COOLANGATTA, Australia (Wednesday, February 14, 2007) – The world's best Longboard riders are buzzing with the news that clothing manufacturer Oxbow has returned after a three-year hiatus and will host an official ASP World Longboard Tour event in April this year.
The event, which at the time of going to press could very well crown 2007's world longboard champion, will be known as the Oxbow Pro and will take place at les Cavaliers, Anglet, France.
The format of the event will be identical to that of shortboard surfing's penultimate professional series – the Foster's ASP World Tour – which has a 48-man draw where surfers compete in man-on-man heats from round two.
The event which has $US50,000 up for grabs will attract the world's best longboarders including former world champions Bonga Perkins (HAW), Joel Tudor (USA), Colin McPhillips (USA) and reigning world champion Josh Constable (AUS).
For Constable who recently "had a dream come true" when he stood alongside the likes of eight-time Foster's ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater (USA) and seven-time ASP Women's World Tour champion Layne Beachley (AUS) when accepting his trophy at a gala ceremony heading to the Basque coast of France will be a much anticipated affair.
Known as the cradle of European surfing, the Basque Coast offers numerous world-class surf locations that are perfect for hosting a world longboard championship.
"I think going to Anglet is a great thing," said Constable. "There will be a few different peaks so it will separate everyone and unlike a point break where everyone sits in the same takeoff spot there will be more waves ridden and it won't be as fierce competition to catch waves.
"For me I'm really happy to be going to Anglet on the beach breaks," said Constable. "Hopefully it will have some size and last year at Costa Rica the waves were just that – head high beach breaks – and I did well there so I'm pumped."
As far as competitive threats go, Constable spoke of many who could potential steal his thunder and going into the event he will watching his back all the way through.
Not only are many of the world class "older school" the ones to watch but in recent years the sport has enticed many youngsters to step up to the plate.
"You'd have to look out for Joel Tudor, Bonga Perkins, Colin McPhillips,' said Constable. "They are all such great surfers as they've shown before by winning world titles but also there are a few new faces that will need to be watched… Guys like Matthew Moore from South Africa, Taylor Jensen from the USA then "Snow" who was runner up last year… And the list goes on. Being another year too you never know which kids have stepped up and will be in contention. I just can't wait to get over there and get amongst it and see what happens."
On the strength of its long and focused involvement in the sport, its association with some of the greatest surfers in the world, and its 12 world championship contests at exotic spots like Haleiwa, Malibu, Saint Leu, Makaha, Jeffrey's Bay, Cabo San Lucas, and Raglan, Oxbow can justly claim to be the brand that has brought back the eminence of longboarding. After creating the first longboard world championship in 1992 with Nat Young, this French brand takes it on again, with this event reinforcing the Oxbow image as an innovative and dependable brand. With this new project, Oxbow shows it supports longboarding and intends to play a prominent role in the creation of a bona fide longboard world tour.
Since its creation, Oxbow relies on its bases: creativeness, originality, and technicality. Across fashion lines, involvement in event and its support to team riders, Oxbow is one of the Board Riding Sport Brand leaders.