Joel Tudor And The Future Of The WSL World Longboard Tour
Last week we posted a breakdown of Joel Tudor’s now-viral call out of the WSL’s shortboard vs. longboard pay disparity and the impending rumor that they will revert the World Longboard Tour back to a single, world title-deciding event at Malibu.
Joel followed up later in the week with yet another post directly calling out Jessi Miley-Dyer and the powers that be, amongst which he proclaimed for the community to “Keep those hands up, we ain’t done fighting!”
Well, he was right…
The movement for change in both pay as well as the tour’s structure is still alive and well, with Jonah Hill joining the party this past weekend re-posting the cause to his 3.6 million followers in what was surely an infuriating moment for the occupants of the WSL’s Santa Monica headquarters.
My former employer taught me an invaluable lesson in regards to writing: avoid platitudes at all costs. Another lesson I’ve learned in my short tenure as a surf scribe: all rules are meant to be broken. There is no more accurate way to describe Joel’s last 10 days as saying that he has kept his foot firmly “on the gas” in his fight for institutional respect for his beloved vein of wave riding.
Joel sat down with us to break down the intentions behind his post, describe what he wants from the WSL and highlight his motivations in calling out the organization that crowned him World Champion in 2021.
There are plenty of golden nuggets above, but no quote resonated with me harder than this: “I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing this for the generation that’s out there and growing. This is for Kelis and my son and all the different people coming up. Give these surfers a fair shake. They’re valid and what they do is cool and deserves to be respected. They hold value and hold weight and if you’re denying that, then you’re in denial.”
One interesting note in regards to Joel’s solution is the fact that the WSL finals are sponsored by Rip Curl, a company whose brand image is built upon sponsoring the pinnacle of high performance surfers (Mick, Gabe, Tyler Wright). Will they bite the bullet and put their name next to a bunch of twinkle toed loggers? Stranger things have happened…
So if you’re looking for what the consensus godfather of modern longboarding thinks that surfing’s foremost governing body should do in regards to a full subsect of surfing, click above. Feeling spicy? Don’t be shy, let em hear it in the YT comment section :)
Foot on the gas, foot on their necks, whatever you want to call it… Joel said it best: “I like to fight!”
Amen to that.