Taylor Jensen garnered a remarkable third World Title after a showdown with Edoaurd Delpero in Taiwan
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 December, 2017 - The World Surf League North America office announced Taylor Jensen is the 2017 Men’s Longboard World Champion. Jensen claimed his remarkable third World Title at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship (WLC) in a surf-off against France’s Edouard Delpero (FRA). The Frenchmen claimed the event win after Jensen was eliminated in the Quarterfinals, but, because Jensen won the Kumul PNG World Longboard Championship earlier this year, the two went head-to-head to see who would claim longboard’s biggest title.
“This doesn’t feel real at the moment I’m totally tripping out on this,” Jensen said. “It has been an absolute rollercoaster of a week with losing in the Quarterfinals then watching everyone fall out -- then realizing I still had a chance was mind-blowing. For it to go down to a surf-off is really cool. I was a mess all week, not sleeping, and just constantly nervous. When I found out I would surf for the Title I just treated it as a normal final.”
The 33-year-old now joins some of the sport’s finest names such as Rusty Keaulana (HAW) and Colin McPhilips (USA) with three World Titles and can now chase history to join Nat Young (AUS) as the only other surfer with four. Jensen considers this his most treasured World Title after an incredible year witnessed two events decide the title and overcame his curse of close calls.
“It’s pretty special to get three Titles for sure,” Jensen said. “You honestly can't really compare yourself to those guys but to have the same accolades as the guys who I looked up to growing up is extremely validating. I can't even explain what a relief this one was and how much stress and pressure I was trying to unload during the event. The past few years were heartbreaking close calls for me in China. I lost by such small margins after having a lot of success in every other event all year and it was really eating at me. This one felt like redemption. I had a moment in the rocks by myself when I came in and I broke down in a wave of laughter, sobbing, and elation -- it was such a bizarre flood of every emotion. I'm honestly almost as relieved it's over as I am that I won the title.”
It’s been nothing short of an amazing career for the Oceanside, California, resident, who splits time living in Australia, with World Title wins in three different countries.
“I was the first to win in Italy and the first to win in China so it is really cool to be the first to win in Taiwan,” Jensen continued. “This is definitely the sweetest of all of them. I came to this event with a lot of fire in me and I have worked super hard. Winning in PNG definitely got me pumped up at the start of the year and I’ve just had to carry and manage that motivation throughout the year. This win has definitely alleviated the frustration of the last few years and to get it in great waves in a beautiful place like this is really special for me.”
The now three-time WSL Champion is set for time away from the jersey during the offseason with plenty on his agenda. While 2018 is still a question mark for Jensen as he prepares for what’s next, his ambitions take him far out of the water with more to be done.
"I'll take some time away from the surf I think, just detach and relax,” Jensen said. “Try to let it soak in, then I know I have some new prototypes I’ve been working on with Firewire at home waiting for me that I'm super excited about. I haven't made any decision regarding a run at another title, but by no means am I finished. I have more to accomplish both in and out of the water and I am excited to start working on new projects and toward new goals.”
Other notable finishes at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship included Cole Robbins (USA) finishing with a Semifinal result in the men’s event. San Clemente, California, natives and WSL Champions Rachael Tilly (USA) and Tory Gilkerson (USA) each finished with a Semifinal appearance in the women’s event as Lindsay Steinriede (USA) earned runner-up to eventual winner and World Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW).
2017 Final Men’s Longboard Championship Tour Rankings:
1 - Taylor Jensen (USA) 15,200 points
2 – Edouard Delpero (FRA) 15,200 points
3 – Kai Sallas (HAW) 13,200 points
4 – Phil Rajzman (BRA) 12,000 points
5 – Antoine Delpero (FRA) 11,700 points
2017 Final Women’s Longboard Championship Tour Rankings:
1 – Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 16,500 points
2 – Chloe Calmon (BRA) 13,300 points
3 – Crystal Walsh (HAW) 13,200 points
4 – Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 13,200 points
5 – Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 11,700 points