Devon Howard Resigns As WSL Longboard Tour Director
Why leave before reaping the fruits of his labor?
Devon Howard has formally resigned from WSL as the Longboard Tour Director. Back in 2018, Devon was appointed Longboard Tour Director with the goal to bring it back to its traditional roots. Before his takeover, multiple LB WSL champions accused the WSL of neglect – dubbing the tour the CT’s weaker underbelly. Devon revamped the criteria to suit a more traditional approach of “Loggin” as it seemed the growing appeal of footwork and nose rides outshined the high-performance in the eye of the general longboard public. According to Ryan Cannon from Log Rap, “A quick look at longboarding’s social media output and YouTube engagement demonstrated a 10 to 1 preference to traditional surfing over its high-performance counterpart.”
Devon Howard told Log Rap, “[The reworked criteria] will be the north star of the WSL tour to follow in the years to come” and played an instrumental role in re-engaging more traditional guys like Harrison Roach and Justin Quintal, while isolating more high-performance folk like 3X World Champion Taylor Jensen (the guy who did that superman at Waco). At the end of March, the WSL announced a new three-leg tour. Securing Malibu as one of the venues was a huge victory for Howard, as historically it’s been difficult to attain that specific event permit.
Oddly enough, in the midst of longboarding’s newfound momentum, Devon has elected to step down. “It’s [Longboarding] in a really great place right now,” Devon told Log Rap. “[The criteria] wasn’t being implemented, and it was creating confusion with both the surfers and the judges. I was called to fix that. I think my time here was very worthwhile and helped bridge things to where it was to where it is now”.
The closing remarks of a true professional. He was called to fix a problem, and now that it’s resolved he will move on to his next venture.
But why leave before reaping the fruits of his labor?
Speculations from current tour competitors suggest ongoing turmoil with Joel Tudor and restructuring changes within WSL could have pushed him out the door. A former WSL title holder told Stab “I doubt he would have quit if the WSL was investing in longboarding like they say they are.”
Free from conflicts. Our guess is he’s probably on a mid-length somewhere feeling pretty good about the imprint he’s made on Longboard surfing. For now, Jessi Miley-Dyer and Will Hayden-Smith will be holding things down on the administrative side of the LB tour.
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.
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