Joel Tudor

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Joel Tudor
Personal information
Born (1976-06-11) 11 June 1976 (age 40)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Nickname Tinkerbell
Residence California
Weight 65.9 kg (145 lb)
Surfing career
Best year Ranked 1st - 1998, 2004
2nd - 2000
3rd 2001 ASP World Tour Ranking
Major achievements 2 times ASP Longboard World Champion
8 times US open Champion
5 times US Champion
Surfing specifications
Stance Goofy
Shaper(s) Donald Takayama
Quiver 9'4" Classic, DTNR, HPNR & 9'6" Papa Joe
Favorite waves Black's Beach

Joel Tudor is a surfer, primarily known for longboarding, and competitive grappler from San Diego, California.


Early life[edit]

His father, Joe, who ignored the shortboard revolution himself and never abandoned his longboard, first put his Joel on a surfboard during a family trip to Puerto Vallarta. He was hooked instantly.[1]

Professional Surf career[edit]

He started out in skateboarding and, while in his early teens, gained both recognition and sponsorship for this. On the water, his apparently effortless skill saw him turn pro at 14 & he won his first professional ASP competition at age 15, making him the youngest competitor to win an ASP event.[2] Unlike the vast majority of his contemporaries who were riding only modern short surfboards, he also rode the out-of-fashion longboard, and it was the longboard that catapulted him to worldwide fame in his mid-teens. His reputation was such that, when he was on a break, other surfers would sometimes leave the water to watch his skills such as nose-riding ("hanging five" and "hanging ten" - riding with the toes of one or both feet hanging over the nose of the board List of surfing terms#H). Admiration of Tudor was a major factor in the longboard revival of the 1990s.

Despite wide recognition as the doyen of modern longboard riders, and regularly competing in the longboard world championships, it took seven attempts before he finally won this event in the Canary Islands in 1998. Some Criticism has been forwarded, especially by other surfers such as Roth Allen, that his skills are largely blown out of proportion and that his only real skill is effective marketing. Nonetheless he has enjoyed a spectacular and influential career. He won the U.S. Open of longboarding a record 8 times & he reclaimed the ASP Longboard World Championship in 2004.[3]

Due to his skill on both longboards and shortboards, on big waves and small, Tudor is widely considered to be an extremely versatile surfer, and is also known for being unusually open-minded with regard to the diverse equipment that can be used for wave riding. He is most closely associated with heavily glassed, single-fin longboards typical of the 1960s which help define his smooth and flowing style.


Joel Tudor is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlson Gracie Black Belt and World Champion, Rodrigo Medeiros / BJJ Revolution Team.[4] He has won numerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu titles such as the Pan Ams and US Nationals. He is also an ADCC veteran.[5]

Other Projects[edit]

During 1999 - 2004 Tudor collaborated with photographer Michael Halsband to create Surf Book, a homage to the architects of contemporary surf culture. Tudor's text accompanied Halsband's photographs. The book was designed by Doug Lloyd and edited by Scott Hewlett. Additional text was written by C.R. Stecyk. Joel now has his own surfboard manufacturing company called kookboxx, as well as selling wetsuits in Japan.


Joel Tudor is featured in the art film "Surf Movie: reels 1- 14" shot in 8mm by Michael Halsband, as well as The Seedling, Sprout, and "The Present" surfing films all shot in 16mm film by Thomas Campbell. Tudor also features in a large number of other surf films including Longer, One California Day and Riding Waves.


Kookbox Surfboards

External links[edit]