The Men and Women's Longboard Tour (LT) elite got a taste of what the East Coast can truly deliver with incredible morning conditions at the Longboard Classic New York supported by I LOVE NY. Three-to-five foot swell came into Long Beach, New York, with offshore winds to create an extensive day of competition once more with women completing remaining Round 2 heats before moving into top-seeded Round 3 and men completing Round 3, as well as top-seeded Round 4 Heats 1 -4.
The opportunities were endless and the world's best seized every moment presented with multiple excellent scores and near-perfection throughout another marathon day.
Near-Perfection From Kaniela Stewart
The impeccable performances continued into Round 4 where top-seeded surfers awaited and Stewart didn't hold back with the event's best performance against Cole Robbins, as well as eliminating event standout Jack Entwistle. Stewart's 17.83 heat total came with a near-perfect 9.43 (out of a possible 10), throwing away an excellent 8.17 in the process, with an amazing hang ten - keeping both feet at the tip of his board - through multiple sections.
"Before my heat I was just watching the waves and where I should sit in my heat, and the rights were looking really good so I sat there which ended up working out," Stewart said. "It's been a good routine in the morning with a light breakfast then head down to surf low tide, head back to the hotel and eat some more before going back out for the high tide - which has been my favorite so far. I feel like I'm flying when I'm hanging ten, just gliding and nothing stopping me, and it's just such an amazing feeling."
Two-time WSL Champion Joel Tudor continued to charge through heats but fireworks ensued in Round 3 Heat 4 between current LT No. 1 Justin Quintal and fellow East Coaster, Montauk, New York, native Mikey Detemple. The two went wave-for-wave with Quintal taking to an early lead before DeTemple's two-wave total overtook the Jacksonville Beach, Florida, competitor but Quintal wasn't done yet and posted a 7.03 (out of a possible 10) for a 14.20 (out of a possible 20) heat total -- and Round 3 victory.
"I wouldn't call him my arch enemy (laughs), he's a really good friend and we go back pretty far," Quintal said. "Up until filming for this event I hadn't seen him in about five years so to see him a few months ago and now again when the waves are fun back in jerseys together is pretty cool. Little walk down memory lane and he's the man. I looked up to him growing up and that was a really special heat for us."
"I wanted to get a clean barrel out there because the conditions are obviously pretty good so I wanted to find one but I had to power my way out of that one," Quintal added.
Quintal had to keep that momentum with him into Round 4 as he faced reigning WSL Champion Steven Sawyer, a rematch of the Noosa Longboard Open Final, along with Peruvian talent Lucas Garrido Lecca and took down the affair once more.
Tudor finally met his match in the top-seeded Round 4 against freshly crowned European Regional Longboard titleholder Edouard Delpero. The Frenchman came out firing on all cylinders as the two put on a show over Kai Hamase. Delpero looks to find his way to the Final after a frustrating Semifinal loss to Quintal in Galicia but comes to New York reinvigorated.
"It's a great start and I'm stoked to get that one with the waves being a bit tricky but it felt good to get a few," Delpero said. "This is my first time here and it's so fun with a lot of good experiences already. I was surprised it actually reminds me a lot of Anglet with the jetties and even though the wind got on it, it was still really fun. I definitely didn't see myself competing here in New York. It's such a great place to visit and I'm so glad the WSL brought an event here."
The Rising Tides movement made its way to Long Beach to continue its incredible momentum around the world after already making stops at each of the Championship Tour (CT) events and LT events. Over 70 young women joined some of the world's best including Moniz, reigning WSL Champion Soleil Errico, 2015 WSL Champion Rachael Tilly, and many more. The goal of encouraging and inspiring the next generation of women to get in the water has created incredible moments of sheer brilliance as the movement is recognized worldwide.
Event organizers will reconvene at 6:30am ET to determine a possible 7:00am ET start to either men's Round 4 Heat 5 or women's Round 4 action.