And so another Duct Tape goes by and confirmation that it’s our favourite comp on both sides of the Atlantic.
After the tranquil good vibes of Ericira back in late Spring, we were intrigued, if not apprehensive to see how New York would compare and despite the harsh contrast of 90 min bus journeys through Brooklyn traffic, compared to a 15 minute tour across Portuguese mountain tops, we can’t really complain.
All jokes aside though, traffic in America is fucked.
As always this Duct Tape wasn’t so much a comp, more a gathering of delightful humans with a common talent for logging and an excuse to share waves, shapes and a few beverages in between.
Rockaway is a janky little place but one we couldn’t help but warm to. The locals were great. The waves themselves were pretty dry but the winds were offshore and it was good enough for the guys to put on a show with Joel Tudor providing his trademark off the cuff commentary, full of jokes, trivia and puns and innuendos. As always judging is goose loosey but no-one could complain when Kirra Seale took the win for the women. She was probably in the water more than anyone else this weekend and having recently quit her job waiting tables to surf more, the extra petty cash will no doubt be most welcome.
Harrison Roach rolled back the years in the mens , despite rumours of him absolutely sending it the night before at The Flower Shop. Talking of which, the Flower Shop. We like that place. But my word it’s dangerous. Those cocktails sink back too easy. Apparently Tony Hawk has shares in it? We had the privilege of watching our fellow brit George Pedrick absolutely destroy the entire community at pool there before Al Knost blew minds by sinking black with an absolute wonder of a shot. Turns out him & Nolan Hall are pretty dark horses at the table.
What else can we tell you? Dean Petty is an absolute joker and insisted we go visit him in Nova Scotia in the near future, an idea we’ve been skirting around for a while so watch this space. Justine Mauvin was on top form, connecting La Reunion roots by rocking cornrows for the event – a move very few could pull off as well as her. It was nice to see our fellow south west Basque friends in Margaux, Ainara & Victoria, the latter who we still owe an Uber fair to, (sorry Vic, will send that over now).
Greyson Fletcher is a real good commentator, walking around on the live feed all day, he just doesn’t stop talking. Still looks weird now he’s shaved his wizard look clean off though. Talking of skaters, Andrew Allen was waltzing about having shaped a board for the event this year. Alex Olson even showed his face randomly.
Kassia Meador is great fun to be around and took over the garden hut for a while offering all forms of relaxation moments. Knost especially was having a great time in there. Joel even came in offering some very unconventional neck stretching to Greyson by form of a belt.
The evening events were wholesome affairs of locally brewed beer and Moscow Mules. We got to watch Tan Madonna on a big screen and also see Karina Rozunko’s new movie which we can’t wait to see again. She also loves imitating British accents we noticed. Last we remember of the final night we were in the gutter, not literally but a dive bar/bowling alley deep in Williamsburg. Birch and Knost made a drunken bet over bowling that the loser had to build and shape six boards for the other. We’re still awaiting the results of that one.
There’s probably a bunch of other memories that will spring back to mind as we pull ourselves back together this week but one thing is sure, Vans know how to throw an event and it’s testimony to their belief in engaging local communities, to progress the creativity within surfing collectively. Whilst sharing a few drinks of course.
Until next time….