Surfers from across world join International Bodysurfing Championship in Manhattan Beach

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Bodysurfers were up early to catch a wave and compete in the International Bodysurfing Championship, which took place north of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

The north side of the pier causes the formation of sandbars. Waves break there with more velocity, creating an ideal takeoff for a bodysurfer to catch a wave.

The event brings bodysurfers from all over the world. The Bodysurfing Championships are run by the Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Assn.

The event is part of the 56th International Surf Festival. The ISF is a five-day celebration of the South Bay's beach culture and the heroics of Southern California lifeguards.

The annual event typically draws several thousand spectators who range in age from 8 years old to those in their 80s.

The surf festival began in 1964 when Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach came together to organize a festival under one banner.