Stab Magazine | Pretty Flat, But Pretty Perfect
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Pretty Flat, But Pretty Perfect

Heats postponed, party on in the Basque Country.

full frame // May 20, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hunger makes the best sauce. 

Today, Joel Tudor and the Duct Tape crew took their time deciding whether to run heats today at the Duct Tape Festival—which really only requires like four or five hours of actual competition time over a weekend. No one seemed nervous or concerned in the least.

And why would they? It was a bright and brilliant day in the Basque Country, and while the gathered crowds packed on the brick beachfront patios were certainly looking to get a taste of the international talent pool Tudor’s filled their town with, the scene on the sand was hard to beat, and will only make tomorrow’s heats that much more sweet. 

On the beach everyone smashed charbroiled ribs and tender sardines, cold European pilsners and fresh Basque cidre, while the invitees took to the water for an expression session comprising the event’s 16 international hand-picks, plus two local wild cards, including 14-year-old Niko “Niki Dora” Garcia, and the rest of the scrappy band of outsiders, joined for a few waves by their leader himself, Mr. Tudor.

Taking top honors and a magnum of Spanish red for his efforts in the day’s consolation round was San Clemente screwfoot, Andy Nieblas (who was generous enough to share the bottle with pretty much the entire town this evening). 

While the display was impressive, even before the Duct Tape boys did their best dance out front, they’d basically already had their show stolen by Lee Ann Curren, who on center stage with drum machine and synthesizer ripped through a thirty minute set of just insanely catchy synth-pop that she assures us will make itself on tape soon. 

As the tide filled in, the party moved to PUKAS for a set by Ray Barbie and a premiere of Ainara Aymat’s new film, before the whole damned circus moved to a hillside restaurant for a two-hundred person dinner that had the crew dragging themselves home to bed, with the first horn set to blow in T-minus four hours. But today was a reminder of how breezy and lighthearted and downright fuckin’ enjoyable a surf contest can and should be, even if there’s no surf.

Scroll south, and click through the gallery above, for a look at the day’s festivities. 

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Lee Ann Curren.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Tudor and Knost letting Lee Ann Curren hear it.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Tanner Gudang, enjoying an afternoon Keller and a cruise down the Zarautz promenade.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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“I owe this kid a lot of favors,” Joel Tudor said of young Kai Takayama, whose Uncle, Donald was like a second father to him. “Donald fixed a lotttttt of dings for me when I was his age. It’s the least I can do.”

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

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Mr. Ray Barbie, maybe the coolest cat to kick-push.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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That’s Dane Reynolds’ handshape the not-naked kids about to send it on.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Levi Prairie, Joel Tudor, Alex Knost, Nico “Niki Dora” Garcia, Zach Flores, and James Parry.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Looking in on the afternoon’s Expression Session photo-op.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

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Justin Quintal and Levi Prairie, not exactly killing the shared wave category.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

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Two to tango, Kai Takayama and Justin Quintal.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

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Three-quarters of Ryan Burch.

Photography

Luki O’Keefe

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Expression Session winner Andy Nieblas took home a magnum of very good red wine, and our money’s on it not making it to the hotel room tonight (despite a 10AM heat start tomorrow).

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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The Zarautz bowl.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Joel Tudor, Tyler Warren, and Dane Reynolds. Zarautz, 2018.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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Tanner Gudang and Ainara Aymat, outside the PUKAS shop for her film’s premiere.

Photography

Jimmy Wilson

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