|Surfer and Shaper Ben Skinner Flies the Flag for Great Britain Into Finals Day
WSL Longboard Tour veteran Ben Skinner (GRB) is one of the few competitors left at the World Tour level that competes on boards that he shapes himself, an art form that is as impressive as it is a throwback. Skinner’s boards seem to be doing the trick as the Englishman took down former World Champion Phil Rajzman (BRA) in the Round of 16, then Jefson Silva (BRA) in the Quarterfinals to progress into the Semifinals. For a powerful surfer, Skinner looked at home in the smaller surf at Manly, channeling the waves back home in Fistal on his way to consecutive heat wins.
“I’m loving it here at Manly Beach, this is like the best day at my home beach Fistal in the UK,” Skinner said. “I shape my own boards and I’m obviously very happy with my equipment. I stayed busy throughout that heat and that was a good strategy and I can now look forward to finals day.”
Local Hopefuls Keep Home Crowd Happy at Manly Beach
Local favorites Tully White (AUS) and Declan Wyton (AUS) continued to storm their way towards the Finals, both posting some of the highest two-wave totals of the day in front of their home crowd to find themselves a spot in the Semifinals. For many longboard enthusiasts, these performances were a long time coming with the pair turning heads in the Longboard world for a long while now.
“I’m super happy to make the Semifinals, I’ve only ever made the semi’s once before and to do it in front of my family and friends at my home beach is really special,” White said . “I watched fellow Manly surfer Declan Wyton win his heat earlier and that really got me excited before my heat and right now it feels great – there’s quite a bit of work ahead to make the Final or even win but right now I’m feeling great.”