“I fit better into a type of surfing that is more holistic and brings a community together to share something real through their unique style.”
The Vans Duct Tape is kicking off its 11th season by heading to Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Macumba Beach from May 12th to 14th. It is a beautiful Venn diagram of contest, community, and art and a surf culture experience that comes at you from every angle.
Located adjacent to Rio de Janeiro, Macumba is known for its sand-bottom peaks that handle a range of swells. Be it two-foot runners, or solid A-Frames, the world’s best longboarders will compete for a share of a $48,000 purse. The format is wild though with surfers involved in everything from straight heats to shared wave contests and a paddle race.
One surfer travelling to Macumba is the defending Women’s champion Ambre Victoire. Wavelength caught up with the French style guru to talk through the move to Rio and how she intends to melt surf, dance, and art into a winning formula.
WL: What did it mean to win last year’s Duct Tape Invitational?
Ambre: Winning the Vans Duct Tape last year In Cape Town was very unexpected as it was my first invitation. I wasn’t even feeling legit enough to be invited. I was super shy, but I saw it as a great chance to express my style, which energised me. Winning my first Vans Duct Tape still sounds unreal to me. l couldn’t believe it then, and almost don’t now.
Why has this event carved such a special place in the surfing world?
The Vans Duct Tape is a unique experience in that it brings the most alternative and progressive surfers together to share their style through traditional logging. I believe the classic approach to surfing is an art, and I like how that’s a huge factor in this event. It’s more than just performance and more of an authentic life approach expressed through longboarding. I fit better into a type of surfing that is more holistic and brings a community together to share something real through their unique style.
Do you think the move to Brazil and Rio will add even more energy and colour to the event?
Absolutely, and I’m so excited as I’ve never been to Rio. It sounds incredible and I’m looking forward to discovering the unique aspects of the city. I listen to a lot of Bossa Nova music, so I am very keen to dance and let myself melt into the culture. Music and dance are always excellent doors to flow and discover the vibe of a city’s culture.
What is your dream scenario for the 2023 Duct Tape Invitational?
I don’t want to have any scenario in my mind because I like to let life surprise me. But if pushed, it would involve some dreamy beach music, good people, and a lot of dancing! Connecting with the community, being fully present and in good health to enjoy this event to the fullest is what I wish for the most.
Wavelength is going to be in Rio for the Vans Duct Tape later this month. Keep your eyes on WL socials for live updates from Macumba Beach.