If Kelly is 48 and still top-10 on the shortboard tour, Joel could presumably do this until he's 90. Photo: WSL
43-Year-Old Joel Tudor Wins WSL Longboard Event, Declares Plans To Take Over The World
Not so fast, Tosh. Daddy's still number one.
Wayne Lynch was 30 years old when the surf punditry of the time called him old and over the hill. But age is but a number, time is a false construct, and the eternal brilliance of 43-year-old Joel Tudor was on full display in Noosa Heads, Australia, as he cross-stepped his way to his first WSL/ASP win in 16 years.
“I think the last time I won this event was 20 years ago and most of the competitors here this week weren’t even born,” Tudor said post celebration. “Then I won my last ASP event 16 years ago so it’s been a long time since I’ve been here. I didn’t really plan on competing in this event, then I got the wildcard and kept making heats.”
For reference, Joel's son Judah is 10 years old and his older boy, Tosh, is 14. So, fair to say he’s had more kids than victories in the past 15 years. But then raising a family is infinitely more rewarding than winning a surf contest.
“Winning was awesome today…but my flying armbar on @judahtudor prior to semi-final was better!” testified Tudor on Insta.
Last year in New York, Tudor made a point of passing the proverbial torch—or spliff—to the next generation. Riding off into the sunset, in January Tudor launched his newest business endeavor, THC Surfboards. Unlike his log labels of the past, this time around, the intention was “building quality eggs for practical surfing.”
Leaning on grade-A, San Diego homegrown shapers like Stu Kenson and Hoy Runnels to turn the vision to reality, the boards are exquisite and appear to be that perfect blend of fun, style, and medium performance.
Then there’s the wild success of the Vans Duct Tape events, which have not only inspired the WSL's new classical-first longboard scoring criteria, but also spawned the next generation of log riders. Enter one Kevin Skvarna—a regular performer in the Duct Tape comps and fellow Noosa finalist, Kevin was Luke Skywalker to Tudor's Yoda. The force is strong with both, but ultimately the old Jedi master had his way.
It’s a good thing Wayne Lynch didn’t hang up the towel after he turned 30. And it’s a good thing that Tudor’s still at it as he approaches 50. The sport, culture, and Instagram feuds of wave-riding are better for it.
And in terms of inspiring a whole new frothing pack of stylists, look no further than Tudor's own two boys.
“They’ve seen the trophies and heard the stories but now they’ve seen their dad win, something which is really cool,” he said. “I suppose I’m going to have to go for my third world title now, which will be epic.”
Joel is currently a two-time World Champion of longboarding, his last coming in 2004.