I have a step motherly relationship to surfing contests. Progress is key in evolution. But the contest scene is for every year that passes more and more transforming into a jocked-out NHL-event with sponsor logos everywhere, Hollywood envied web-casts and the competitors on spinning bikes between their heats.
The contemporary god father of logging - Joel Tudor - surfed traditional longboard contests until the longboard scene got schizofrenic in the early new millennium.
A few years back Joel Tudor launched the epic contest format - The Duct Tape Invitational - inviting the hottest loggers in the world with a few stops around the globe, like Cote des Basque, Malibu and Noosa. Joel wanted to bring back the playfulness and the naive stoke - creating something that was on the other side of the hustling strategy spectrum of things - just exhibiting amazing and innovative surfing where the emphasis always is on style! It has been a success.
The Duct Tape-format inspired this year´s Salinas Invitational taking place the last weekend of July. Europe´s most stylish loggers as well as the master himself the Californian-bred Robbie Kegel travelled to Northern Spain to have fun and share waves. There was also a very small fish in a huge ocean, myself. Literally - they surfed my trunks off. Extremely inspiring. And a good tale or two for the nephews.