The World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour World Title race will conclude with the Jeep® Malibu Classic presented by Havaianas at one of the sport's proving grounds, Malibu, California's First Point. On October 11 and 12, former WSL Longboard Champions and the next generation of competitors will vie for their respective World Titles.Two-time WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield and Longboard Tour veteran Edouard Delpero lead the rankings heading into the event, but a plethora of talent are on their heels ready to compete.
But, some of the world's best women longboarders will have to deal with the likes of 2018 WSL Longboard Champion, Soleil Errico. The 20-year-old sets her feet on the cobblestones of Malibu's dreamy lineup nearly every day and now has the opportunity to clinch her second World Title right at home with family and friends ready to support her to the finish.
"It's super exciting because Malibu is my hometown and it's where I spend most of my days surfing," said Errico. "To win here would be that much more amazing. I want to make my friends and family proud because they have been so supportive of me throughout my surfing career. I'm going to approach this event with confidence because I've been lucky enough to practice at Malibu a lot since I live about two-minutes away from the break. I'm going to trust my instincts and my hard work and just surf the best I can heat-by-heat."
Kelis Kaleopaa heads into the iconic First Point lineup ranked No. 2 and 2,500 points behind rankings leader, fellow Oahu, Hawaii competitor and two-time WSL Longboard Champion, Honolua Blomfield. The 16-year-old has the opportunity to claim history as the youngest women's World Title holder. Rachael Tilly holds the record for the youngest World Champion at age 17, but Kaleopa'a understands the task and will put no pressure on herself. Full interview here
"It hasn't really sunk in yet," expressed Kaleopa'a. "I'm just going to go out and surf like I would in any other contest. It did hit me for the first time last night when we got a text with how the World Title could go down with surf-offs and things like that. This is a first-time thing for me and I have no expectations really. I would love to win a World Title but, for a first-timer like me, I just want to experience everything that's going to go down and watch all the different possibilities, and I have no expectations really."
Australia's Harrison Roach lost his drive to compete nearly twelve years ago but reemerged in 2019. The 31-year-old currently sits at No. 2 on the rankings, just 1,250 points behind an in-form Edouard Delpero - looking for his first World Title. Roach is ready to strike if the Frenchman and fellow World Title contenders flounder. Full interview here
"There's a lot of respect and clout with winning a World Title, and I think it would validate my career as a surfer and as a longboarder," remarked Roach. "The culture around it then (in 2012) wasn't who I was or what I was interested in. When you mention guys like Harley Ingleby, he's a great friend of mine and I have so much respect for him and competing with him growing up, and they're such fantastic surfers as well. But at that point I was starting to focus more on travel and doing things that didn't involve competing just because it costs a lot of money to do these events as well. It's nice to be here now and in the running for a World Title."
"Justin's (Quintal) already won a Title and that's definitely why I got back into it," added Roach. "I'm happy to have a crack at it. I'm feeling confident in my surfing and, building off the last event, I'm really excited. It's nice to be here now and in the running for a World Title. Hopefully we get some fun waves and I can pull it off."
The Jeep Malibu Classic presented by Havaianas will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app on October 11 at 7:30 a.m. PDT. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.
The WSL Longboard Tour is proudly supported by partners Jeep, Havaianas, Hydro Flask, Expedia, Athletic Brewing, US Army, Aviator Nation, and Firewire.
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has a robust set of COVID safety plans in place to keep everyone safe. These plans are unique to each event.