Naked Volleyball SuperBowl(s), and on no-photo policy at some naturist events

Naturists playing volleyball is a cliché, but I think it’s a good one! Let me know if I’m wrong, but apparently the largest naturist sport event (after the original Olympics in Ancient Greece were prohibited) is a volleyball tournament which takes place every September in Western Pennsylvania – The Original Naked Volleyball Superbowl. As its venue, White Thorn Lodge, is probably all white in snow right now, before reporting on our experience there, I’d like to announce that a similar event will take place in one month in the Sunshine State of Florida: the 14th Annual Super Bowl South Ten Day Volleyball Tournament. Well, quite a bit of information has been included in the name already, so I’ll just add that it takes place at Lake Como resort in Tampa area from 6th to 15th of March, with finals on the last day. See you there 😉

Here is a promo video for this event. If you notice, they don’t really show much of the volleyball game itself though, and yet it’s more than the bigger event in Pennsylvania allows: although this blog usually features photos and videos to accompany most texts, absolutely no photos were allowed at the Volleyball Superbowl at White Thorn Lodge. I’d like to hear your opinions about it, but I find it unfortunate. If naturist movement wants to promote body acceptance and normality of nudity, it seems counterproductive to forbid photography and video at such a big event as Volleyball Superbowl, as it may only reaffirm general public’s opinion that nudity is something to be ashamed of or at best suitable only for private/secretive setting. Sport events make the top most watched TV broadcasts – the Summer Olympics, football and rugby World Cups, Tour de France etc. globally, and Super Bowl in USA – so it appears that naturism fails on capitalizing on demand for sport videos to popularize the movement. And it’s a pity even more so, because such videos would promote naturism as an active and healthy lifestyle.

Well, actually there is an article and a video by ESPN about the Naked Volleyball Superbowl, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do justice, in my opinion, because all photos seem to be staged and everything possible was made to conceal genitalia and women’s nipples. (Good move, ESPN, with your Body Issue series, but it’s kind of only a half-move for the aforementioned reasons…)

As a result of such policies, if you search for illustrations of naked volleyball games, as I did for the article on nudity in sports, you’ll be swamped with porn links with hardly any legitimate material in sight! Needless to say, it would send a wrong message to someone who just started getting into naturism and would look for more information and examples of naturist activities. Surprisingly, there are a lot more videos of naked skydiving and rock climbing than of naked volleyball!

Is there any solid reason behind such strict rules at the Naked Volleyball Superbowl and some other similar events? Perhaps the organizers are afraid that many people wouldn’t want to be outed as naturists publicly, and if they allowed photography and TV, fewer visitors would come and some would feel uncomfortable (which, again, is contrary to naturist philosophy of nudity’s normality). But such events as the World Naked Bike Ride attract even larger numbers of participants, and nudity is on display in front of much larger audiences in some of the world cities such as London (as opposed to private nudist clubs)… Perhaps a solution to keep ‘shy’ people happy at the Naked Volleyball Superbowl and the like would be giving out wristbands of different colors to those who are fine with being photographed and those who aren’t, and  make the photographers and TV crew sign release papers accordingly…

The only argument against photography that I personally would [maybe] accept from the organizers is if their intention were that participants enjoyed the immediacy of the event. This is how no-photo policy is explained at the ‘Output’ nightclub in New York, for example. While I don’t necessarily feel that I personally lose immediacy every time I take a picture (sometimes even on contrary, I get deeper into the moment taking a picture of it), at least such an argument at naturist events wouldn’t send you to the assumption that nudity is somehow shameful 😉

Regardless of the photography issue, there were many moments to enjoy at the Naked Volleyball Superbowl. I went with two friends – Tam and Mat 😀 – and immediately upon arrival we made a few new friends. From people at the reception to our campsite neighbors, everybody wanted to make sure that we had everything necessary for a comfortable stay. It was indeed very helpful, because my other friend Don had to cancel his trip last minute, and he was supposed to bring some camping gear. In the end, everything went smoothly, and we greatly appreciated friendliness of White Thorn Lodge members and so as fellow campers who also came specifically for the event: we were offered to use the grill, a ride to Pittsburgh on the way back, and were invited to dinners and parties. Some camps, such as Quebec’ team and Tiki-Tamba, had decent sound systems and DJs, so at night the atmosphere was very much of a festival.

We went with the idea to play lots of volleyball, but we didn’t realize the event was indeed that serious about the sport. It actually turned into a volleyball marathon of three full days! On Friday, we built our team with our campsite neighbor John, his friend from local community and that friend’s friend’s teenage daughter. So, our team pretty much reflected the open nature of this event! With around a thousand participants (in some years, up 1500!), Naked Volleyball Superbowl truly brings all kinds of people together. Some arrive with fully formed teams, others find teammates on the spot. This diversity is also reflected in volleyball skills, as competition includes men’s and women’s AA, A and B classes, and multiple mixed C/Novice level teams. We started as a novice team but on Saturday were upgraded to C (Novice+). Sunday was the day of the actual competition, by which we were quite exhausted. None of us had much experience with volleyball, but we did pretty well, at least better than we expected, just failing to reach the finals. It was also nice to walk around and watch other matches, which differed quite a lot, depending on the surface (grass, sand, asphalt) and levels. After corn roast in the afternoon, the event culminated with men’s AA finals. I’d never seen volleyball of such high level and was amazed that it looked like a totally different beast from volleyball games that you see at a beach typically. This was inspiring and impressive, and nudity made the whole experience only more exciting. After seeing this game, where the volleyball was certainly not the only kind of balls bouncing around, I could assure that the claim by some naturist skeptics that vigorous activities are not suitable to do naked because certain body parts would “move too much” and “get hurt” is complete bollocks! Well, perhaps such skeptics should consider the Russian version of the proverb that a bad workman always blames his tools, which is ‘плохому танцору и яйца мешают’ and literally means ‘a bad dancer is impeded even by [his own] balls’. 😀

I can’t wait for the naked Volleyball Super Bowl South in Florida and then hope to practice volleyball more at Sandy Hook beach this summer to be in better shape for the tournament at White Thorn Lodge again!

Ågesta: idyllic lawn and beach by the lake in Stockholm

naturist 0001 Agesta, Stockholm, Sweden

Ågesta is an idyllic place within Stockholm city limits. It’s the top choice among local naturists thanks to the picturesque Magelungen lake, small cozy sandy beach, nice green lawn surrounded by trees; there are also basic amenities such as a shower and picnic tables. Just look around, and you’ll find a nice spot for yourself, either next to other people or in a quiet corner.

naturist 0003 Agesta, Stockholm, Sweden

The flat lawn is great for sunbathing, of course,

naturist 0002 Agesta, Stockholm, Sweden

but it would be also perfect for many activities, such as volleyball or football, yoga, martial arts and whatnot. Too bad local naturists didn’t seem to take advantage of that. I taught my local host, whom I got to know thanks to TrueNudists network, some basics of acro-yoga. We can only dream of having something like that in New York City! Well, at least a few people were swimming, and in the end of May the water was warm enough for that already.

naturist 0000 Agesta, Stockholm, Sweden

I heard that Stockholm, and Sweden in general, used to be even more open to naturism, but the attitude is changing with the influence of prudish American culture and influx of immigrants, who are generally more conservative.

statue 0000 Stockholm, Sweden

In the city itself, I could only see naked statues in abundance, but strangely enough, my bet is that people would probably not tolerate, if they saw the same thing in flesh…

statue 0001 Stockholm, Sweden

Nevertheless, I did sunbathe naked for a bit at a secluded spot on Långholmen island with a nice view of the city. There is also a known area for nude sunbathing in the western part of the island but unfortunately without access to the water. Hopefully, naturism will be more accepted in Sweden soon again, and one wouldn’t need to look for hidden spots. Meanwhile, enjoy Ågesta and other official locations available from Scandinavian Naturist Portal.

naturist 0000 Stockholm, Sweden

New Nude Yoga class in New York! Nude Yoga retreat is coming to the Woods again

naturist yoga 0002 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

After having maintained a nude yoga group with my friends for almost two years at private locations, we are finally going public. Starting from this Wednesday, we will have a weekly class in Harlem at 9pm with Michael. He is a very experienced and talented yoga instructor, and we are very lucky that he will teach us. He will also join us again for the second yoga retreat at the Woods campground on the first weekend of August 1st-3rd.

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Feel free to comment here or contact me by e-mail for more details about the class and retreat. You’re also welcome to just stop by. We are offering $15 per class for frequent visitors who are ready to buy a 10 pack for $150 or single class for $20. As for the retreat, you’re also welcome to just join us at the Woods campground, but if you drive from New York City, we’ll appreciate any carpool options. The retreat is purely donation-based, and all costs will be shared!

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Meanwhile, get inspired by these pictures of Michael stretching out at the great Sandy Hook beach!

naturist yoga 0001 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

His routine includes some sophisticated poses and transitions that require advances flexibility,

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but don’t worry, he’s a good teacher and will make sure that everyone is comfortable at their level of experience.

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The doggy yogi classics is certainly on the menu too.

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However, it’s always nice to see something challenging to aspire to.

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We also like partner stretches and acro-yoga; below are photos from our spontaneous session last September at Sandy Hook.

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Partner exercises turn yoga into an interactive experience

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and allow deeper stretches.

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Some poses even involve more than 2 partners.

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Join our nude yoga group, and your body and mind will thank you!

Bouncing Balls at Sandy Hook

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Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook was very crowded last sunday, but not all beach-goers just lay in the sun: we spent most of the day playing with balls, namely volleyball and football (soccer for you Americans :-)) We had lots of fun and are planning to come back there this Saturday, please join! See my previous post for discount ferry tickets from Manhattan.

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We worked on some good (and beautiful) serves,

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from both sides! It wasn’t often trivial due to changing wind.

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Those followed by not less beautiful defense moves,

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that sometimes required sand dives,

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not always successful though.

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A focused two-hand rebound might look less effective but was usually more efficient.

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Given the tall height of some of our players and low height of our net, it was sometimes easy to shoot the ball down from just above the net.

naturist volleyball 0008 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

There are lots of techniques that we have to learn and practice, and who knows, maybe we’ll be strong enough to participate at the Naked Volleyball Super Bowl? We had success at the “Bouncing Buns” trail race, so maybe we’ll be lucky with bouncing balls too.

After playing a few matches of volleyball, we decided to switch to football. However, we made a smooth transition by first playing (or rather trying to play) footvolley (futêvolei), a pretty new Brazilian sport that combines aspect of volleyball and football. It proved to be very difficult for us, so we moved on to football (soccer).  Inspired by the ongoing World Cup, we might stick to it this Saturday, especially if we get more players, although I’m also keen on playing some touch rugby.

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Here is a pic of our free kick 🙂

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If you want to join the fun, look out for some bouncing balls at a beach near you 🙂

naturist football kick 0010 Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Discounted tickets for the ferry to Sandy Hook :-) Let’s show up in big numbers and play some ball games!

Sandy Hook is undisputedly the favorite summer gathering spot for nudists of New York, New Jersey and even Philly. For New York City dwellers, there is a convenient ferry (rightfully called SeaStreak) that departs at two locations in Manhattan, but the cost ($45) may be discouraging. Luckily, this year there is not just one but two discounted ticket options. After some pressure, SeaStreak has release a coupon for $30, as in previous years.

Seastreak ferry coupon 2014

But this year, you can buy an even cheaper ticket with Groupon for $25, which is limited to only one per account, however. Nonetheless, there are two independent links that allow buying two tickets actually (or is there more?) – go and get ’em:

Groupon Seastreak Ferry to Sandy Hook 1 and Groupon Seastreak Ferry to Sandy Hook 2!

I’ve written about Sandy Hook on multiple occasions, so just use the “search” option to your right on this website and get inspired for some beach activities. Volleyball is a must, but after playing some touch rugby at Sunny Rest resort, we’d like to add rugby to our beach routine too! Given the ongoing World Cup, football is also on the list. Come and join us 😉 Why naked? Because what’s the purpose of clothes at a summer beach? None! Rugby and soccer players don’t usually wear protective gear anyways (besides mouth guards, but they are not necessary for touch rugby), so what’s the point in wearing anything at all? Run free and enjoy!

Active Naturists team gets gold at the Bouncing Buns trail race :-)

naturist 0000 Sunny Rest, PA, USA

Last weekend my friends and I teamed up for the naked trail race at Sunny Rest naturist resort in Pennsylvania, and we scored two trophies, including the absolute first! Yes, one of us, Casey, ran that tough 6km trail in just 27 min 47 sec. David brought another trophy for the 4th male under 39 years old (8th total).  I was 13th, but I was happy I could run the race at all, as I wasn’t sure how my ankle would feel still not fully recovered from the injury that I got after I was run over by car in January. This was my third year attending the race, and although the route have gotten shorter from 7 to 6km, it has also acquired some steep slopes this time. Probably for this reason, besides the injury, my result was 3min longer than last year despite a shorter track (32:16). It’s a pity another prize-winning ‘Team America’ from last year didn’t show up this time, but there was more than enough competition with 159 participants.

I was also recognized by one of the readers of my blog, who actually said he was inspired by it to participate in the race. This kind of comment is probably the best praise I could expect from my blog, this is what keeps me motivated to run it!

After the award ceremony, we ate lunch and I was glad to find out that the restaurant at Sunny Rest has improved tremendously and offers now a diverse menu of pretty good quality. Then we rested from the race in the pool and hot tub… but not for too long, as we also wanted to play volleyball. We had a few fun matches but needed even more rest afterwards, so we mostly hung out at the sauna and hot tubs in the evening. Next day, our activities started with yoga at the lawn near the tenting site followed by a short hike, partially on the trail that was used for the race.

naturist 0001 Sunny Rest, PA, USA

The outskirts of a field proved to be a good spot for nude photography.

naturist 0002 Sunny Rest, PA, USA

We also played some touch rugby in the afternoon, inspired by the recent match of Nude Blacks in New Zealand.

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We played with just 3 players in each team, but it was still a lot of fun.

naturist rugby 0001 Sunny Rest, PA, USA

We all concluded that we should play it more often, so maybe we’ll build up a team some day. And maybe it will be as successful in rugby as in running? 🙂

naturist rugby 0002 Sunny Rest, PA, USA

Wreck Beach, the largest nude beach in North America!

This is another guest entry, now from our devoted reader-turned-contributor Nat

Wreck Beach is North America’s largest nude beach. There are actually three nude beaches – Acadia Beach, Towers Beach and Wreck Beach – however most refer to the whole 8 kilometres around the Point Grey peninsula, as Wreck Beach.

naturist 0000 Wreck Beach, BC, Canada
The beach is located on the campus of University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It is easily accessible by transit, car or bike. It’s a 15 minute car ride from downtown to Acadia Beach which has a gentle slope for those that can’t do stairs.
As NW Marine Drive curves around the point, the slope get higher so that by the time you get to the main Trail 6 you have a few hundred steps to get down to the beach.
They are well built steps, however coming up is a good workout for some.


At the top of the trail you usually see lots of bikes and a concession stand selling snacks etc.
Trail 6 is the main section where you see thousands on a busy summer weekend, It is also one of the better places for swimming since when the tides are out you get large expanses of sand to run and play.

naturist 0001 Wreck Beach, BC, Canada
The beach has a breakwater. Near the breakwater is one of the area’s where gays like to hang out.
You will also see many licensed vendors selling food and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is illegal on the beach. You will find people selling it, but when the police come down, it suddenly disappears. Be discreet, or if they see you, they will pour it out.
If you go continue to your left, you can find a trail that takes you to the gay beach.
You can also choose not to go down Trail 6, but continue on NW Marine, it turns into SW Marine Drive and go down Trail 7. You will need to look at a map if you plan to go to Trail 7, since it’s on Old Marine Drive, an offshoot of SW Marine Drive.
Once down Trail 7, again well maintained steps, you can go left for an older crowd (jokingly called Jurassic Park ) or right for a younger crowd. If you go right it’s about a ten minute walk or so to an area called Oasis.

naturist 0004 Wreck Beach, BC, Canada
The only thing that is not so great about Oasis and the beach along Trail 7 is that it is not good for swimming. Many just walk the trail towards Trail 6 and the main beach to do that. The area of Trail 7 is known for cruising.

naturist 0002 Wreck Beach, BC, Canada
There are no food vendors at Oasis, it is much quieter, but on some days you may find someone selling beer.

The great things I like about Wreck Beach are it’s size. You can strip down at Acadia Beach and walk for two hours around the point totally nude and still be within the city limits.


The views are of mountains and forest. When you stand on the beach, especially Oasis, you look at a fir tree covered hill tumbling down into the ocean. You feel very far away from the city.

naturist 0003 Wreck Beach, BC, Canada

Yoga is more fun under the sun… and stars

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Last minute announcement: This coming Sunday, we’ll be at Sandy Hook beach with two yoga instructors from the group that I organized a few months ago. There are several yoga groups in New York City that practice yoga naked (see my review of Zensual yoga, for example), but my group started as much less formal gathering of friends; now it’s become a regular, weekly class with 2 rotating instructors and more visiting, and a dozen or so students, and we’ve even had a retreat at the Woods campground!

naturist 0003 yoga, the Woods campground, PA USA

I haven’t announced this group on this blog because it was meant mainly for friends, and it grew fast enough with word of mouth. During summer, we’ve been holding classes at the rooftop of one of us in Uptown Manhattan in the evenings. Well, the sky in Manhattan isn’t very starry, but even so it is pretty amazing to stretch out on the roof under stars… and airplanes. I must say after getting used to doing yoga al fresco and au naturel, it would be hard to practice it any other way. The weather seems to be great on Sunday, you can join us at Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook (see my previous blogpost for the ferry coupon) to do some yoga under the sun and try something like this:

naturist 0012 yoga, the Woods campground, PA USA

Partner stretch/acro-yoga class was probably the most popular at our retreat in the Woods. Besides that, it was also pretty amazing to have an awakening morning yoga session listening to the rain (that one we did under the roof). After that, we covered ourselves with mud and did the no-rain dance, so the sky was clear throughout the rest of the retreat weekend. This time, it looks like we don’t even need that, the forecast is fine 🙂

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coupon for the ferry to Sandy Hook (another excuse to post about the beach)

We had quite an awesome blogpost about Sandy Hook beach for the 4th of July, but as I am often asked about the discount coupon for the Seastreak Ferry that brings you from Manhattan to the beach, I am just posting it here on my blog (they don’t make it easy to find at the Seastreak website).

This is also a good excuse to post some of the older photos that have been waiting for a moment like this.

naturist 0002 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

So, as you can conclude from the company’s name, the ferry brings you to streak by the sea 😉

naturist 0001 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Well, this is not exactly streaking, as the Gunnison Beach of Sandy Hook is a legal clothing-optional beach. By the way, as you can see, even nudists are not opposed to using fabric… and there are some other options of using it besides clothing 😉 It is nice to see it waving in the wind.

naturist 0000 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

In the end, it is all about freedom, you can leave your hat niqab on 😀

naturist 0003 Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Here is a couple of photos from the last two visits. When many people got scared of rain and clouds last Saturday, not only did they miss the Tacoboy’s Beachfest and perfect weather for volleyball, but also a full rainbow in the end of the day!

rainbow 0003 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Sunday turned out to be a full day of sun, and the last ferry was bringing us to the city with a stunning sunset view!

naturist 0002 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Could it be more perfect? Maybe if the sun was right by the torch of Miss Liberty… but let’s not ask for too much from a casual trip to the beach.

naturist 0001 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

Seeing these iconic views on the way from the beach makes taking the quite expensive ferry worthwhile (besides bringing you to the city faster than by car).

naturist 0000 from Sandy Hook to NYC, NY, USA

By the way, I almost forgot about the discount coupon with all these views, here it is.

Seastreak Ferry coupon to Sandy Beach 2013 summer season

Gymnastics and capoeira at Sandy Hook beach

naturist 0000 4 July flag of USA @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

This blogpost contains some of the best photos that qualify for both ‘active’ and ‘naturist’. It was prepared for the 4th of July, but instead of finishing it on time, I went to the beach 🙂 Well, I guess most of the readers in US did the same anyway, so one day delay is OK. Moreover, now I have this photo with historic American flags to add. Thanks to the nice couple who brought these flags and my friend Andre, I got a little lesson on American history right on the beach (I wish all history classes were like that, I would probably have learnt way more). Although I’m not a US citizen or a big fan of any sorts of patriotic celebrations in general, it seemed appropriate for the Independence Day to take a photo with the 13 star “Betsy Ross” variant of the first (or second?) flag of the USA, as well as the Gadsden Flag. Actually, I liked that according to Wikipedia contemporary significance of Gadsden Flag includes its use as “a symbol of disagreement with government, or a symbol of support for civil liberties”; given unfortunate recent developments with closure of some nudist beaches around New York and anti-nudity law in San Francisco, for example, this rebellious interpretation seems more appropriate for a nudist beach. Well, I don’t want to get carried away with this topic for now, I promised some of the best active naturist photos 🙂

So, the visitors of Sandy Hook’s Gunnison Beach may have encountered quite astonishing situations with some crazy people ‘flying’ around, sometimes upside down.

naturist 0000 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

One of them is certainly to be my gymnast friend David, who just cannot sit still for too long. His moves are impressive from the beginning

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to the end,

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but of course it’s what happens in between that draws attention!

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David can do most major exercises of floor gymnastics and tumbling and is eager to demonstrate his prowess,

naturist 0007 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

for which I have to thank him, as it inspired me to take gymnastics classes too.

naturist 0005 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

I’m still struggling with front handspring though.

naturist 0001 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

However, I could show a one-arm cartwheel…

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or a three-leg-one-arm cartwheel 😀

naturist 0003 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

A handstand isn’t a problem either 🙂

naturist 0002 gymnastics @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

I wasn’t the only one inspired; when we were tumbling last year during Tacoboy’s Beach Fest, we were joined by Amanda, and she learned how to do a handstand!

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Another fun activity that we’ve engaged with at Sandy Hook was capoeira.

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We are yet to get big enough group to arrange a proper roda (capoeira game), but it’s fun even with just two (this time with Fardo), only more tiring as there is nobody you could rotate with and rest in between.

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At least we had the advantage of not being constrained by clothes and doing it in the fresh sea air 🙂

naturist 0039 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Playing on the wet sand felt nice (pretty close to the matted floor that we usually have in classes), but it sort of added a ‘secret weapon’ to some of the kicks, when the sand would get off the foot during the kick and fly into your opponent. Oh well, but capoeira game is all about surprise moves and being unpredictable.

naturist 0051 capoeira @ Gunnison Beach, Sandy Hook, NJ, USA

Here’s a video that sums up all this fun, hopefully more and more people will get inspired!

PS I’ve just realized, my Independence Day blogpost last year was also about Sandy Hook (check it for directions and general description), it’s probably going to be a tradition!