The first ever women’s edition of the The Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational debuted yesterday at the 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA. Hosted in partnership with the largest action sports festival in the world, 16 of the world’s best female longboarders were invited to showcase their unique style and innovation on the famed shores of Surf City, USA. Founded by one of the longboarding’s most recognized surfers, the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational is a celebration of creativity in the most traditional form of the sport.
Joel Tudor, the event’s namesake and originator, is often regarded as the style master of longboard surfing. He won the U.S. Open of Longboarding nine times, including six in a row from 1995 through 2000. Despite his success however, Tudor grew dissatisfied the “high performance” direction of the sport that emerged in the 1990s. Instead of the classic nose-riding style of the 1960s and ’70s, longboarders began trying to imitate their shortboard counterparts — blurring the distinction between the two forms of the sport.
The Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational has redefined the standard of longboarding with a return to its roots, rewarding those with an affinity for the grace, style and creativity for which the sport is known. Reflecting that style and creativity is the poster and artwork for both the men’s and women’s contest created by Geoff Mcfetridge. The simplicity and innovation shown by literally using duct tape for the waves, in combination with the black cut out shapes of the surfers, embodies the essence of longboarding and highlights the originality these surfers display even on the smallest of waves.
The contest is comprised of 16 invitees competing on traditional “logs” — single fin and 9’2 length minimum. There is a no-interference rule and surfers are encouraged to ride the same wave to see what they can create together. As an added incentive, additional prize money is awarded for best shared wave. Dedicated longboarding pioneers and true style mavens such as former world champions Honolua Blomfield and Jen Smith, respected shaper Ashley Lloyd, icon Kassia Meador, local Karina Rozunko and are competing in the women’s debut of the event showing the world how the ladies get it done.