The world's best longboarders are currently gathered in China awaiting the start of the 2014 GoPro World Longboard Championships, China hosted by Wanning (WLC). The combined waiting period for both the men's and women's events will run from December 5-12th at the tropical point break along Riyue Bay, approximately 20 kilometers from the major town of Wanning, on the east side of the Island of Hainan. ASP North America will be represented by 5 competitors in the Men's WLC event and 6 competitors in the Women's WLC event.
Two-time ASP World Longboard Champion Taylor Jensen (Coronado, Ca) has been in form all year, winning ASP qualifying events in Australia, Japan and most recently last month at the Taiwan Open of Surf. The regular footer enters the field as a major title threat, and is excited for the start of the event.
â€œIt's a tricky wave because it keeps changing,â€ Jensen said about the set up at Riyue Bay. â€œThe sand fills in some of the reef, but not all of it, so it throws different sections at you all the time. I'm getting better at reading it and really just focusing on good rhythm and flow and not over surfing my waves.â€
â€œI've been here for a week now, so I'm acclimated and comfortable and feeling pretty good,â€ added Jensen. â€œWith a one event World Title, so many things have to go your way, but all I have control of is being ready and putting myself in the right place at the right time and I'm ready to get underway.â€
Qualifying for the WLC for first time is Justin Quintal (Neptune Beach, Fl). Quintal has been on a competitive roll within the United States, winning a multitude of competitions around the country, including the Belmar Longboard Pro ASP 1-Star event. His signature surfing style, riding single-fin boards, has produced top results regionally and he's looking forward to bringing it to the world stage.
â€œI'm super stoked to have qualified for the World Longboard Championships this year at Riyue Bay,â€ said Quintal when asked about this year's WLC. â€œWhen I was a grom I looked up to guys like Joel Tudor, Bonga Perkins, and Beau Young among others, who I feel were great representatives for longboarding. I have always wanted to follow in their footsteps, compete in the World Championships, and have a shot at potentially winning an ASP World Title.â€
â€œI'm a little nervous because I only brought single-fins,â€ Quintal said when asked about his equipment. â€œI'm probably going to be one of the only guys riding a single-fin in the event. The wave is really fun and actually suites my style of surfing really well, and I'm just thankful for the opportunity to compete for the world championship.â€œ
Competing for the Women's World Title is 16-year-old Rachael Tilly (San Clemente, Ca). While still just a junior in High School, Tilly has competed internationally for a couple of years now, and has been putting in a lot of work at home in preparation for this year's WLC.
â€œI've been surfing lots at home, trying to find every left possible,â€ said Tilly when asked about her preparation for the event. â€œI've been working with my trainer and coach/dad on my strength, agility and endurance. I'm feeling really good about everything I've been doing.
â€œIt's a really fun left!â€ Tilly said. â€œThe waves can just go on for a long time and it's always really fun when you can pick one off from the outside and take it all the way to the sand. Any surfer would love that! So, I'm really enjoying myself on these waves and feel I'm surfing strong on them so I can't wait to see what the event brings!