"This so-called 'modern' longboarding can go to hell," Tudor said in 1994. "It's so boring. If you want surf like that, get a 6'2" shortboard."

Question: Is professional longboarding secretly the jewel in the World Surf League’s gilded crown?


Yesterday, the 50-adjacent onetime prodigy Joel Tudor became champion of professional longboarding with his inspirational win at the Jeep Malibu Classic presented by Havaianas. The victory, over British man Ben Skinner, cemented Tudor’s already extremely solid place in surf history.

The oldest champ ever and the black belt declared, afterwards, “The most proud thing of all of this is that I finally beat Kelly at something. So remember that.”

Poignent and made me wonder. Is professional longboarding secretly the jewel in the World Surf League’s gilded crown?

To wit, longboarding is much more practiced by the legions of VALs embracing surfing as a healthy lifestyle alternative and much more understood by them. This vast army represents the sort of hockey stick growth the WSL so craves.

Furthermore, the gap between the women and the men is virtually non-existent leading to the very real possibility of the two competing in one, beautiful genderless class. Equal prize money, equal opportunity, equal wave quality, equal coverage, more than equal hope in breaking through mainstream reticence to embrace a pursuit often seen as “white” and “privileged.”


Lastly, the League is sitting on the world’s greatest longboard wave, one that can be conjured at the push of a button flowing magnificently through the middle of industrial dairyland.

Altogether, it really does seem there is much more upside in longboarding than in short.

Not convinced?

Prove me wrong.

China conducts beach invasion exercise on island opposite Taiwan famous for its “inconsistent, blown out, poor quality surf!”


Days ago, it was reported that China’s robust People’s Liberation Army conducted beach invasion exercises on Fujian island, which happens to be very near Taiwan.

According to official Chinese accounts the action involved “shock” troops, sappers and boat specialist who were “divided into multiple waves to grab the beach and perform combat tasks at different stages.”

Video was released of soldiers throwing smoke grenades and breaking through barbed wire. Digging trenches in the sand etc.

The war-game was extremely provocative as, over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that Taiwan will be “reunified” with the mainland.

Worrisome but, as a surfer, I was curious as to Fujian’s potential and quickly searched “surf Fujian.”

Surfline and Magic Seaweed had it listed but no information. Surf-forecast, though, provided the gold.

Funingwan in Fujian is a reasonably exposed beach break that has inconsistent surf with no particular seasonal pattern. Offshore winds are from the west with some shelter here from north winds. Short period wind swells are the rule and the best wave direction is from the east southeast. The beach break offers both left and right hand waves. Crowds are never a problem here. Water quality is rather poor here.

It sounds lightly depressing so I then conducted an image search for “sad surfer.”

And look at that. Top row, fifth picture from left, Derek Rielly spraying all the mopes.

Very cool

What was I writing about again?

World War III?

Oh yeah.

Do you think the west will care if/when China gets grabby or will there be much hand-wringing followed by Hong Kong-sized shrugs?

More, I suppose, as the story develops.

"The most proud thing of all of this is that I finally beat Kelly at something. So remember that." | Photo: WSL

Surfing ultra-purist Joel Tudor stomps best in biz to win world longboard crown, “I finally beat Kelly Slater at something, oldest world champ!”

Third log crown for Joel Tudor…

The ultra-purist and black belt grappler Joel Tudor has become the sport’s oldest-ever world champion, winning the log crown, aged forty-five, beating the Brit Ben Skinner at two-foot Malibu. 

Tudor won his first log world title in 1998 in the Canary Islands and number two in Biarritz, 2004. 

Before today’s final Tudor said,

“I was at a Final here decades ago, the last time the WSL decided a World Title at Malibu, and I lost in the final to Russ K (Keaulana). Winning here all these years later would be a heck of a way to top off a pretty good run. You need to have goals, it gets you up in the morning. Winning another Title off this incredible field of talent won’t be easy, but I have a lot of experience at that wave and I intend to give it everything I’ve got to pull out the event win and the Title.” 

Pretty funny thing happened on the way to the final, at least in the commentary booth, which featured the cutest of Malibu’s Marshall Brothers, Chad. 

When Joel’s daddy Joe swung into frame, Marshall Bro referenced the 1994 Titles, when Joe and Hawaiian Lance Hookano beat the hell out of a kneeboarder who wouldn’t leave the contest area. 

The kneelo got fifteen stitches and a separated shoulder. 

Described as “a fist-flinging, hair-pulling melee would have made the Beach Boys blanch”, footage of the fight appeared in the Chris Bystrom film Longboarding is Not a Crime. 

“I find it excruciatingly embarrassing,” said Nick Carroll. “I guarantee you that quite a few surfers are hanging their heads in shame. I don’t know of a world-class surfer that would have behaved that way.”

Anyway, Chad brought it up, Kaipo freaked and shut down the direction of the convo with “Oh, but we don’t talk about that.” 

After his win Tudor said,

“The most proud thing of all of this is that I finally beat Kelly at something. So remember that.”

(Slater won the 2011 world title a few months shy of his fortieth birthday.)

Brazen 69-year-old “core lord” bodyboarder attempts to shred oil slicked Huntington Beach, gets chased to shore by lifeguard on ski!

Live by the boogie, die by the boogie.

Near a week and a half ago, a burst pipeline off Huntington Beach leaked over 144,000 gallons of crude oil. The disaster shuttered beaches from Surf City down to Laguna as black ugly washed up on the sand, coated birds etc. Businesses began filing suit against Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. while calculating potential future losses.

Mike Ali, who owns beach rental shop Zack’s very near the bike path, said customer traffic is down by 90% since the spill and he expects it to be two years before normal returns.

Some hope yesterday’s beach re-openings will help. Huntington crews have been testing the water daily and have declared there are no detectable levels of oil-associated toxins.

69-year-old core lord bodyboarder Richard Beach didn’t wait for the official word, though, and tried to sneak some el rollos in before re-opening except was rebuffed by a lifeguard on a ski, who chased him back to the sand.

“The water’s perfect,” he told KTLA news, frustrated by the shortening of his solo session. “Clear all the way to the bottom.”

Time and time again, bodyboarders have proven themselves to be the most fearless derelicts in the surf pantheon. From conquering slabs to drop-kneeing to never ever having a hope of making a career to no coaches to little respect they are what we should all hope to be, internally, while standing proud on fiberglassed foam.

Long live, Richard Beach.

Long live the boogie.

P. 49 / Kai Lenny, Pe‘ahi, 2021, photo by Mike Coots.
P. 49 / Kai Lenny, Pe‘ahi, 2021, photo by Mike Coots.

Hawaiian darling, multi-talented Kai Lenny set to be forever immortalized in stunning new hardcover book “Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of our Lives!”

A phenom.

Now, is there anything Maui’s Kai Lenny cannot do? Conquer oceanic mountains on all manner of craft, paddle between his islands like it was nothing at all, befriend the world’s 5th richest man and teach him to fly, charm two aging recently converted fitness buffs, revive the long-thought dead art of hardback book publishing.

No, there is nothing he cannot do and, regarding the later, his gorgeous immortalization, published by Rizzoli, is due out October, 26th.

Per the press release:

A jaw-dropping photographic narrative, Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of Our Lives features the biggest and most dangerous waves and the legendary men and women who risk their lives to surf them. The most expansive book of its kind, this lush volume collects a vast array of contributions from over 30 of the best big wave surfers today.

Over the last decade, a handful of surfers have been progressing the sport of big wave surfing to new extremes. Kai Lenny, one of the preeminent big wave surfers, offers readers a glimpse into this world sharing his personal stories and perspectives, and inviting the world’s best surfers—from legends who pioneered the way to young guns who are the future of the sport—to contribute personal tales of the greatest waves ever ridden. Also included in the book are the best women big wave surfers in the world, and their incredible stories—from barrier-breaking moments to competing in their first ever competitions in a historically male-dominated sport.

That list of male domination includes our Pete Mel, Laird Hamilton, Shane Dorian, Lucas Chumbo, Ian Walsh and many more. Keala Kennelly, of course, barrier breaking.

The book will cost $60 U.S. though add much more value to any coffee table it graces.

Maybe difficult to jump over, though, which might be taken into consideration.

Buy here.