By Neil Pealberg
During the first weekend in May, on the blue waters of Saladita, Mexico, Santa Cruz’s CJ Nelson executed the most remarkable logging performance in recent memory: In an unprecedented display, he took home two crowns by winning both the Mexi Log Fest and the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational surf contests.
It was during the free-surfing sessions before the events that Nelson realized the conditions favored his graceful, yet powerful, style of surfing. Hanging his heels and then toes over the nose, pirouetting his heavy log through the six-foot left break and riding all the way to beach, Nelson had an inkling that his moment of glory was upon him, and then the announcement blared from the loudspeaker that he was the winner of one of longboarding’s most prestigious events, the Duct Tape Invitational. Victory brought tears to his face as he was surrounded and applauded by the throngs of onlookers.
Still completely overwhelmed, Nelson realized he needed to gather himself in order to return to the lineup, having qualified to compete in the final of the Mexi Log Fest. And though he was still reveling in the moment with his fellow competitors, two perfect waves funneled themselves to him, and he once again showed the judges his uncanny ability to stay on the nose of his board for an extraordinary amount of time.
Soon after, Nelson stood tall on the podium for the second time the day.