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World’s Best Longboarders Ready for Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Surf Festival
Jul 25, 2022
- Second Stop on WSL Longboard Tour Opens August 3, 2022
- Critical World Title Points at Stake at Huntington Beach
- Honolua Blomfield, Harrison Roach Enter as World Ranking Leaders
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., USA (Monday, July 25, 2022) - The World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour heads to Huntington Beach for the Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival , Stop No. 2 of the 2022 WSL Longboard Tour from August 3 - 7, 2022 in conjunction with the Vans US Open of Surfing. The iconic Huntington Beach Pier will host the world’s best longboarders with World Title implications on the line for the first time. A crucial 5,000 points are on offer as the long-standing Vans Duct Tape Invitational follows the season opener in Manly Beach, Australia.
Reigning, three-time, WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) and 2021 World runner-up Harrison Roach (AUS) lead the rankings heading into Huntington Beach following their victories at the GWM Sydney Surf Pro. Blomfield, 23, claimed the win at the first-ever all-women's Vans Duct Tape Invitational in 2018, adding to her multiple series victories in Huntington Beach. She now returns with a chance to strengthen her lead on the world’s best.
For Roach, a glimpse at the World Title last season left the Australian hungry for more and showed his resolve with a brilliant victory to start the 2022 season. A multiple Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner, the now 32-year-old looks to show he’s not leaving a Title trophy hanging in the balance this
But, they will have a world-class field of longboarders ready to strike with the likes of 2019 WSL Longboard Champion Soleil Errico (USA), multiple World Title runner-up Chloe Calmon (BRA), three-time WSL Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (USA), two-time WSL Longboard Champion, and now Southern California resident, Phil Rajzman (BRA), and many more locked in for Huntington Beach.
The WSL Longboard Tour hosts three stops season this year with the GWM Sydney Surf Pro, Vans Duct Tape Invitational, and Cuervo Classic Longboard Championship to crown the men’s and women’s World Longboard Champions. Both the GWM Sydney Surf Pro and Vans Duct Tape Invitational are worth 5,000 points before the all-important conclusion in Malibu, California offers 10,000 points to finish the year.
The Vans Duct Tape Festival will also welcome Vans team riders Dakota Roche, Holly Wawn, Zion Wright, and Troy Elmore as featured surfboard builders, each sharing their hand-shaped boards with the public. Following the Duct Tape Festival's conclusion, hand-shaped boards will be donated to Stoked.org to continue providing accessibility for the community.
Vans Duct Tape Invitational Competitor List
- Honolua Blomfield (HAW)
- Alice Lemoigne (FRA)
- Chloe Calmon (BRA)
- Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW)
- Soleil Errico (USA)
- Avalon Gall (USA)
- Natsumi Taoka (JPN)
- Zoe Grospiron (FRA)
- Sally Cohen (HAW)
- Kirra Seale (HAW)
- Tully White (AUS)
- Sophia Culhane (HAW)
- Lindsay Steinriede (USA)
- Rachael Tilly (USA)
- Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA)
- Mason Schremmer (USA)
- Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER)
- Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN)
- Karina Rozunko (USA) - Wildcard
- Jasmim Avelino (BRA) - Wildcard
- Frankie Seely (USA) - Alternate
- Harrison Roach (AUS)
- Kai Sallas (HAW)
- Ben Skinner (GBR)
- Kevin Skvarna (USA)
- Justin Quintal (USA)
- Taylor Jensen (USA)
- Tony Silvagni (USA)
- Kaniela Stewart (HAW)
- Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER)
- Cole Robbins (USA)
- Steven Sawyer (ZAF)
- Jefson Silva (BRA)
- Taka Inoue (JPN)
- Kaimana Takayama (USA)
- Declan Wyton (AUS)
- Phil Rajzman (BRA)
- Joao Dantas (PRT)
- Keoki Saguibo (HAW)
- Tosh Tudor (USA) - Wildcard
- Jules Lepecheux (FRA) - Wildcard
- Steven McLean (USA) - Alternate
The Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival event begins August 3, runs through August 7, 2022 and will join the Vans US Open of Surfing Challenger Series, which starts July 31 - August 7 at the Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, California.
Finals Day Awaits Vans US Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational and Festival
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Bettylou Sakura Johnson, Ezekiel Lau, Kelis Kaleopa’a, and Taylor Jensen Win Vans US Open of Surfing and Vans Duct Tape Invitational
Stillhouse Top 5 Moments
Post Show: Johnson, Lau Claim 10k CS Points, Kaleopa'a, Jensen Win Duct Tape
Final Day Highlights: Hawaiians Dominate the Finals
Highlights Day 7: Former WSL Longboard Champs Enter Title Picture, Tully Thrives Amid Elimination Scare
Gallery: Men's & Women's Duct Tap Inv. - Rounds 3 & 4
Highlights Day 6: Simmers' HB Magic Continues, Vans Duct Tape Invitational Brings Steeze To Surf City
Hurricane Frank Hits The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing
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WSL 2022 WORLD LONGBOARD TOUR
Manly Beach, Huntington Beach, and Malibu will host this year’s Longboard competitions for the men’s and women’s divisions. The first two events of the season in Manly Beach and Huntington Beach will be worth 5,000 points each, while the final event in Malibu will have 10,000 points on offer. The World Titles will be determined by the highest points in the best two of three competitions.
The competitions will host 20 surfers for the men’s division and 20 surfers for the women’s division. Each field will be made up of the Top 10 from the 2021 rankings, seven surfers selected from the regions, one WSL wildcard, and two event wildcards.
“We’re looking forward to kicking off the World Longboard Tour and crowning World Champions later this year at the iconic break of First Point, Malibu,” said Devon Howard, WSL Longboard Tour Director. “We’re also excited that this year’s Tour will start at Manly Beach then continue on at Huntington Beach. All of this Tour’s breaks are steeped in longboard history spanning back to the 1960s, where champions were crowned and surf culture as we know it today entered the world stage.”
“We’re very excited to bring back the World Longboard Tour in 2022,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “The Longboard community is very passionate, and we appreciate all the feedback we got from them as we were planning the future of this important division in professional surfing. This year, the World Longboard Tour will have three events, and we can’t wait to crown World Champions at the iconic First Point, in Malibu.”
2022 wsl longboard tour schedule:, manly beach, sydney, new south wales, australia: , may 16 – 24, 2022, vans duct tape invitational, huntington beach, california, usa: , august 3 – 7, 2022, wsl longboard championships, malibu, california, usa: , october 3 – 13, 2022.
The 2022 World Longboard Tour will kick off at Manly Beach, Australia as part of the Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series event from May 16 – 24, 2022. Considered by many as Sydney’s most popular surfing beaches, Manly Beach has a very long and celebrated history with surfing. Not only was it on the next beach over that Duke Kahanamoku introduced surfing to Australia, but it was in Manly Beach in 1964 that Phyliss O’Donnell and Midget Farrelly were crowned the first surfing World Champions. Manly Beach will host the world’s best longboarders as they try to earn as many points as possible to establish their World Title campaigns early in the season.
Competitors will then head to California, where the next two events of the 2022 season will take place. The Vans Duct Tape Invitational in Huntington Beach will host the first California event from August 3 – 7. Huntington Beach has served as the stage of several professional surfing competitions throughout the years. The break is also set to host the Vans US Open of Surfing, the fourth stop of the Challenger Series, from July 30 to August 7. The World Longboard Tour will conclude at one of the sport’s proving grounds, the iconic First Point in Malibu, California from October 3 – 13. Surfers’ two best results will be used to determine the World Titles and final 2022 Rankings.
Watch LIVE The World Longboard Tour will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and WSL’s YouTube channel , as well as the free WSL app . Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
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THE FINAL OF WSL MEN’S AND WOMEN’S LONGBOARD TOUR 2022
By Erika Scafuro The day of the finals of WSL Men’s and Women’s Longboard Tour 2022 has arrived. The third event of the WSL Longboard tour, after Sidney and Huntington Beach...
By Erika Scafuro
The day of the finals of WSL Men’s and Women’s Longboard Tour 2022 has arrived. The third event of the WSL Longboard tour, after Sidney and Huntington Beach could only take place in Malibu .
West of Los Angeles, this Californian town represents the dream of surfers from all over the world who, since childhood, have imagined surfing its perfect waves . So imagine the excitement that the world’s best longboard surfers will feel as they, right here, from 3 to 13 October to compete for the world title at the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship . Among them is our Portuguese surfer João Dantas, who, at the end of the event, will tell us about the competition how it will have gone.
But now let’s take a moment to take stock of what happened in the first two events of the WSL Longboard Tour 2022. It started in May with the GWM Sidney Surf Pro WLT with which surfers showed off their skills by gliding over Manly Beach waves on their longboards . It quickly became apparent who, among the men and women, would hold the top positions in their respective rankings.
For the men, the victory went to a local, the Australian Harrison Roach followed by the British Ben Skinner and at the third place the Hawaiian Kaniela Stewart. The podium for women was reached in first place by the Hawaiian Honolua Blomfield, followed by Chloe Calmon (Brazil) and Soleil Errico (United States).
The WSL Longboard Tour 2022 second stop took place in Huntigton Beach, California. The Vans Duct Tape Invitational has been, in addition to a competition, a great event celebrating surfing. For the Men’s again a local achieved the victory: the first place went to the American Taylor Jensen, Kaniela Stewart kept the podium as second and then Justin Quintal (United States) earned the third place.
For Women’s, however, the victory went to Kelis Kaleopaa (Hawaii) who beat Honolua Blomfield followed by Rachael Tilly (United States).
Looking at the current international ranking, in the top five ranking Men’s WSL Longboard Tour there are, at the first place, Kaniela Stewart (Hawaii) followed by Harrison Roach (Australia); Taylor Jensen (United States) ; Ben Skinner (United Kingdom) and Declan Wyton (Australia).
While in the top five ranking Women’s WSL Longboard Tour we find as leaderboard the 3x WSL Longboard World Champion Honolua Blomfield (Hawaii); then Chloe Calmon (Brazil), Soleil Errico (United States), Rachael Tilly (United States) and Kelis Kaleopaa (Hawaii).
So the anticipation grows to know the World Men’s and Women’s Longboard Champion who will be crowned during the Cuervo Classic Malibu Longboard Championship in Malibu.
2023 WSL CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR
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ALBERTO BOF’S PASSION FOR WAVES ON PIANO OR ON A SURFBOARD
Internationally renowned composer, pianist and producer, one would imagine Alberto Bof sitting at a grand piano. Bear Surfboards, however, found him in Liguria (Italy), surfing his home waves.
THE FIRST TWO STOPS OF 2023 WSL CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR
2023 WSL Championship Tour has begun and in the first two events of the season we have already witnessed incredible excitement.
2022 SCHEDULE OF WORLD SURF LEAGUE TOUR
For all lovers of surfing events, another stocked year has begun with the busy schedule of WSL competitions.
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Breaking News: Kelly Slater Awarded WSL Wildcard for 2024 Season
Posted: October 25, 2023 | Last updated: October 25, 2023
With the Challenger Series wrapped, the World Surf League class of 2024 is set.
There will be some new faces on the Championship Tour, along with, of course, some returning alumni, and one very familiar face whose been granted a season wildcard:
Mr. Kelly Slater.
In the WSL’s press release regarding the 2024 lineup, they congratulated the new class, welcomed back the old, and subtly buried the Slater announcement.
“We’re excited to welcome and officially confirm the new class of Championship Tour competitors,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL Chief of Sport. “Last season, Caitlin Simmers made the Final 5, showing us what rookies are capable of. We’re excited to see the potential of this year’s rookie class and how they will rise to the occasion of competing against the best in the world."
Here's the full list of 2024’s World Surf League Championship Tour competitors:
Women’s 2024 Championship Tour Qualifiers
Top 10 Qualifiers from 2023 Championship Tour Rankings
- Caroline Marks (USA)
- Carissa Moore (HAW)
- Tyler Wright (AUS)
- Caitlin Simmers (USA)
- Molly Picklum (AUS)
- Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
- Lakey Peterson (USA)
- Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
- Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
- Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Top 5 Qualifiers from 2023 Challenger Series Rankings
- India Robinson (AUS)
- Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
- Sawyer Lindblad (USA)
- Alyssa Spencer (USA)
- Isabella Nichols (AUS)
WSL Season Wildcards
- Johanne Defay (FRA)
- Brisa Hennessy (CRC)
- Luana Silva (BRA)
Men’s 2024 Championship Tour Qualifiers
Top 22 Qualifiers from the 2023 Championship Tour Rankings
- Filipe Toledo (BRA)
- Ethan Ewing (AUS)
- Griffin Colapinto (USA)
- Joao Chianca (BRA)
- Jack Robinson (AUS)
- Gabriel Medina (BRA)
- Yago Dora (BRA)
- John John Florence (HAW)
- Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
- Ryan Callinan (AUS)
- Connor O’Leary (AUS)
- Barron Mamiya (HAW)
- Italo Ferreira (BRA)
- Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
- Ian Gentil (HAW)
- Jordy Smith (RSA)
- Liam O’Brien (AUS)
- Caio Ibelli (BRA)
- Matthew McGillivray (RSA)
- Callum Robson (AUS)
- Rio Waida (INA)
- Seth Moniz (HAW)
Top 10 Qualifiers from the 2023 Challenger Series Rankings
- Cole Houshmand (USA)
- Samuel Pupo (BRA)
- Jacob Willcox (AUS)
- Crosby Colapinto (USA)
- Eli Hanneman (HAW)
- Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
- Frederico Morais (POR)
- Jake Marshall (USA)
- Kade Matson (USA)
- Deivid Silva (BRA)
- Kelly Slater (USA)
- Miguel Pupo (BRA)
- Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
If you’ll remember, Slater was controversially gifted a season-long wildcard last year after falling off Tour during the Mid-Season Cut.
Guess the GOAT gets one more go.
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Kaimana Takayama and Taylor Jensen ride back-to-back waves at First Point, Malibu, California. Credit: © WSL / Hughes
Match-ups and format for the 2023 WSL World Longboard Final at Malibu
2 October 23
The competition window runs from October 3 - 13, which should be plenty of time to get Mailbu good at this time of year. Here’s the latest news and the explanation of the format direct from the WSL:
MALIBU, Calif., USA (Thursday, September 28, 2023) - The Top 8 men and Top 8 women on the World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour have been decided and are ready to compete for the 2023 World Titles at the Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. World-class style and poise under pressure will be on full display during the one-day, winner-take-all event at the idyllic venue of First Point in Malibu, Calif. This is the fourth and final stop on the WSL Longboard Tour and holds a competition window from October 3 - 13, 2023. “To see the world’s best longboarders squaring off in the one-day, winner-take-all format is going to be incredible to watch, and we can’t wait to watch it all go down,” said Will Hayen-Smith, WSL Senior Manager, Global Development Tours. “The competitors have raised the standard of competition at the world-class venues all season long. This year has elevated the WSL Longboard Tour to new heights, and we couldn’t ask for more than to finish it off with our World Champions being crowned at Malibu.”
About the Venue: First Point, Malibu in Southern California Malibu’s First Point has long been regarded as the “perfect” wave, with its long, peeling, right-hand walls breaking over cobblestone reef and sand. The name itself is synonymous with the history and evolution of surf culture, making it the ultimate venue for showcasing traditional lines and nose rides with progressive approaches. The best swell direction for Malibu is South, or South-West, generally created by large storms in the Southern Hemisphere, making October an ideal time for holding the competition.
Longboard Championships' Top 8, One-Day Format Explained The one-day, winner-take-all event is similar to the WSL Championship Tour Finals format. The competitors will be seeded into brackets determined by their rankings, with priority given to the higher seed in the opening round. Match 1 and Match 2 will be three-person heats, with the winner advancing to the next Match. Matches 3 and 4 will be one-on-one, with the winner advancing. The Title Match is a best-of-three format. The winners of the Title Match will be crowned the 2023 World Champions.
Kelis Kaleopa’a and Kaniela Stewart Lead the Rankings Kaniela Stewart (HAW) had an incredible win in El Salvador that pushed him to the top of the men’s rankings heading into Malibu. Stewart is the 2022 World Title runner-up and will return to one of the world’s best point breaks ready for redemption and to fend off the world’s best. “I’m super stoked on getting the No. 1 seed. It’s always the best seat to sit in right there,” said Stewart. “Being No. 1, you get to watch, to feel it as they fight to get to you, and I’m stoked on that. Me and Kai (Sallas) have been working on changing little things in the boards to get the perfect board for Malibu. Hopefully, we get some waves, and everyone will probably be surfing so well, so I can’t wait. Hopefully, I get that Title and bring it back home to Hawaii.”
Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) solidified herself as the No. 1 ranked woman with a runner-up finish in El Salvador. She also finished 2022 as the World Title runner-up and hopes to go all the way this year. Kaleopa’a’s impressive run through the 2023 season started with a second-consecutive win at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. “Going into El Salvador, my only goal really was to secure the No. 1 seed heading into Malibu, and when I found out I had clinched that spot, I just felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders,” said Kaleopa’a. “Being the No. 1 seed, I actually don’t feel a lot of pressure. If you were any other seed, you only get one shot, you surf one heat, and you gotta surf at your absolute best because everyone will be on their game, and knowing that the final match is the best two out of three gives you more room to work with. I wouldn’t say the No. 1 spot is easier, I just think it’s rewarding to those who put in so much work over the season and deserve it.”
WATCH LIVE HERE
The Original Sprout Malibu Longboard Championships Presented by Tractor Beverage Co. is proudly supported by Original Sprout, Tractor Beverage Co., 805 Beer, Pacifico, Cup Noodles, and Boxed Water.
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Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic Brings WSL Longboard Regional Qualifying Series to Virginia Beach
The long-standing Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic presented by Katin brings the World Surf League (WSL) North America Regional Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) back to Virginia Beach, Virginia, beginning May 27 - 29. The iconic 1st Street Jetty will play host to the 20th year of competition and welcomes some of the region's top longboard talents. A valuable 1,000 points toward the 2022/23 regional rankings are up on the line for an opportunity to qualify for the 2023 Longboard Tour (LT) and contest for a World Title.
“We’re so pleased to add this longstanding event to our regional tour and share in celebrating the 20th anniversary with Coastal Edge, Katin and the VB community,” said North America Regional Manager Meg Bernardo. “It’s been years since WSL has had a Longboard Regional Qualifying Series event on the East Coast and this is the perfect event to showcase our pros in conjunction with some of the area’s top amateur competitors.” “We are thrilled to partner with Katin and welcome the World Surf League Longboard Regional Qualifying Series to our iconic Virginia Beach shores for the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic,” said Coastal Edge President D. Nachnani. “As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this event, it is an honor to showcase the top longboard talents in North America and provide them with the opportunity to qualify for the 2023 Longboard Tour. We cannot wait to witness the fierce competition and see who will come out on top."
2012 marked the last time LQS competitors took to the shores of Virginia Beach with the likes of Longboard World Champions Tory Gilkerson (USA) and Rachael Tilly (USA) joining surfing icon Karina Rozunko (USA) and event winner, Longboard Tour veteran, Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA), in the Final.
The men’s side featured three-time Longboard World Champion Taylor Jensen (USA), 2021 Longboard Champion Joel Tudor (USA), and LT veteran Tony Silvagni (USA) with Jensen earning a big win before going on to win his second World Title. As the second event of the 2022/23 LQS season, competitors are looking to solidify their place atop the rankings and join the world's best. Current No. 1 Richie Cravey (USA) joins the likes of WSL Longboard Tour veteran Kevin Skvarna (USA) and rising Longboard Tour star Avalon Gall (USA), current No. 2, as they lead their respective fields alongside standout Jack Van Wagoner (USA), emerging competitors such as Virginia Beach's own Camden Hoover (USA) and more. For Skvarna and fellow contenders, a win is a must if they are to overtake Cravey as Skvarna finished at No. 11 on the LT rankings in 2022.
"This event is pretty important for me," said Skvarna. "I've been on the [Longboard Tour] for eight years now and would like to get a wildcard in, but that's not guaranteed. You have to fight for your spots and it's important for me to get back on, and I can do that in Virginia. Just knowing that I can do well on the Longboard Tour makes me want to do well in Virginia and hopefully there's waves, and just missing requalification by one spot makes me pretty hungry to get back there."
For local surfer Hoover , this event now provides her the platform to contend among some of the region's best and get her competitive experience at the next level with her community there to support.
"It means a lot to me to see the Steel Pier Classic return with a WSL format, especially now that I am at the level to be able to compete in it in my hometown," said Hoover. "My friends and I have been participating in this event since we were five years old. I was fortunate to be a part of the Virginia Longboard Federation and witness all the amazing things the Knight family and Coastal Edge did to help grow this event into an amazing Surf and Art showcase for both locals and the participants that travel from all over to enjoy what Virginia Beach has to offer."These competitors, and more, join an illustrious history of Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic presented by Katin competition spanning two decades. The event, started in 2004, showcases both shortboard and longboard amateur divisions as former North America Longboard Regional Champion Silvagni earned a win in 2007, according to University of North Carolina Wilmington William Randall Library’s “The Cape Fear of Surfing Archives.”
Now, the event etches in a new chapter to its history beginning May 27 - 29 with the return of the WSL LQS 1,000.
More available at WorldSurfLeague.com .
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Meet Your 2023 Longboard World Champions
Kai sallas and soleil errico tame “intense” conditions at first peak, drink from the big cup..
“The conditions look intense,” hyperbolized one WSL commentator.
The conditions did not look intense.
It was one-foot, high tide First Point Malibu. Light side-shore wind rippled the emerald blue of Miki Dora’s domain. The late afternoon sun lit up the cobblestones. Iron Man sped down PCH in a white Audi R8 .
It didn’t have to be intense, it just had to be beautiful — the WSL’s longboard criteria is “style, flow, and grace” after all.
Perhaps that’s the argument for competitive logging in 2023. Beauty over longboard airs and “noseriding contests”.
TLDR: – It was a WSL Finals-style event, with competitors surfing head-to-head for the title. – Kai Sallas won the first world title of his career at 42 years old on a hand-shaped moontail. – Soleil Errico wins her third world title (she won last year too). – Commentators allude to WSL adding more lefts to the longboard tour next year.
The WSL Longboard Tour is a contentious topic, even within the longboard community itself.
A few months ago, I talked to Justin Quintal , a world title holder and 10x Vans Duct Tape Invitational winner. He’s respected by bohemian, anti-contest loggers and philistine, comp-hungry shufflers alike. Justin told me in the interview that he and other prominent longboard competitors sat down with the WSL to discuss what needed to change in the longboard tour to make it fair and to adequately represent the best of longboarding — he said that the WSL did not fully follow through on that conversation.
Justin did not compete on Tour this year. However, one of the disputed topics was the fact that there were no lefts that rivaled the rights on Tour currently, like Bells or Malibu. The commentators mentioned that next year the Tour is revamping the schedule, and will likely include at least one substantial left. This change and other changes could make the Tour more prestigious and draw the attention of surfers like Justin, Tosh Tudor, Harrison Roach, etc.
All this, however, shouldn’t minimize the achievements of Soleil Errico and Kai Sallas.
Twenty-two-year-old Soleil just won her third world title at her home break of First Point, taking out the number one seed Kelia Kaleopa’a in the process. Soleil grew up splitting her time between Kauai and Malibu before moving to Malibu full-time when she was 14 and deciding to dedicate herself to longboarding. She ended up winning her first world title before her 18th birthday, and won her second and third while attending college at the University of San Diego.
I’ll avoid describing Soleil’s surfing today in detail. Whenever a non-longboarding specialist tries to mention “hang-10s” and “curls” and “soul arching” like the commentators were doing, I can hear my logger friends cringing and wailing. Suffice it to say that Soleil’s knowledge of First Point combined with her talent and work ethic were enough to seal her the triple-double: her third world title and backing up last year’s win.
On Kai Sallas’ end, the 42-year-old Hawaiian “finally” (his words) won his first world title. Before today, he was a three-time world runner-up. The celebration was delightfully mellow compared to the clout-orgy of the WSL Finals at Lowers. Kai was lifted up the beach by world runner-up Kaniela Stewart and British competitor Ben Skinner while his wife and kids cried and cheered beside him.
Interesting to note: Kai, men’s runner-up Kaniela, and women’s runner-up Kelis are all from the Waikiki area. Their home break is Queen’s, famously the location of Queen Liliuokalani’s summer home and the place where Duke Kahanamoku taught his pupils to surf. Kai had been a hero to both Kaniela and Kelis as they grew up watching him at Queen’s. They also all ride Kai’s boards (KSLCO).
Whatever the future brings for logging, it’s special to see longboarding’s world titles be crowned at the same hollowed ground where the infamous Miki Dora gave us some of our first glances of on-screen surfing in The Endless Summer (1966).
It doesn’t have to be intense to be worth preserving.
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