007 Kneeboard World Championships - the first such event ever held in the United States. In addition to the Open division, world titles were awarded in several age divisions and a Women's division (see below for complete results). Americans winning world titles included Laguna Beach's Tom Linn in the Grandmasters (45 to 55) division, San Diego's Shaun Murphy in the Cadets division and Santa Cruz' John Mel in the R.O.B.s (over 55) division.

Hosted by Kneeboard Surfing USA and sanctioned by the International Surfing Association and Kneeboard Surfing International, the 2007 Kneeboard World Championships drew competitors from eight countries and throughout the US. Event organizers say it has boosted interest in kneeboarding, a sport with its roots in the groundbreaking performances and designs of iconic watermen such as George Greenough, Steve Lis and Peter Crawford during the 1960s and 70s.

"This has been a great opportunity to showcase state-of-the-art kneeboarding here in Santa Cruz at Steamer Lane, a world-class venue," said KSUSA President Don Harris. "Beyond the competition itself, this was the largest international gathering of kneeboarders in years. It really brought people together on many different levels. We've got a lot of momentum right now and it's exciting to think where the sport is headed."

Sponsors of the 2007 Kneeboard World Championships include Freeline Design Surf Shop, NewSwell Studios, Surfing Magazine, Coastline Brewery, Hurley, {{{Viper}}} Swim Fins, Blast Kneeboards, Stay Covered, Maxim Capital Advisors, Inc., Tide Has Turned, Independent, Parkes Australia, Flashpoint Surfing,, Neil Luke Kneeboards, Drift Kneeboards, SurfTech, Schoelkopf Designs, and Surf City Coffee.

The next Kneeboard World Championships will be held in April 2009 in Opunake, New Zealand. Murray Weir, president of Kneeboard Surfing New Zealand, welcomes all international competitors to New Zealand, which previously hosted a highly successful world titles in 1999.

Leading up to 2009, however, Harris said kneeboarders can look forward to more contests, gatherings, DVD releases and other projects to keep the stoke level high. He said KSUSA will continue to emphasize high-performance kneeriding as a way of pushing the sport forward - especially in the US which has not produced an Open division champion since 1980. But, Harris says American kneeriders are closing the gap (three of the top six finishers this year were Americans) and he expects continued progress in the future as the sport reestablishes itself in the United States.

"Six years ago, there was no Web site, no kneeboard-only contests and very little else happening," said Harris. "Now, we've got more than 1,100 kneeboarders registered on our Web site, we've hosted three successful KSUSA Titles, a World Titles, and numerous gatherings. Where once Australia was the center of the Kneeboarding universe, the sport is now thriving on both sides of the Pacific."

Harris said that in addition to enhancing the competitive skills of U.S. kneelos, a high priority will be placed on attracting more young devotees to the sport through an expanded Juniors program. For more information, visit HYPERLINK “”

Established in 2003, Kneeboard Surfing USA is dedicated to promoting the sport of Kneeboard Surfing through competitions, kneelo gatherings and other activities. KSUSA has hosted three U.S. Championships and the 2007 Kneeboard World Championships in January 2007.


OPEN: 1. Gavin Colman-AUS, 2. Barry Baker-US, 3. Matt Gallagher-AUS, 4. Baden Smith-AUS, 5. (equal) Jack Beresford-US, 5. Randy Reed-US, 7. (equal) Armando Colucci-VEN, 7. Karl Ward-UK

Women: 1. Jodie Winter-UK , 2. Natlie Silverthorn-UK, 3. Kiya Kelly-CAN, 4. Laura Rodriguez-US

Cadets: 1. Shawn Murphy-US, 2. Taylor Chappete-US, 3. Sebsation Perez-US, 4. Nick Kouatli-US

Juniors: 1. Kelvin Weir-NZ, 2. Jos Hadfield-NZ, 3. Taylor Chappete-US, 4. Sebastion Perez-US

Pro Juniors: 1. Richard Smith-UK, 2. Kelvin Weir-NZ, 3. Sam Coyne-US, 4. Matt Pierce-US

Seniors: 1. Gavin Colman-AUS, 2. Karl Ward-UK, 3. Armando Colucci-VEN, 4. Mark McLeod-AUS

Masters: 1. Gigs Celliers-SA, 2. Jamie McHugh-AUS, 3. Jack Beresford-US, 4. Randy Reed-US

Grand Masters: 1. Tom Linn-US, 2. Bob Turnage-US, 3. Scott Wessling-US, 4. Scott Hayward-US

ROBs: 1. John Mel-US, 2. Bob Gove-US, 3. Greg Warnick-US, 4. Robert Parata-IRL

Team Event: 1. Australia, 2. International, 3. US, 4. New Zealand, 5. UK