In all honesty I’m so tired I had no idea how to start this piece.
At first I was gonna say how The Vans Duct Tape Festival may just be our favourite surf competition, because it’s not even a surf competition. For a start it’s long boarding. Which means it’s a chilled out affair. Positive vibes only. No egos. No bullshit. No live streaming interrupted by another tasteless cringe ad. Just happy faces on a beach having a bloody good time.
Then of course I need to mention Ericeira. Which for those unfamiliar is an absolute treat. A traditional Portuguese fishing village complete with quaint, narrow cobblestone streets, off tilt architecture, amazing food and a next level coastline. In fact the only one in Europe officially protected by the Word Surfing Reserve. It’s a pretty dreamy spot to be and one that proved the perfect setting this weekend.
Then I wanted to offer a day by day recap of what happened but who am I kidding? I can’t be bothered and you’re probably just gonna skim the photos anyway. So to save us both the ball ache let me just offer a brief summary.
First off. Vans legend John Cardiel was there DJing the whole weekend. John Fucking Cardiel. That in itself made my fucking trip.
Knost still has the best tweaked warm up stretches and turns in the biz.
Andy Nieblas is just as fun as a human can be. Always smiling. Always fooling around. Never taking anything too seriously. The definition of good vibes.
Harry Bryant actually rips skating a bowl. Loves a long 50-50.
Karina Rozunko looks like she’s having the best time on a wave and there’s just something rad about surfing in big hooped earrings.
Lee-Ann Curren’s music is fucking awesome. We obviously knew it was from BAKEA but a year on and she’s taking it to another level.
Same goes for Kepa, aka skater Bastien Duverdier. He’s actually grown into an incredible musician and live performer. It’s insane. It’s how I’d imagine Ry Cooper would perform his Paris Texas score if he’d drank 12 espressos beforehand.
Kaniela Stewart has crazy nose control and thoroughly deserved his win. That double board transfer too!
Makala Harmony Smith knows how to party and can probably drink any of you under the table.
Nathan Fletcher doesn’t have king skins but he will have a few puffs if you’ve got one lit. His new film Heavy Water is also pretty gnarly but you may get more out of it home screening with an aforementioned zoot in a comfy setting rather than half cut in a 2m wide alleyway with 300 people. Appreciate the free beers nevertheless. And the Vibes. Love you Magic Quiver.
Nolan Hall is still really tall.
Seb Smart’s still not sure if the 1969 moon landing actually happened.
Stu from Lovenskate is still the nicest dude you’ve ever met.
Joel Tudor is still a legend.
You can fill in the gaps from here.