Photo by: My life on board | Mike Eijansantos

In a spectacular display of talent, Rogelio Esquivel Jr., known as JayR, from San Juan, La Union, Philippines, emerged as the champion of the World Surf League (WSL) Padrol Longboard Classic in Bali, Indonesia. This monumental victory not only earned him the title but also the honor of being the first Filipino to qualify for the 2023 WSL World Longboard Tour (WLT) in Huntington, California.

Esquivel started strong, posting an impressive score of 7.17 for a Hang 5 to Hang 10 combination and finishing with an elegant floater. His competitor, Roland Lefeuvre from France, momentarily took the lead with a score of 6.50, challenging the Filipino surfer. However, Esquivel answered with a flawless Hang 10 on an open lefthander, securing an excellent score of 8.00, which clinched his victory.

Speaking on his win, a jubilant Esquivel said, “I’m so happy to win this event and get on the WLT. I faced tough competitors from Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and the Philippines, all of whom are exceptional surfers.”

The sea conditions during the final added an extra layer of challenge. Esquivel shared, “In this final it was really hard, as the tide was super low, and the water was knee-deep. I decided to wait and choose the waves I thought would get me longer rides where I could finish with maybe a floater or something. Luckily, I got a couple of chances and could win the final.”

Esquivel’s triumph etches his name in surfing history and marks a significant milestone for the Philippines in the international surfing arena. His accomplishment will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of Filipino surfers.

Expressing his gratitude, Esquivel said, “Thank you so much to all the people that have supported me, so I can make this dream come true.” As he prepares to face the world’s top longboard surfers at the WLT, the anticipation within the surf community is palpable.

Regardless of the outcome, one fact remains unshaken: Rogelio Esquivel Jr. has secured his place in the annals of surfing history and is recognized globally as a surfer of exceptional prowess. His story serves as a testament to what can be achieved through perseverance, hard work, and an unwavering ambition to succeed.

Excerpts from : PhilStar