Quintal claims World Title, Skindog through the quarters at 2019 Taiwan Open of Surfing

Quintal claims World Title, Skindog through the quarters at 2019 Taiwan Open of Surfing

THE LEFT, TAITUNG / TPE (Friday, December 6, 2019) – Florida’s Justin Quintal (USA) has claimed his maiden WSL World Longboard Championship at the 2019 Taiwan Open of Surfing in pumping three-to-four foot surf at ‘The Left’ in Taitiung. With a number of his closest opponents dropping out of the draw earlier in the day, all Quintal needed to do was win his Round 3 heat against Josh Constable (AUS) which he did comfortably, gifting the 29-year-old the highlight of his career.

“I’m feeling so good – this is definitely the coolest accomplishment of my life,” Quintal said. “The last few days I’ve kind of been holding my breath because I wasn’t really sure if it was going to happen and the conditions have just been getting crazier and crazier, so I’m so stoked to finally see this thing through and get it done. It feels amazing.”

Quintal won two of the first three stops of the revamped 2019 WSL Longboard Tour to set himself up for a strong tilt at the title coming to Taiwan. Although Justin has an incredible competitive record, namely 10 Vans Duct Tape Invitational titles, winning the 2019 World Longboard Championship in his first full year of competing in WSL events is the clear highlight of his surfing career.

“The duct tapes have all been so special and at times have felt like world titles, but this is the top tier so I’m really proud to call my myself the World Champ – I can tell my kids one day that their pop was the world champ.”

Being a goofy-footer, Quintal was thrilled to have the opportunity to compete for his title at The Left in Taitung, with today being arguably the best of the entire 2019 Longboard Tour.

“We’ve all invested a lot of our time and energy and everything into this all year so to get to the end of the season in amazing waves like this means so much to us. These types of venues are what the sport needs at this level, so this is pretty special. This wave is just amazing and to have the contest here is so unreal. It’s one of the coolest setups I’ve ever seen. Taiwan has been so fun, it’s a beautiful country with a beautiful culture.”

Once Men’s Round 3 was wrapped the focus shifted to the Women’s World Longboard Title where there are three competitors with a shot at taking the win. Rachael Tilly (USA) and Honolua Blomfield (HAW) are both looking for the second title while current rankings leader Chloe Calmon (BRA) is in the hunt for her first. All three progressed into the Quarterfinals with Calmon and Tilly posting the highest heat totals of the entire event, each scoring a two-wave total of 15.33. All surfers were extremely excited to have their season culminate in such epic surf at the Left.

“The wind is pretty crazy now, but the waves are so perfect,” Calmon said. “This is such an amazing opportunity for the longboarders to move to this location and finish the year off at such a great location. I have been surfing at this spot all week with all of the other competitors so to come out here with only one other surfer out was so good. I’m looking forward to continuing tomorrow and seeing how far I can go towards the final.”

With one day left in the event window and more incredible surf expected at ‘The Left’, competition is expected to get underway at 8:00 a.m. local time as the event looks to crown its winner’s along with the 2019 Women’s World Longboard Champion.

The Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship runs from December 1 – 7. For more information and to watch all of the action from the Taiwan Open of Surfing, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Men’s Round 3 Results:
HEAT 1: Harrison Roach (AUS) 12.50 DEF. Cole Robbins (USA) 9.16
HEAT 2: Taylor Jensen (USA) 14.74 DEF. Taka Inoue (JPN) 9.10
HEAT 3: Ben Skinner (GBR) 11.10 DEF. Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 6.86
HEAT 4: Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 11.27 DEF. Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 9.97
HEAT 5: Kai Sallas (HAW) 13.73 DEF. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 12.83
HEAT 6: Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 15.30 DEF. Edouard Delpero (FRA) 13.46
HEAT 7: Justin Quintal (USA) 14.14 DEF. Josh Constable (AUS) 11.34
HEAT 8: Tony Silvagni (USA) 11.27 DEF. Phil Rajzman (BRA) 9.90

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Women’s Round 3 Results:
HEAT 1: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.56 DEF. Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 6.90
HEAT 2: Tully White (AUS) 10.00 DEF. Soleil Errico (USA) 8.93
HEAT 3: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 10.90 DEF. Kirra Seale (HAW) 8.40
HEAT 4: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 11.40 DEF. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 8.60
HEAT 5: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 15.33 DEF. Ophelie Ah-Kouen (REU) 8.96
HEAT 6: Emily Lethbridge (AUS) 8.83 DEF. Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 6.33
HEAT 7: Rachael Tilly (USA) 15.33 DEF. Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 9.86
HEAT 8: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 10.73 DEF. Sally Cohen (HAW) 7.96

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Harrison Roach (AUS) vs. Taylor Jensen (USA)
HEAT 2: Ben Skinner (GBR) vs. Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER)
HEAT 3: Kai Sallas (HAW) vs. Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA)
HEAT 4: Justin Quintal (USA) vs. Tony Silvagni (USA)

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) vs. Tully White (AUS)
HEAT 2: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) vs. Honolua Blomfield (HAW)
HEAT 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA) vs. Emily Lethbridge (AUS)
HEAT 4: Rachael Tilly (USA) vs. Alice Lemoigne (FRA)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Skindog On The Ranch

The middle of california is one big farm. that and kelly’s mad wave pool. ben skinner has just become the first brit to ride it…

Interview by Steve England Photos courtesy WSL

As we go to press the Surf Ranch Pro is on. Just before the CT crew took over the joint for the big show the WSL invited some of the world’s top longboarders for a test session. Ben Skinner was one of the golden ticket holders who got the nod and so becomes the first British person to ride Kelly’s tub. Steve England racked up the phone bill calling Ben in California as he waited for the Relik longboard event at Trestles to start.

So how was the Ranch?
It was insane. It is actually even better than it looks. Obviously, it takes a few waves to work it out, and I didn’t have too many, so I can only imagine how much better it is once you get it totally dialled. The people there were amazingly welcoming and just made the experience even better.

How did the invite come your way?
Basically, through the WSL, They wanted to start bringing longboarding to Kelly’s wave, and I was one of four lucky men to get the call. Thank you WSL!

How many waves were you allowed to ride?
I caught four rights and three lefts, and then poached a few waves through the session which was a fun part of being there. If someone fell in front of you, then you go!

What board did you ride? Did you have to shape one up for it?
Well, I wanted to make something for the wave to try and fill its full potential on the nose, off the tail and in the tube. So I made a board similar to what I ride in hollow waves, but with more of a nose for nose riding. It felt great.

How does the wave compare to Wavegarden? Lining it up, catching it and power wise?
The power and speed are the first things you notice. You are definitely going faster and the wave as a real punch to it. Catching it is very similar, in fact, a little bit easier because of the extra power of the wave. They basically tell you to line on pole 21 and wait. The wave comes to you.

The power and speed are the first things you notice

What are the sections like? I heard they can change one to make it more doable on a longboard.
The hardest part about surfing the wave is reading the sections. On a normal wave you can see ahead of you what is going to happen, whereas, on Kelly’s wave, you just have to know where to be because it happens right under you. But yeah, they have a lot of different settings, that part was mind-blowing. So we got to choose between two different settings, ‘CT2′ and ‘CT3′. One has the two barrel sections, and one has more of a wall with the barrel at the end. Pretty insane!

Looks like a little step in the barrel section that could be tricky as the bottom drops out?
Yeah for sure, that is what I was saying that it literally happens underneath you. If you’re not in the right spot, you miss the barrel, or you lose the whole wave.

How did Harley and the other longboarders find it?
Loved it. The boys smashed it. Harley and Taylor were standouts to me.

Did you see the air section in effect? How was that?
Yeah, watched Pat G hitting it quite a lot, it looks good, but again, its all about timing.

You can follow Ben on Instagram here