Joy Monahan defends ASP World Longboard title in Biarritz

July 2, 2009 | Surfing
Joy Monahan

Reigning ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion Joy Monahan (Oahu, HAW), 23, will defend her title at the upcoming fourth edition of the Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships (WWLC), from July 10 to 14, 2009, at La Côte des Basques in Biarritz, France.

Monahan, whose first crown came with a surprise after she defeated several favorites including 2007 ASP Women’s World Longboard champion Jennifer Smith (California, USA) en route to winning her first ASP World title, will wear the favorite’s suit when she takes on the world’s best longboarding female surfers in Biarritz for a try at a second consecutive crown.

“I am very excited coming back to Biarritz as the defending champion,” Monahan said. “I feel a little pressure but only from myself as I want to surf at my very best.”

Monahan, whose quest will be tougher than ever as women’s longboarding is improving year after year towards excellency, knows how much her opponents and other favorites will be eager to grab their peace of glory when they paddle out in the expected good conditions in less than two weeks, knowing the Roxy Jam is the only chance of the year to take the prestigious trophy home.

“Every girl who qualifies for this event is a threat,” Monahan said. “The caliber of women’s longboarding is just phenomenal. Each year I have participated in the event, the talent level has increased! I think each region has its favorite but I look forward to surfing with everyone because I know each person I surf against will help me push my own surfing.”

With a change of format for this year’s edition and 32 elite surfers only having a chance at the ASP Women’s World Longboard title, the battle promises to be tougher than ever, Monahan’s most serious threats coming from usual finals’ contenders Kassia Meador (California, USA), 27, last year’s World No. 5, and Jennifer Smith (California, USA), 23, event runner-up in 2006, event champion in 2007 and World No. 3 last year, the most consistent surfer of the event by far.

Monahan, who went from the position of an outsider to the event’s top seed in a year-time, will be looking to keep the crown on Oahu Island, the place she was born and where her performance reminded how much longboarding is recognized in Hawaii.

“Surfing originated in Hawaii and to be able to bring the title back home was something very special to me,” Monahan said.

“This has been a goal of mine since I was 13 years old and to finally accomplish it really meant a lot. Longboarding in Hawaii has continued to grow throughout the years and has become very recognizable with people like Bonga (Perkins, reigning ASP World Longboard Champion), the Uemura family, and the Keaulana family being great ambassadors for the sport.”

The Hawaiian, now mainland resident, knows what it takes to raise the champion’s crown and her proven prowess in Biarritz’s waves will be a crucial weapon when the event gets underway.