Unlucky longboarders beg for swell in Italy

November 18, 2011 | Surfing
Levanto: surf style with no waves

It's rare, but it happens. No waves, no glory at the ASP World Longboard Tour (WLT) Bear Pro, in Levanto, Italy, as the as the event enters the final 48 hours of the waiting period with a very slight chance of being able to be surfed.

Surfers have been waiting for swell for more than a week. A last effort is being made to take the event mobile and despite the difficulties involved with obtaining permits, event officials have not discarded the option.

"We had a meeting with all the contest and basically the forecast has got worse. We have gone from a 55% chance to a 40% chance of swell coming in. The options of having another location are out the door because of permitting problems. There is a possibility on Saturday for a little wave. The wind has to turn around to bring it in and so the possibilities of it being 1-2ft and contestable are there but not very strong. As of right now we are praying that there is some kind of bump that could roll up and we can run some heats. To run a round or maybe two would be better than nothing", says 2010 ASP WLT champion, Duane De Soto.

Ben Haworth has been longboarding since the tender age of nine and has matured into one of the most promising longboarders on the European scene. Haworth’s inclusion into the ASP WLT Bear Pro presented by Jeep adds further depth to the ‘Euro’ contingent which has a total of 11 riders in the event.

"I am super happy to be here in Italy even though there aren’t any waves today. We have waited long enough anyway now so more than happy to wait a few more days as long as there are waves. It doesn’t look good as the locals have been saying but hopefully there will be something. I want to go surfing and this is my first time in this event so I want to get out there and not for it to be cancelled. Everyone wants the same thing, we just want some waves."

Haworth is fortunate to be supported by event sponsor Bear who have seen a big future for the youngster and are pinning their hopes on him for a possible contender in future years to the ASP WLT title.

"It is good to be supported now because longboarding has been struggling for the last few years. No one was interested really in sponsoring longboarding. I think Bear have stepped up to the plate and put the event on. They have organised a good event and it looks professional with all the set up so I am super happy to be sponsored by them and they are doing a good job. I look forward to working with them more in the future definitely."

Alessandro Demartini won the trials event and thus earned a wildcard into the ASP WLT Bear Pro presented by Jeep and the opportunity to compete in his maiden ASP WLT event. Unfortunately for Demartini he may not be able to compete in front of his supporters as the lack of swell continues to plague the event.

"I am so happy to be here with all the surfers from around the world but we have no waves. I really want to compete to show myself and to everybody what I can do with my surfing. I was crying when I won the contest here I was so happy. I was feeling so good that day and now I am sad because there are no waves but I hope I will have another occasion to do a contest like this. Maybe next year I will do the ASP Europe Longboard tour."

"We are so unlucky because before the contest 2.5m waves," continued Demartini. "Duane (De Soto) said to me that it was 6ft so there were some great waves for here. From the start of the event to the end we will not find waves because there is a high pressure above us that means good weather and sun with offshore winds but no waves. We can do nothing but wait until the day after tomorrow to know what will happen but I think 99% no waves."