Now that the dust has well and truly settled on a summer of surfing success, we take time to have a look back at the WSL’s return to these shores and the success that was Newquay’s 2015 Boardmasters competition.
After a three year hiatus the UK welcomed back the WSL for the men’s and women’s Longboard events. There was some overall excitement and speculation as to how it would all go down, but the general feeling was one of an anticipation of success. If Rob Gunning, WSL Europe Tour Manager, is anything to go by it most certainly was:
“They were very successful in terms of number and quality of athletes. We had Europe’s best of the best. For a first return event to Newquay, it was good.”
With an “excellent” vibe, Rob told us that the: “WSL is very pleased to return to Boardmasters and organisers are keen to look ahead and build the event.
“We (The WSL & Organisers) are looking at options to add more categories to the Boardmasters in the coming year. Both the Qualifying series and Junior events.”
With the exhilarating prospect of not only the WSL returning next year, but the potential of even more events added, we decided once again to catch up with our own home-grown rider from Cornwall, Mr Ben Skinner, and see what he had to say on competing, the WSL and Boardmasters.
How did it feel to be competing in a WSL event at Newquay?
I loved competing in the Boardmasters. It’s so amazing surfing at that level of competition in front of your family, friends and home supporters on your local beach.
What vibe did you get from the WSL returning to Boardmasters?
A really positive one. The standard of longboarding in Europe is so high right now, three Europeans in the top 10 in the world is an amazing achievement, and I am stoked to be one of them. It is really important for us to have these events in Europe as a platform for us to keep evolving and taking Europe to the world.
Does competing in a WSL event feel different to other events? And if so, why?
Yes it does, because it is the very top of your sport. The pressure feels more because a good result in one of these events can catapult you in your career, and obviously the level is higher so you need to step it up another level to come out on top.
Did Boardmasters feel different this year?
It felt good, the vibe from everyone from competitors to festival goers was up there with the best.
Did you feel the WSL events were successful?
Yes they were… 100%
Is the WSL something you would want to see more of at Boardmasters? And why?
For sure, I mean look what it does for Newquay as a festival, It’s amazing, and at the same time it is showcasing our local talent to a wider audience as well as the rest of the world. It can only be good all round bringing the best surfers in the world to Fistral beach
How did you feel about the event overall?
Epic… I cannot wait for next year.
Any plans for the future?
Keep chasing that world title . . . I am heading to China for the world longboard title in December. The main thing is to keep pushing to get to the top. I am working hard to make the best equipment designing new shapes and constructions to take me to the next level.
I would like to say a thanks to all my sponsors for their continued support and to everyone who has ever supported me.