Honolulu – (Saturday, August 21, 2004) – Newly crowned World Longboard Champion Joel Tudor (La Jolla, CA) and 'Queen of Queens' Pinoi Makalena fended off the nation's top professional longboarders to post parallel victories in the Converse Hawaiian Open, held at Queens, Waikiki, today. Both won $4,000 for their performances. Tudor also took home an additional $1,000 for winning the Surf N Sea Nose Riding division, clocking up 14.1 seconds of nose-riding time over two waves.
A rapidly dissipating 1-2-foot south swell did nothing to dampen the level of competition today. If anything, it only accentuated the importance of finesse, pin-point precision and the style that has seen the art of longboard surfing transcend the generations – and that is what Tudor is best known for.
Considered the Kelly Slater of longboard surfing, 28-year-old Tudor is known for weaving magic out of waves others wouldn't even see potential in. Today was no different. Fancy footwork, intricate board-walking, and toes-on-the-nose 'hang time' gave him the edge over former world champions Bonga Perkins (Haleiwa, HI) and Colin McPhillips (San Clemente, CA), and impressive rookie Maui surfer Noah Shimabukuro (Kula) in the final.
Tudor also came out tops in the final of the Surf N Sea Nose-Riding division, clocking up 14.1 seconds of nose-riding time over his best two rides.
"It's great to be winning a big event here at Queens Surf in Waikiki, the birth place of modern surfing and especially in a contest that honors the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku," said Tudor about this, the signature event of the Duke's Ho'olaule'a celebrations going on at Waikiki this weekend.
A total of 16 waves were ridden in the 30-minute final, four of them by Joel who wowed a crowd of thousands with his famous repertoire of tricks and turns.
"It was so hard today with the conditions. There's no swell and it feels like you're sitting in the middle of the ocean. Getting your wave count is pretty difficult, but everyone had gentleman's priority which made it a lot more friendly. Normally everybody's jockeying each other."
Tudor felt that being the lightest of the four finalists was more of a disadvantage if anything, given the gusty off-shore wind that was blowing.
"It wasn't much of an advantage to be lighter, it's more about skill in those conditions. If anything, being super light in this kind of wind is a disadvantage – you can get blown off."
The women's final was a far more heated event, with competitors jockeying heavily for waves in the tricky conditions. But it was 43 years of local Queens knowledge and an intimate understanding of the interplay between small swells and coral reef formation that resulted in a memorable win for Makalena.
A mother of three, Makalena does not follow the US Longboard Tour like her opponents, electing to focus on raising her family and competing in local events when she can. But a lifetime of local knowledge and a natural rhythm with the ocean at Queens proved to be an unbeatable combination today, enabling her to outshine a world class field to win the largest pay check in women's longboarding.
"I guess I lucked out," Makalena, 43, laughed. "It was fun, you just had to find (the waves). When it's small it's a trick out there to find the right ride. But this is where I grew up. I was in diapers (when I first surfed here). My dad's a Beachboy here and we spent many, many years here. Now my kids are out here. It's just a magical wave, a nice ride.
"The $4,000 will be sweet. It's been a long road. The up-and-coming girls are hot. It's good to see. I don't follow the tour, but this is perfect – I just drove 15 minutes from home."
Second place in the all-Hawaiian women's final went to Joy Magelsson (Honolulu), followed by Desiree Desoto (Makaha) and Amy Lawson (Honolulu).
In the women's Surf N Sea nose-riding division, last year's Converse Hawaiian Open champion Julie Whitegon took the $1,000 winner's check after clocking in with 10.39 seconds of "nose time" over her two best rides.
The Converse Hawaiian Open is the third of four events that make up the US Professional Longboard Surfing Championships, presented by Longboard Magazine, which will culminate next weekend at Malibu, California.
The Hawaiian Open is proudly sponsored by Converse shoes. Established in 1908, Converse is committed to surfing and the surf lifestyle that celebrates the roots of the sport.
Men’s Open Results
1. Joel Tudor, La Jolla, CA. $4,000
2. Bonga Perkins, Haleiwa, $2,000
3. Colin McPhillips, San Clemente, CA. $1,500
4. Noah Shimabukuro, Kula, Maui, $1,000
Women’s Open Results
1. Pinoi Makalena, Honolulu, $4,000
2. Joy Magelsson, Honolulu, $2,000
3. Desiree Desoto, Makaha, $1,500
4. Amy Lawson, Honolulu, $1,000
Men’s Surf N Sea Nose-Riding Results
1. Joel Tudor, La Jolla, CA, 14.1 seconds over two rides, $1,000
2. Rusty Keaulana, Makaha, 13.94 seconds, $750
3. Josh Baxter, San Clemente, CA, 13.3 seconds, $500
4. Ben Kealoha, Waianae, 8.71 seconds, $250
5. Dane Peterson, Australia, 8.37 seconds
6. Ben Lempe, Waianae, 5.11 seconds
Women’s Surf N Sea Nose-Riding Results
1. Julie Whitegon, Encinitas, CA, 10.39 seconds, $1,000
2. Summer Romero, La Mesa, CA, 6.16 seconds, $750
3. Crystal Dzigas, Honolulu, 4.49, $500
4. Geodee Clark, Honolulu, 4.03 seconds, $250
5. Jill Hansen, Honolulu, 2.75 seconds
6. Kristy Murphy, Jupiter, FL, 2.41 seconds
For more information:
Jodi Young, Ocean Promotion, in Hawaii