In Our Age Of Disconnection, A Blueprint For Grassroots Surfing Events
Gallery: Bitchin’ boards, beachfront BBQ and cold beverages on opening day for the Duct Tape Festival Zarautz!
Opening day of the Vans Duct Tape Festival began slow and steady in the Basque Country Friday.
With the sprawling international cast arriving throughout the morning, the invitees and guests lounging on the beachfront patio at Karlos Aguinano’s for breakfast, the rookie invites tripping on plates of Spanish tortilla and fresh croissants dripping with a sugary glaze, the groms admiring the local female flavor on their morning walks on the promenade…
“It looks a little, um, log-y” admitted Dane Reynolds, looking over the two-foot windswell filtering into Zarautz, considering if there was a wave big enough to push men of our, um, stature.
With thirteen-foot tide swings pulling much of the meager power out of the lineup, the low tide extended the beach three hundred yards out from the seawall. But by early afternoon, the incoming push saw plenty of rippable surf, as surfers traded logs for a wiggle on one of the eight handshapes up for grabs on the beach built for the event by Dane, Lee Ann Curren, Al Knost, and Tanner Gudang (which we’ll have a gallery of up later this weekend).
Dane Reynolds and Layne Stratton, kicked back and casual, between beers and skate sessions in the beachfront bowl.
“The festivals are so cool, because it’s all about that learning experience of wanting people to try to shape,” said Tanner, who’s no stranger to Zarautz’s inimitable charm, having shaped a few of his first boards right here at the PUKAS factory almost a decade ago. “The PUKAS guys have been so special to me and my brothers, they’ve helped us out so much over the years. I always tell people, what makes PUKAS so special, and really what makes the Duct Tape here perfect, is they include the community. They are the community. So it’s nice to come back for the event and be able to do this here, and leave something for the town.”
PUKAS’ Adur Letamendia and old pal, Tanner Gudang. Zarautz, 2018.
Surfers bounced between the beachfront BBQ/beergarden and the packed, playuful lineup, while Joel kicked off the weekend mid-afternoon with a run down of the heat draws, as Ray Barbee set the crowd’s feet tapping, and finished the evening at Aritz Aranburu’s bar and cafe, Shelter, hosting a panel discussion with the four shapers, with the event’s guest artist Geoff McFetridge and Knost stealing the show with their banter.
Today, it looks like they’ll be kicking off the first round of the event mid-afternoon, while the morning will be spent hanging on the beach, the international squad more than happy to indulge in a slow, sunny day complete with cold beverages and rare steak medallions. As the Basque hospitality continues to roll into the weekend and new swell begins to arrive my tomorrow morning for final’s day, scroll south for a look at the opening day festivities.
Ain’t the Basque Country a gem?
Ray Barbee provided a live soundtrack to the balmy Basque afternoon.
Stoke machine, Tanner Gudang.
Details from Al Knost’s Robert August-inspired log, and Lee Ann Curren’s handhsaped shorties.
Wanna ride one? Ask Dane Reynolds to let you check one out of the board lounge.
Zarautz beachfront skatepark leaves little to be desired as a venue.
Attendees enjoyed on-location screenprinting, walking away with tote bags and tees from the grassroots event.
Before the weekend’s crowd filled in, Friday’s opening event felt proper rootsy.
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