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Who is Joel Tudor?

The Legendary Surfing Journey of Joel Tudor

In the world of surfing, few names command as much respect as Joel Tudor.
Who is Joel Tudor?

Considered a legend of the longboard scene, Joel Tudor has dedicated his life to mastering the smooth, soulful style of vintage surfing.

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Born in 1978 in San Diego, Joel Tudor started surfing at just 10 years old. He quickly became enamored with the grace and fluidity of longboarding after seeing old videos of 60s surfers deftly navigating the waves. While shortboarding was in vogue at the time, Tudor pursued his passion for timeless surfing on lengthy boards that allowed for creative expression.


Joel Tudor as a 12 year old kid surfing

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Joel Tudor steadily honed his talent, eventually emerging as a top junior longboarder in the early 90s. He then turned pro and stunned the surfing world by winning championships and besting shortboarders on his 9-foot single fin longboard. With his blended modern talent and old-school form, Tudor single-handedly sparked a longboarding revival.

Joel Tudor winning trophies at 14

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Throughout the 90s and 2000s, Tudor racked up an impressive list of contest victories that cemented his status as an all-time great. He dominated the U.S. Open of Surfing, won back-to-back Pipeline Masters events, and clinched numerous National Scholastic Surfing Association titles. 

However, Tudor contributed more to surfing than just trophies and titles. He progressed the very concept of what was possible on a longboard. His radical nose riding, smooth cutbacks, and effortless footwork inspired awe and a renewed appreciation of longboarding. Tudor also spread his knowledge by launching his own surf school and coaching the next generation.

Joel Tudor Surfboard

While the shortboarders relied on power and aerial tricks, Tudor chiseled his reputation on the feeling, flow, and classic techniques of longboarding's roots. His immaculate style evoked the golden era of surfing when riding waves was about grace as much as athleticism. Even today in his 40s, Tudor's flawless form and retro longboard artistry on display make him a living legend.

Joel Tudor's lifelong mission to progress and preserve longboarding has cemented his place among the most influential surfers in history. He brought vintage surf style back into the mainstream and set new standards of excellence. Tudor remains an active, top competitor, but his biggest legacy is reviving the lost art of longboarding and spotlighting its endless creative possibilities. Thanks to icons like Tudor, the soulful heritage of surfing lives on.

Exclusively here at Hawaiian South Shore Surf Shop, we recently sat down with Joel Tudor for a rare interview. He opened up about his signature "Messiah" and "Model T" longboards that we carry in-store and online. This candid discussion is a must-see for surf fans, as Tudor seldom participates in interviews. You can also watch it here

Hear straight from a surfing legend and learn about the magic behind the boards at Hawaiian South Shore today!