THE JOEL TUDOR VANS DUCT TAPE INVITATIONAL WENT DOWN AT COTE DES BASQUES IN BIARRITZ YESTERDAY. WAVES WERE FUN AND DUDES SHOT THE HOT CURL, DADDY-O.
What’s the big idea Joel Tudor?
It’s just providing an environment for a group of kids. Back a few years ago it was just me riding these kind of boards but now it’s grown beyond that to all regions of the world where there are waves that require that kind of surfing. I’ve always had this dream – Nat (Young) always portrayed this image to me of riding logs in fun events… But back when I was riding for Vans they didn’t have money to throw at events like this. And now they do, it’s great that they’re choosing to support these guys. I mean there’s so many things they could put their money in to. But this is like giving back to the sport, not so much in terms of the contest winner but more in terms of inspiring other kids, starting an entire movement.
You’re pretty stoked to see kids everywhere with logs and rocking a little hipster retro vibe?
Yeah it’s the opposite kind of thing from competitive pro surfing which is kind of turning surfing into a jock sport, and these guys are the exact opposite. And fuck, that’s awesome. Nobody wants to be a jock, man (NB Scottish readers, Joel is not a racist, ‘jock’ is American for someone who’s really into team sports), save that shit for football.
For people who maybe don’t follow the longboard shred closely, what’s the principle difference between this event and those ASP longboard comps?
The ASP has just lost its identity, you’ve got a bunch of guys wanking around on tri-fins, and they look like shit. These guys are riding waves in the correct manner for these waves, coz waves are really only supposed to be around shoulder high when you ride a log, and that’s a fact. Anything above that and you’re fighting a curve that doesn’t fit the wave face. So you’re fighting a loosing battle when surf that particular style. An really, through the 90’s all that shit was really big, but it was such a backlash. Because if you were to ask anybody from Kelly to Machado to even Julian Wilson, they’ll all tell you that that style of longboarding is whacked, you know what I mean? It just makes no sense to try and emulate shortboarding when you have a certain style that has its own identity and is beautiful. So that’s what this is, it’s giving the guys a platform to show the difference between the two.
Do you love the Biarritz?
Shit, this was the legitimacy of my surfing career. I came here in 91 and won the ASP event that was here, and it was kind of the start of my whole existence in the sport. Biarritz was always like a second home to me as a kid, I spent all my summers here, it was always a dream to bring an event back. And here it is, low key, low impact, with the surfing being the focus rather than the circus on the beach. That’s the idea behind it.
Why duct tape?
Not many of these guys actually have sponsors, these are the kind of people you’d see with duct tape on their boards. Some of em don’t have shit, these guys aren’t picking up 18 boards at a time, some guys will ride the same board for a year. So duct tape comes in handy, you know, when you ding em.
(Footnote: I’m not sure who won, I watched the final but they didn’t announce it. But if it were up to me, I’d give it to Al Knost coz I secretly fancy him)…