With only 2 major events left on the WSL Qualifying Series, time is ticking and pressure rising as the world’s best surfers hustle to grab their spot on the elite WSL World Tour. Only the top 10 ranked surfers at the end of the year make the ‘cut’ onto the Dream Tour. Throw in the fact that this season’s final showdown, as always is played out in the ever challenging waves of Hawaii and we’ve got ourselves a spectacle to watch.
First up is the Haleiwa event which kicked off this week. This is the highest performance of the Triple Crown events and so expect to see hail mary airs and last minute fin ditches alongside the traditional power carves and tubes. The next and Final event at Sunset Beach is a true challenge for any surfer and unlike anything else on the whole tour. Big deep ocean waves are the name of the game - fear is real and it’s not uncommon to see guys riding boards over 7ft - it’s as close to a big wave comp as you get on the QS tour and, as a last ditch points grab, everyone will be pushing the limits.
Monster threats to keep an eye out for are Hawaii power surfing standouts like Frederico Morais and Connor Coffin. Last year, Frederico got back to back 2nd places which threw him straight onto the WT. If the swell is solid expect both of these guys to run deep into the event. If conditions are more hi-fi, then it may well favour air freaks such as Felipe Toledo and newly qualified fellow Brazilian Yago Dora. But whatever the conditions throw this is a huge points grab for many and a couple of big results will change their career path for next year. Crew in need of one or two more solid results include Griffin Collapinto, Hiroto Oharra and Noe Mar McGonagle.
We’ll also see the final showdown for the Rookie of the Year 2017, which Morias is looking strong to take out. We caught up with him in Portugal and his overall outlook is positive for his first year on tour:
“It’s been an incredible year for me being on the World Tour this year and I’m stoked to actually be in the running for Rookie of Year. I won’t be concentrating on that in Hawaii, I just want to surf my best and try and do as well as possible in all the events. Thanks to everyone for their support this year, obrigado!”
Follow all the action live through http://www.worldsurfleague.com