Stab Magazine | Why The Dane Reynolds Duct Tape Invitational Makes Perfect Sense

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Why The Dane Reynolds Duct Tape Invitational Makes Perfect Sense

When everything’s lame, anything’s awesome!

news // May 27, 2018
Words by Ashton Goggans
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In our New Age of cynicism and corporatism, of poolside surf contests comprising Olympic athletes like so many show ponies, clear-eyed and clean-cut competitors cordoned off from the crowds’ hungry attention in backstage birdcages, and well-heeled and high-paying VIP attendees purchasing prime event real estate, Vans’ Duct Tape Festival stands in glaring, glorious contrast.

Queue the eye rolling.

While the WSL’s best “throw medicine balls against walls” in Saquarema, Joel Tudor’s hand-selected posse share hash darts in the evenings, talking about the boards they cobbled for the 15th incarnation of the traveling festival, looking out over pastoral Basque landscapes, the sun setting well after 9PM and best enjoyed with a good glass of Spanish red in hand and Ray Barbee laying down the soundtrack. 

So this is a surf contest, you say? 

With the success of the Duct Tape over the last decade, Vans’ choice to expand the franchise to include more than just a longboarding event has been an easy one, and if the chatter has any truth to it, they don’t seem to be stopping with their team’s handshapes.

While July’s US Open will see an all-women’s Duct Tape Invitational, there are rumblings of a potential Duct Tape addition in the future—that Dane Reynolds is considering heading up a shortboard invitational iteration, possibly involving self-shaped boards and (hopefully) world-class waves.

2018 05 18 DUCT TAPE ZARAUTZ 2018 Day 1 58

Wanna ride my board?


Jimmy Wilson

While we don’t know if Dane’s committed to flying the Duct Tape flag just yet, regardless of the level of his involvement, the creation of an event of the like would make sense for Vans (and Dane) on a number of levels.*

Inviting 16 (or however many) of the world’s best to whittle their own weapons and battle it out somewhere prime would make for terrific entertainment, while adopting the Duct Tape’s free and easy DNA, including the community in the events, traveling to culturally rich areas, and making the events fucking fun for everyone—fans, locals, and competitors alike.

While Olympic committees and the WSL push the sport further and further into a whitewashed, mainstream corner, a radically open-minded event for surfers like Ryan Burch, Wade Goodall, Andrew Doheny, Bryce Young, Torren Martyn, Derek Disney—what our beloved commenters might call “barista looking hipsters”—might be just the bong rip of creativity and cultural relevance surfing needs right now.


Last week, while I was enjoying a European vacation**, Dylan Roberts and Jacob Wooden were taking in Saquarema, and delivered one of our favorite No Contest episodes yet. 

This week, after pulling out of Bali, we’re told Kelly Slater will be nursing his foot on Tavarua, as the surfing world splits between Keramas and Cloudbreak.

Last night, after getting a little too greedy during one of the best Cloudbreak sessions in recent memory, close friend of Stab‘s Andrew Jacobson got driven into the reef and came up with his knee on backwards. Fresh off a flight back from Fiji and out of the ER, Andrew chatted up Morgan Williamson about the incident. 

With a south swell in the water, and a long weekend ahead, we hope you’ve got coals in the Weber and nothing much to do. 

Keep it cutty, Stab



*Tudor’s pioneering of the invitational event has given him a second act, and provided a great deal of relevance in his later years. The creation of a similar event would likely do much the same for Dane, though admittedly he seems to have no trouble keeping his audience engaged.

Dane’s a design headcase of the highest order, with a kink for the crude. The results of his hand-on approach in Santa Barbara shaping bays has moved the needle numerous times over the last decade and a half.

**Which concluded with a rather epic day walking around the Guggenheim Bilbao with Geoff McFetridge, again, not exactly on the schedule for your average assignment covering a surf comp. 


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