Surf (bodyboarding) and ichnology
My life revolves around weather patterns, tides, and the surf.– Mike Stewart
Bodyboarding is a water sport in which the surfer rides a short board, typically using fins for propulsion and control. Mike Stewart, nine-time World Champion bodyboarder, described well the focus of this sport: weather, tides and surf. This also applies to neoichnology, the study of modern traces of life-substrate interactions. In fact, tide forecasts are an important tool of the tidal flat neoichnologist; weather forecasts are essential for planning snorkeling sessions, especially if searching for delicate gastropod trails; waves and surf often accompanies the activity of the neoichnologist.
I enjoy bodyboarding, but I also find it very inspiring for science. In fact, bodyboarding implies an excellent understanding of fine-scale environmental patterns, e.g. the spatial distribution of currents and waves. This is great for inspiring research questions! For instance, bodyboarding allows to spot places where rolling waves interact with the shallow sand banks of a given beach. Will I found lined burrows there?
In short, bodyboarding is great for ichnology!