Joel Tudor Wins Another Longboard Title, Becomes The Oldest World Champ In Surf History
And Honolua Blomfield earns back to back world titles at perfect Malibu.
With a long interval swell in the water at Malibu and crisp offshore winds, Joel Tudor clinched the Longboard World Title (making the 45 years old the most senior World Champ in surf history), and the 2019 World Champion Honolua Blomfield backed up the win with her second World Title.
Two years ago, the WSL, with Devon Howard at the helm, introduced a newly revamped World Longboard Tour, focusing on “traditional” elements and a juiced-up international schedule from Noosa, Australia, to New York City.
Joel won the first event of the 2020 season at Noosa in February of that year, while sixteen-year-old Kelis Kaleopeaa won the women’s event. These victories went down just a week before the pandemic’s first major international shutdown. Despite the tour’s cancellation in 2020, the WSL decided the Noosa event would count towards the 2021 rankings.
Exempting Honolua Blomfield’s switch tube and Harrison Roach making Nat Young and Bob McTavish very proud indeed with his perfect traditional Australian style, the Surf Ranch was a slow procession of safety logging. So you can understand why the Malibu event slipped under the radar a little, even though this would be the first time in decades that World Champions were decided at the best wave in Los Angeles.
Given the October waiting period, there was a good chance Devon Howard’s well-considered plan could be foiled by dicey winds and the steady stream of South Swells that light up Malibu from July through September.
But with a long period south filling on Monday, and plenty of swell stacking up for the waiting period, Devon and the WSL crew can walk away from today’s event very proud indeed, with a World Title race running straight through the semifinals between Joel Tudor and Harrison Roach. Harry was ousted by English hammer Ben Skinner in the semis, putting Joel’s world title in his own hands.
Joel came up against East Coast high-performance logger and tour veteran Tony Silvagni, only to send him packing with a tack-sharp display of cleanly linked noserides, arcing backhand swoops, and matador-like treatment of crispy Autumn walls at First Point.
In the end, Honolua Blomfield confidently and easily defended her World Title, while Joel Tudor can now, at 45 years old, call himself the oldest World Champ in history. Which you know is just going to kill Slater, or maybe not?
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