| Outside magazine, June 1995|
After Brazil's Mariana Nogueira darted around Hawaii's famed Banzai Pipeline to win the World Championships of Women's Bodyboarding last February, most of her rivals and at least half of the beach were in agreement. "Mariana is better than a lot of guys," says Robin Cardoza, one of the top Americans in the sport and a victim of the 23-year-old Nogueira's dazzling array of corkscrew moves and big-wave launches. "A few years ago, only a few of the girls were doing the really hard maneuvers," says Cardoza. "Now you have to do them if you want to compete." The quality performances are there. So, finally, are the purses and the media attention: Pipeline offered $10,000 in cash prizes, and Nogueira ended up on page one of the local papers. How did the men do? "Page seven," says Cardoza proudly. And while Brazil remains the sport's stronghold, many believe bodyboarding is poised to take off among women in Hawaii and on the U.S. mainland.