A WORLD FIRST —
New longboard competition format ignites a movement.
FIRST POINT, MALIBU | OCT.8-9, 2017
Our goal was simple: To celebrate the art and lifestyle of longboard surfing by gathering its most on-point performers at the world’s most illustrious surf break.
To make things even more interesting we cooked up a unique surf competition format and rallied a legit prize purse of $75,000. Thanks to a flexible 10-day waiting period, Relik’s inaugural longboard surfing event debuted amidst a firing swell at First Point, Malibu.
The Relik team amassed an impressive field of professional competitors representing Australia, South Africa, Peru, Brazil, France, Japan and the US, including 9 world champions collectively holding 12 World Titles.
What made this event so unique was that professional longboard competitions and tours have historically adhered to a strict, binary approach—focusing on either a “modern” or “classic” style of riding, but never both at the same event.
The modern genre of longboarding is known for its use of state-of-the-art, contemporary board designs that allow riders to complete more progressive maneuvers—but with an ability to ride the nose at will. The classic approach stays loyal to notable design characteristics of surfing’s traditional equipment from the 1960s, as well as the era’s stylish, cruisy maneuvers and laidback lifestyle on the beach.
Equally appreciating the two disciplines, Relik wanted to showcase both longboard styles under one umbrella but with separate divisions—allowing riders to fully express their surfing without compromise. This format shared similarities to other competitive sports like skiing where there are multi-disciplines and divisions.
Here’s how Relik organized their event: The Modern divisions were comprised of 16 men and 16 women, and was complemented by a 16 person co-ed field for the Classic longboarders—a division some have referred to as “Loggers” because of the significantly heavier boards inspired by those that were ridden in the 1960s. Invitees were selected based on previous professional standings or recognition for their influence and contributions to longboarding’s global community.
With the addition of providing a comfortable, catered and curated setting for competitors and spectators alike, Relik’s Malibu event became one of the most relatable and enjoyable surf contest experiences in the world.
What simply began as a fun experiment of bringing together two distinct sub cultures of longboard surfing—modern and classic—turned out to be the beginning of something very special that Relik believed could be replicated globally.
Based on the event’s beach buzz and overwhelming positive feedback from the competitors, we felt as though we’d just witnessed the birth of a new movement for surfing. And we’ve since gone to work on plans for a broader series of events we hope blossoms into a world tour that promotes and celebrates all aspects of men’s and women’s longboarding.
We’re thankful for the efforts of the competitors that flew in from around the globe, as well as the hard work of those behind the scenes to make our Malibu event a tremendous success. And we look forward to seeing you at our next event.
2017 Video Recap & Results below.