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Cronulla players help launch the Shark Island Challenge.

He has been a tough as nails forward in the NRL and plays for the Cronulla Sharks, but Luke Lewis is in awe of the world's best bodyboarders and the waves they take on.

Lewis was on hand with Cronulla teammates to help launch the Shark Island Challenge on Friday, a bodyboarding competition that attracts 20 of the world's best. 

While he has taken on the biggest and the meanest the NRL and the world can muster, Lewis admits in the water, he's lucky just playing in the whitewash. 

"The way they throw themselves into the waves and the way they make some moves on the waves is just absolutely crazy. I like to go out and catch a bit of whitewash but that's about it so to see what these guys do is pretty special," Lewis told

"I've only just come down to Cronulla and probably known about it for three years so I'm still learning about it. The last three years I've gone down and watched it from a distance up on the hill. I think from all reports it's one of the heaviest waves, it's pretty close to the reef so if you come off you're looking worse for wear. 

"They're pretty massive and pretty heavy waves. Looking forward to that competition and hopefully we get a nice swell come through soon."


Lewis is getting ready to take on the Storm on Monday night, a team that has regularly dumped him back to reality over the course of his career.

Lewis has only won four games from 18 starts against the Melbourne outfit, his last coming way back in 2005. 

And while Lewis is fully focussed on the Storm and keeping the Sharks charge towards the finals going, he was happy to help promote the Shark Island Challenge.

"A friend of ours, Andy Lester, he won it last year, he's a local which is good to see," Lewis said.

"It's a great little competition. It's always great getting down there and seeing everyone get around and watch it. Hopefully we're going to get the opportunity to get out there and watch it on the boat, sitting in that little channel there and actually see the waves. 

"It's just a real good day, sitting out there and watching what these blokes can do. I think it's been on there for 18 years that I know of and Andy, the bloke who just won it has been going in it for 18 years and he won it last year so it just goes to show how hard the competition is."

 You can find out more about the event here. 

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