Stab Magazine | Longboarders To Take Over Lower Trestles

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Longboarders To Take Over Lower Trestles

With the WSL pulling its bid for the 2018 Trestles event window, a new longboard competition will take its spot.

news // May 4, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Unless your name starts with Herbie and ends with fucking-Fletcher, you are not permitted to ride a longboard at Lower Trestles. This fact is as widely recognized as the Pope being Catholic, bears shitting in woods. Shortboarders dominate San Diego’s preferred teepee, while longboarders are free to surf from Middles and beyond. It’s an elitist, potentially outdated system, but it works.  

Or at least it was working, until Hurley withdrew their funds from the 2018 Lowers event, leaving the WSL unable to maintain its decades-long legacy of a CT event at San Clemente’s famed cobblestone point, and opening the highly sought September permit to the public.

Which, in a cruel twist of fate, ended up in the hands of longboarders.

Introducing the Relik “world” longboard tour, which features two events in 2018, including one at Malibu and the other at Lower Trestles between September 8-18. (Check out their gorgeous website here.)

Screen Shot 2018 05 02 at 5.27.07 PM

Let that soak into your neoprene. Photo: Relik

These 11 days at Lowers will be ruled by loggers for the first time since… the fifties? Sixties? Or whenever people used to carve their boards out of trees.

Historically, Lower Trestles has been given three event windows per year by the California State Parks Department. The contests filling those windows have flip-flopped between CT, QS, junior, amateur, and industry events, but rarely, if ever, longboarding.

Which points to a sad truth about California’s “standard” competitive surfing status – it’s dying, if not already dead.

Screen Shot 2018 05 02 at 5.29.42 PM

Californian professional surfing peaked in 2009 when Brett Simpson won surfing’s first-ever six figure grand prize at the US Open. In this photo, Brett slogs it out for a $700 third place finish at the 2017 Shoe City Pro. Photo: WSL

Want proof? Just look at the WSL’s Californian events for 2018. Beyond the two contests in Lemoore, there are three QS 1,000 events, two of which are in Huntington and the other being at Pismo Beach, plus the US Open. So three events at a bad pier-side beachbreak and the other at a terrible pier-side beachbreak, only one of which actually makes a dent in terms of qualification.

Want more proof? Paddle out at any Southern Californian lineup, and count the number of “high performance” boards in comparison to “alternative” crafts (fishes, asyms, longboards, etc.). By my calculations, it’s close to 50/50 nowadays, with the alternative options looking to take a substantial lead in the near future.

All of which points to the idea that people don’t care about hardcore shredding as much as they used to, which is really what competitive surfing is all about.

In essence, this aptly named “Relik” event is a wonderful indicator of the current state of surfing in California.

Whether or not this retrogressive movement will someday allow longboarders to enter the Lowers lineup on a non-permit basis remains unknown, but based on our current trajectory, it’s not that obscure a notion.

And what a sad day that will be.


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