A Behind-the-Scenes Look at This Year’s Vans Duct Tape Festival in Portugal

“You can’t order surf when you travel,” Duct Tape Invitational founder Joel Tudor said about the conditions at the logging event’s latest stop in Ericeira, Portugal. While the ocean doesn’t always produce epic waves, perfect surf isn’t required for a good time. And at each Duct Tape event, fun is just as much a constant as the single-finned logs competitors ride—regardless of what the ocean gifts to, or withholds from, the venue. The first stop of the Duct Tape’s 2019 season was far from a skunk though. The section-y and head-high crumblers that rolled into Ericeira were more than contestable for the invitees.

While Kaniela Stewart and Chloé Calmon board-transferred and cross-stepped their ways to champagne showers at the Invitational, some of Vans’ team riders were busy mowing foam. One of the ways the Duct Tape Festival gives back to local surf communities is by allowing locals free reign on the boards made by the Vans team. Fish and mid-length designs materialized at the hands of Ivan Florence, Harry Bryant, Ainara Aymat and James Parry, and local test pilots put the handmade quiver through the paces.

The Iberian coast – where the venue was located – is also riddled with waves more shreddedbable than loggable in nature. Aerial maestro Nathan Fletcher snuck away from the festivities with a crew of Vans shredders to hunt some ramps. After breaking down the difference between magic and not-so-magic boards in the most black-and-white way possible, Fletcher put a snub-nosed quad to work in the punt-able surf.

Hit play to watch the good times roll above and stay tuned for the DTI’s next stop at the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach.

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Kaniela Stewart, showcasing steez to the max at the Vans Duct Tape Invitational in Portugal. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Duct Tape Invitational 2x winner, Chloe Calmon. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Duct Tape vet, Alex Knost Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Tosh Tudor working on his night moves. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Duct Tape Invitational finalists. (Left to Right) Makala Smith, Karina Rozunko, Justine Mauvin, Chloé Calmon, Alex Knost, Joel Tudor (Contest Director), Troy Motherhead, Kaniela Stewart, Kai Takayama Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Unlike contests that have interference rules as thick as a brick, the Duct Tape gives a cash reward for the best shared-wave. Together, Chloe Calmon and Karina Rozunko toss their hats into the ring. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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Duct Tape victor, Chloé Calmon. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine
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The Duct Tape Festival, Ericeira, Portugal style. Courtesy of Pedro Mestre/SURFER Magazine

To find out more about the forthcoming Duct Tape Invitational at the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach, click here.

All photos by Pedro Mestre.

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