Montauk’s Duct Tape Invitational

| posted on October 18, 2010
Joel and the team at Vans put in a lot of hardwork to make this event happen. Photo: Glaser

Joel Tudor and Vans' hard work paid off with a successful inaugural Duct Tape Invitational. Photo: Glaser

“Surfers, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll sometimes went together,” writes Nat Young in his book The Complete History of Surfing. Last week, Joel Tudor teamed up with Vans to deliver the Duct Tape Invitational, an event where 16 handpicked longboarders were unleashed upon the town of Montauk, New York, to prove that Nat’s comment still applies today.

A legendary father to the surfing world, Nat is referring to an era that preceded the current generation of battle-faced, exercise ball-toting pros. “I genuinely felt there was more to surfing than competition,” he continues. “Many young surfers today are missing out on the possibility of expressing themselves through their surfing because their lives are dominated by contests.”

Joel was, and always has been, the exception to Nat’s generalization. Sure, Joel has spent his fair share of time garbing contest jerseys and slapping sponsor logos on his quiver. But no one can deny that Joel wandered into a realm of surfing that no other young surfer dared search out during the early- to mid-’90s, a time when shortboarding was the only way to roll if you were an ambitious kid looking to make it in the pro lineup. Instead, as an immensely talented surfer, Joel spent his time toying with board shapes and styles of surfing that the rest of the industry viewed as antiquated and unprogressive. Little did the surf world realize where this seemingly aimless path of counterculture would lead Joel and his eventual cohorts.

Last weekend’s blur of an event featured two days of heats, none of which can be considered genuinely competition-focused. The rules of the contest basically went like this: F–k it. There are no rules. Just four colored singlets, 25-minute heats, a few tents on the sand, and an open bar tab. Snaking, burning, crossing over—it was a free-for-all. In fact, competitors were awarded $500 to split for the best doubles ride in every heat of the event.

Age and sex didn’t matter either. From Herbie Fletcher to Kassia Meador, the roster of competitors was skewed with a variety of talent. Psychedelic stylemaster Robbie Kegel, a smooth operating Alex Knost, and a perpetually barefooted, facial hair-harvesting Chris Del Moro were a few among the crew to invade Montauk.

Admittedly, there wasn’t much focus on pre-contest preparation, better known as “getting in the zone” by what Del Moro calls “jock surfers,” but you can bet there was plenty of creative, and sometimes daring, maneuvering going down in the heats.  From feet-first paddle-ins and hanging tens over the infamous Ditch Plains rock to a bit of ass-jiving to the Talking Heads playing over the loudspeakers, there was no lack of classiness to the antics of the Duct Tape Invitational.

With local Montauk surf boss Tony Caramonico on hand for weather and swell insight, the call was made to run the semis and final at dawn on Friday. Tony’s call was spot on. The tribe (well, most of them) stumbled across the freezing sand at sunrise to discover 2- to 4-foot lefts with roaring offshore winds rolling toward the contest site.

–Darlene Conolly

Justin Quintal with the big W and a cool 4 grand. Photo: Glaser

Justin Quintal, winner of the Duct Tape Invitational and $4K richer. Photo: Glaser

In the end, Florida’s Justin Quintal cruised his way into ownership of a giant foamboard check that boasts the sum of $4,000, while Noosa Heads local Harrison Roach pulled into second place with $3,000. Montauk staple Mikey DeTemple walked away with third place and $2,000 and California’s Tyler Warren claimed fourth place and $1,000.

Vans wrapped up the weekend with a private party and concert by Public Enemy, Mos Def, and Flavor Flav at their newest locale in Brooklyn. Yeah. Amazing. The weekend was like that.

Justin Quintal won the first Duct Tape Invitational in Virgnia Beach, the only goofyfooter in the final and won this event too.. Photo: Glaser

Justin Quintal, balancing amid the strong offshores. Photo: Glaser

Jared was pumped to be in NY, hanging with his friends, and in the final.  Some last words with Joel before his final heat. Photo: Glaser

Jared Mell, having a quick chat with Joel Tudor before the Final. Photo: Glaser

Alex Knost practices before the contest gets under way. Photo: Glaser

Alex Knost, practicing on a miniature insider before the heats began. Photo: Glaser

Tyler Warren hanging 10. Photo: Glaser

Tyler Warren, stylizing. Photo: Glaser

Unlike most surf contest, sharing waves was rewarded with $500 a heat for the best tandem wave. Photo: Joli

Unlike most surf contest, there was a $500 check for the Best Tandem Wave. Photo: Glaser

Jumanji, Troy, Knost,  Jared Mell and friends hiding from the wind and inbetween heats.

Jumanji, Troy, Alex Knost, Jared Mell and friends, hiding from the wind between heats. Photo: Glaser

Most swells on the east coast are created by local windstorms which make for short interval swells.  Tyler warren noserides on the inside while Harrison Roach setsup on the outside. Photo: Joli

Most swells on the East Coast are created by local windstorms that make for short interval swells. Tyler Warren noserides on the inside, while Harrison Roach sets up on the outside. Photo: Glaser

Mikey Detemple spends half the year in Montauk and made sure everyone had a good time. Photo: Glaser

Mikey DeTemple, making sure everyone's having a good time. Photo: Glaser

The Local community was more than welcoming and came out to watch the event. Photo: Glaser

The local surf community were pleased to play host and many came out to show support. Photo: Glaser

Kassia still ripped even with a rolled ankle from the skatepark the day before. Photo: Glaser

Despite rolling her ankle skateboarding the day before competition, Kassia Meador still ripped in the small, windy surf. Photo: Glaser

Jared Mell and the legendary Herbie Fletcher get ready for their second heat. Photo: Glaser

Jared Mell and the legendary Herbie Fletcher get ready for their second heat. Photo: Glaser

  • Darren

    Love it! Love it! Love it! What a great contrast against today’s rip n shred contests. Can you please do one on the West Coast!?!

  • Propwinder42

    This exactly what we kids of the ’60’s grew up in as far as the surf culture was back then. I have had the best 40 years in the water anyone can! Days of paddeling for hours in the clean sets at “C” Street after our Moms droped us off. LIke a merry go round! It was about fun and a family of local friends that invited other kids to learn how to surf. Home made boards, boards with cut down noses from major dings and parowax used by your Grandma for canning fruit. No wet suits blue and purple nuckels and fingers that wouldn’t work to open the car door thumb button. And surf knots on you knees and feet!
    Way to go Joel a great job and a fun contest. Keep up the long board tradition going! Lets hold one at “C” Street in Ventura and see what happens! Just for the fun of it?

  • Torta

    If anyone is wondering where the “rock & roll” in surfing has gone…look no further then to what this guys are up to!

  • Bill Burke

    Anyone go ahead and ask Joel about “Fall Fest” here in Cayucos, CA……
    Billy Burke
    Morro Bay, CA

  • Kerry Meyer

    Built a 9’4″ for Don Brown while working for Hannon Surfboards and took tied for fifth after hanging 10 in the shorebreak at a Gilgo Beach contest in the late sixties and this reminds me of that type of surfing,

    Great coverage, I remember talking to Mr. Cox, who owned the Ditch Planes motel, about how he tried to destroy the surf (to get rid of the “bad element”) by having debris dumped which eventually HELPED the great swell out there!

  • andre krikorian

    looked fun

  • Colony

    Nice to see a contest for fun and community. Also, nice to see the East Coast get some attention. Well done!