King of the Cut – SUP King and Queen Named

Source: Event Media

King of the cut, sup
Puyo with the winners check. Image Credit: SUPWA / Woolacott

Near perfect conditions blew in for the 24-kilometre race, the Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut, with southerly winds at 18 to 20 knots.

The world’s fastest downwind SUP race and arguably the most prestigious outside of Hawaii and Oregon, the Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut has crowned a new King, Queen and on Saturday, a Prince.

From New Caledonia, 25-year-old Titouan Puyo has taken title honours at the 2016 King of the Cut. In second place, a huge performance by 15-year-old Clements Colmas stunned the field’s finest to give New Caledonia a 1-2 clean sweep. Defending King of the Cut champion Matt Nottage from Queensland rounded out the top three.

Puyo, who also won The Doctor race last weekend from Rottnest Island to Sorrento, said that he was delighted with his win.

“The conditions were good, the wind wasn’t so strong to start with, but I rode every bump I could. With downwind, it’s not so hard, I don’t feel too tired now, not like last week when I did The Doctor. It’s more about gliding – it’s good fun. I saw Matt [Nottage] who was close by and I pushed hard to keep the lead. I saw Clements [Colmas] and I said to him to go. He’s incredible,” Puyo said.

The youngster and New Caledonian compatriot Colmas has downwind pedigree; his father JL Colmas is a famous windsurfer who help develop Starboard during the brand’s early days.

“I am very happy, the race was very nice and the wind was good. I love the downwind conditions in Western Australia – I’ll be back next year,” Colmas said.

The first female across the line and Queen of the Cut was race-favourite and 7-time Champion Surf Lifesaving Ironwoman, Karla Gilbert OAM.

Gilbert said she was happy with her win.

“I’m thrilled. I was just trying to focus on one run at a time. I tried to choose the right line, which is something I didn’t do last time [two years ago],” Gilbert said.

Gilbert with winner's cheque. Image Credit: SUPWA/Woolacott
Gilbert with winner’s cheque. Image Credit: SUPWA/Woolacott

Marie Buchanan from the UK was ecstatic with second place and Queensland’s Angela Jackson finished in third.

Sharing the start line at Dawesville Cut with 130 competitors, over 90 of them from outside of Western Australia, was a pod of dolphins, adding to the already postcard vista of the Western Australian coast.

Competitors travelled from as far away as New Caledonia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Japan and Ireland as well as from around the country.

The Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut attracted its biggest field in its five-year history that included elite SUP competitors as well as first time downwind racers; the youngest competitor was 14 years old and the eldest, 60 years old. Approximately 15 per cent of the field was female.

The two-day competition window was applied to optimise the best conditions available and the 2016 King of the Cut was held on Sunday 4th December 2016 in Mandurah, Western Australia. With a total prize pool of $17,350, it is the largest prize purse for an SUP event in the country.

On Saturday (3 December), 14-year-old Sam McCullough was crowned Prince of the Cut after he took line honours in the 10-kilometre Half Cut. The Year 8 Melville High School student backed it up on Sunday to compete in the 24-kilometre main event finishing first in the State Under 18s and third in the under 40 category.



Place Name Time Category State / Country
1 Titouan PUYO 01:48:28.2 Pro Class New Caledonia
2 Clements COLMAS 01:49:09.6 Pro Class New Caledonia
3 Matt NOTTAGE 01:49:39.8 Pro Class Queensland
4 Beau O’BRIAN 01:50:34.0 Pro Class Queensland
5 Marcus HANSEN 01:52:12.4 Pro Class New Zealand
6 Michael BOOTH 01:53:41.8 Pro Class Queensland
7 James CASEY 01:53:58.5 Pro Class Queensland
8 Lincoln DEWS 01:55:47.4 Pro Class Western Australia
9 Jake JENSON 01:56:42.3 Pro Class Western Australia
10 William LEE 01:56:47.4 Pro Class Western Australia

1st: Matt Nottage (1:48:21)
2nd: David Kissane (1:48:25) *Unlimited
3rd: Marcus Tardrew (1:49:53) *Unlimited


Place Outright Name Time Category State / Country
1 31 Karla GILBERT 02:14:47.8 Pro Class Queensland
2 43 Marie BUCHANAN 02:18:45.8 Pro Class UK
3 44 Angela JACKSON 02:18:49.7 Pro Class Queensland

1st: Angie Jackson (2:11:18)
2nd: Terrene Black (2:15:50)
3rd: Belinda Stowell-Brett (2:27:12)

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Finalists Revealed for Oakley Battle Clips

Source: Surfing Australia

surfing, oakley

Following three hotly contested rounds of competition, including the first man-on-man video battle in Australian surfing, Oakley and Surfing Australia are proud to announce the final four in the inaugural Oakley Battle Clips competition.

The Oakley Battle Clips finalists are:
1.Brent Dorrington
2.Jack Robinson
3.Sheldon Simkus
4.Soli Bailey

The semi-final saw the top eight surfers competing for ‘Best Ride’ which consisted of heaving barrels to progressive combinations.

The finalists were decided by an expert judging panel consisting of Surfing Australia and Oakley representatives, and public opinion, determined by social media interactions – views, likes, shares and votes. Public opinion accounts for 50% of the score, with the final 50% decided by the Oakley and Surfing Australia judging panel.

The final four surfers will now head to Hawaii with the crew where they will take part in the making of the Oakley Battle Clips film. Each surfer will have their own 2-3 minute part to showcase the full range of their surfing ability. The winning film part will be decided by the judging panel and public opinion, taking home $20,000 grand prize and $5,000 of Nikon camera gear for their filmer.

The winner of the inaugural Oakley Battle Clips competition will be crowned at a special event and screening of the Oakley Battle Clips film in Newcastle on February 17th, 2017.

Oakley Battle Clips is a national video competition designed to elevate the best young surfing talent in Australia and reward the unsung heroes behind the lens. The competition will formalise the fierce video battle that plays out daily on social media by offering all Australian surfers and surf filmers, a chance to win $20,000 cash plus prizes including $5,000 worth of Nikon camera gear and an expenses paid trip to Hawaii to feature in the Oakley Battle Clips film.

Oakley Battle Clips website

Soup Bowl Pro Junior Winners Decided

Source: WSL

North America Men’s Junior Regional Champion Nolan Rapoza (USA) earning runner-up at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior to solidify his position atop the rankings. Image: WSL/ Andrew Nichols

After an exciting season for the World Surf League (WSL) North America Junior Tour came to an end at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior on November 13th, Nolan Rapoza (USA) and Leilani McGonagle (CRI) were crowned the North America Junior Regional Champions. Both clinched their titles on the shores of Bathsheba, Barbados for the first time in their careers and have earned a spot into the World Junior Championships.

Rapoza’s incredible run to the No. 1 spot included making every event Final except for the first contest of the year, the Ron Jon Vans Pro Junior. The Long Beach, California-native started his run for the top with a runner-up in Los Cabos and followed that with a fourth-place finish at the Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s Junior event. But, his breakthrough came at the Vans Pro Junior event in Virginia Beach, Virginia earning his first-ever Junior Tour win — rocketing him past Kei Kobayashi (USA) for the No. 1 spot.

“It feels great to have achieved my goal this year,” Rapoza said. “This year I have tried to mature my technique and heat strategy which I think will help me a lot more in the future also. It means a lot to claim this title because it shows me that I can be consistent — I just have to put my mind to it. It’s been a blast this whole year. I came close last year and I’ve never had this opportunity before so I’m definitely stoked.”

With a runner-up finish at the RVCA Pro Junior, the title was all but won for Rapoza who needed to secure a spot into the Final at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior for the No. 1 spot if Kobayashi took the win. Though his personal highlights came much earlier in the year.

“I think there is a tie [for my favorite moment this year] between getting a first-place finish in Virginia and getting runner-up in Newport where I got to chair up my best friend Tyler [Gunter],” Rapoza said. “[Winning this title] should help my confidence a lot just surfing smarter this year through each event so I’m hoping it translates to the future for me.”

Joining Rapoza at the World Junior Championships for the North America region are Kobayashi, No. 3 ranked Jake Marshall (USA), and No. 4 ranked Che Allan (BRB).

The North America Women’s Junior title was a much closer race and came down to the Final at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior.

Three women remained in the race when the horn sounded to start the Final with McGonagle fending off Maddie Peterson (USA) and Bethany Zelasko (USA). Had McGonagle earned runner-up and either Peterson or Zelasko won, the No. 2 spot would’ve been theirs. But, with a massive win, McGonagle not only solidified her place into World Junior Championships — she also claimed the regional title over Alyssa Spencer (USA).

“I’m still processing the fact that I’m the regional champion — I’m so excited,” McGonagle said. “Ending the year with a win like that gives me a huge confidence boost. I’d never won a Pro Junior before, so doing it when it was so vital was great. Surfing is one of those sports where the stars really have to align in order for things to go your way and I’m so happy they did.”

The Costa Rican-native began her year with a brilliant runner-up finish at the Ron Jon Vans Pro Junior, but couldn’t earn another Final performance until Barbados. With a Quarterfinal finish in Los Cabos and Semifinal appearance at the Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s Junior, McGonagle found herself in a heavy-pressure situation she was able to rise above. Her surfing family background and upbringing has set McGonagle up for what may be a prolific career, but she knows all the work needed to find success.

“I think growing up in Costa Rica has definitely made me the surfer I am,” McGonagle said. “I’ve surfed a point break that has waves all year-round my whole life so I really do prefer bigger and more powerful waves. But, I’ve made a point to try to surf in all conditions and over time I’ve become more prepared to surf all different waves.”

“I love my family, they’re truly amazing,” McGonagle continued. “My parents are always very supportive. If it wasn’t for them I probably would have never started surfing. Having Noe as a brother has been very inspiring as well. He’s very passionate about surfing and that really pushes me to want to be as great of a surfer as he is some day. It would be a dream come true to make it on tour with him.”

McGonagle will be joined by No. 2 ranked Spencer to vie for a World Junior Championships title as both prepare for their first appearance at the event and first time to Australia.

For more information go to

Kiama, New South Wales, Australia will host this year’s World Junior Championships January 4 – 13.

John John Florence Leads Vans Triple Crown

World Title Winning Surfer Claims Another Victory

John John Florence wins the WSL Hawaiian Pro 2016. Image: WSL / Heff

Newly crowned 2016 World Champion John John Florence returned home to gift his Hawaiian community with yet another astounding victory today at the Hawaiian Pro, the first stop of the Vans Triple Crown. This is also World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event. In one of the tightest Finals in competitive history, Florence broke a tie with Frederico Morais (PRT) for first place, winning with the highest individual wave score on a countback. Marc Lacomare (FRA) finished third and Adrian Buchan (AUS) was fourth.

“It’s been the best year of my life for sure,” said Florence atop the podium. “So happy to be back home and with my family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without my mom, my brothers supporting me my whole life. The Johnson family, Pyzel has been a big help with everything. Thanks to everyone down here today, coming down and supporting us and cheering us on. The security team has been a great help, the Hawaiian Water Patrol, you guys are always doing a great job. Thanks to WSL, and I’m stoked.”

The start to 2016 saw Florence make the Quarterfinal at the Volcom Pipe Pro, then storm the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, followed by a win at the Oi Rio Pro, 2nd places at both J-Bay Open and Billabong Pro Tahiti, then clinch the World Title and event win at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, and round things off with a win at the first event of the Hawaiian season.

surfing, hawaii, flroence
John John Florence wins heat 4 round four of the WSL Hawaiian Pro 2016. Image: WSL / Heff

“I want to win another World Title for sure,” continued Florence. “I’d love to win the Triple Crown and I want to win Pipe. I want to win everything. So that’s my goal right now, to be a really good competitive surfer. I think there’s so much to learn about myself and learn how to compete still. I’m really excited looking towards next year for that.”

Florence activated the heat as a three-wave set appeared on the horizon, taking off on the first one for a 6.83. Meanwhile Morais and Lacomare jumped on the succeeding waves for matching 8.33’s from the judges and a tie for first, an early indicator of how the heat – and eventually the win – would progress. The four surfers went wave for wave in the 35-minute Final, with Florence taking the lead after posting an excellent 8.83 on his second wave.

With total commitment, John John stood apart from competitors with his down-the-line speed, but Morais proved equally talented with aggressive maneuvers. Hailing from Cascais, Portugal, Morais impressed the beach crowd with a big frontside snap followed by two more major turns and a big air drop floater to shift the scenario. His calculated yet loose surfing scored him a 7.33 on his second wave, which tied him for first with Florence. Morais needed to secure a 7.34 to jump ahead of Florence and in the dying seconds of the heat had his final shot at it…coming incredibly close with a 7.33.

“That was crazy,” Florence said post heat. “Freddy got two, his two waves were so, so close. At that point it’s so close you don’t really know. I’m so stoked. I’d kind of just gotten over it, being on the beach was like, ‘oh gosh I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ I can’t even believe I won, I’m so stoked. I came home and was just going to do Haleiwa for fun and to win it is amazing.”

Morais jumped from 28 on the Qualifying Series up to the No. 10 position and is looking solid to now qualify for the 2017 Championship Tour. With a final at Sunset back in 2013, Morais looks toward the Vans World Cup with confidence.

“I’m feeling good, I’m relaxed,” said Morais after the awards ceremony. “(This result) is heaps of points and it puts me in a good position to qualify for next year.

“I love Sunset, it’s a really good wave. I’ve had fun there and I guess I have nothing to lose. I’m just going to enjoy myself and hope to get through some heats, make a final maybe.”

“John John is such a great surfer, amazing. I matched him not even a few weeks ago in Portugal when he was crowned world champ and it was really nice to watch. He deserves it, he’s probably the best surfer in the world right now and it’s an honor to be matching the same scores here as him, and 2nd place is amazing.”

surfing, hawaii, slater
Kelly Slater wins heat 2 round four of the WSL Hawaiian Pro. Image: WSL / Heff

Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted.

1st – John John Florence (HAW), 10000 points
2nd – Frederico Morais (PRT), 8000 points
3rd – Marc Lacomare (FRA), 6700 points
4th – Adrian Buchan (AUS), 6300 points

SEMIFINALS, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd=5th place, 4th=7th place
SF1: John John Florence, Marc Lacomare (FRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Davey Cathels (AUS)
SF2: Frederico Morais (PRT), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA)

QUARTERFINALS, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd=9th place, 4th=13th place
QF1: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
QF2: John John Florence, Davey Cathels (AUS), Mitch Crews (AUS), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP)
QF3: Jadson Andre (BRA), Frederico Morais (PRT), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Victor Bernardo (BRA)
QF4: Joan Duru (FRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Ethan Ewing (AUS)

ROUND of 32, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd=17th place, 4th=25th place
H1: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Gony Zubizarrreta (ESP), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Mihimana Braye (PYF)
H2: Kelly Slater (USA), Mitch Crew (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Keanu Asing
H3: Davey Cathels (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Tomas Hermes (BRA), Sebastian Zietz
H4: John John Florence, Connor O’Leary (AUS), Robson Santos (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
H5: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Brett Simpson (USA), Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Evan Geiselman (USA)
H6: Frederico Morais (PRT), Joan Duru (FRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF)
H7: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Victor Bernardo (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Nathan Hedge (AUS)
H8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Diego Mignot (FRA), Cooper Chapman (AUS)

World Surf League website

Taiwan Open of Surfing on the Horizon

Source: WSL

surfing in Taiwan
Reiging event champion Perth Standlick will be back in 2016 to defend his title. Pic: WSL/Bennett

There is only one week until the opening day of the 2017 Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County Government. Competitors from both shortboard and longboard disciplines await to see what mother nature will provide in the way of waves for the final World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event in the Australasia region for the year.

In 2016, Perth Standlick (AUS) was gifted the biggest win of his career in pumping waves at the rippable cobblestone point of Jinzun Harbour in Taitung County. Standlick has been quiet on the QS this season but will be looking to finish the year off with a bang when he returns to Taiwan next week.

“I’ve only done a few events this season,” Standlick said. “A couple QS10,000’s and some other smaller events. I had a ball in Taiwan last year; the waves were so fun the entire time I was there. Jinzun Harbour is such a sick wave; it’s super easy to surf and allows you to attempt any maneuverer you want to. I can’t wait to get back to the Taiwan Open of Surfing.”

As the Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County is co-sanctioned by WSL Australasia and WSL Japan, it will be the event to decide the Regional Qualifying Series Champions for the two regions. Taking the Regional QS title means a spot in all of the QS6,000 and QS10,000 events for the first half of 2017, an amazing opportunity for aspiring professional surfers. Leading the Japan QS is Reo Inaba who will be looking for a solid result in Taiwan to guarantee the no. 1 spot.

“I’m really excited to get to Taiwan,” Inaba said. “I’m really looking for a solid result to get myself in the big QS events next year and being the regional champion would be really cool as well. I enjoy going to Taiwan; the water and weather is warm the waves are really fun and the food and people are great. It’s exciting to get back there.”

With the impressive quality of waves on offer in Taiwan it is no surprise to see a high standard of surfers emerging from the area. One of these local rippers is Yu-Hau Yang. Yang has been awarded the local wildcard for the event and will be one to watch when he takes on the internationals at his local break.

“I am very excited to see the best competitive surfers from all over the world surfing at my favourite home break Jinzun Harbour,” Yang said. “It’s so good for all of us local surfers to see the top guys surf, it helps to push our own surfing. It’s also cool to hang out with them all and form friendships. We love sharing the beauty of Taitung with everyone from around the world.”

One of Indonesia’s most established competitive surfers is Javanese icon Dede Suryana. Having taken out the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) at Jinzun Harbour a few years ago, Suryana has confidence in his ability to perform in the high-performance waves.

“I’m really happy to be going back to Taiwan,” Suryana said. “I hope the waves turn on so everyone can enjoy the waves and the competition. Last time I competed in Taiwan I won the ASC so I hope I can do that again this year.”

The Taiwan Open of Surfing hosted by Taitung County LQS and QS will run from November 23-27 and be webcast live on the WSL website.

For more information on the event go to

Florence and Slater Focus on Pipeline Win

Source: WSL

John John Florence (HAW) freed up in Haleiwa. Image: WSL / Freesurf / Heff

Current World champion John John Florence (HAW) drew an enthusiastic crowd to Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach for Day 3 of the Hawaiian Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 event and the first stop of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. After a heartwarming homecoming and the biggest victory of his career, Florence competes at Haleiwa with no pressure, which made for a highly entertaining performance featuring his signature free surfing style.

Florence has yet to win the Billabong Pipe Masters, but has taken a Vans Triple Crown title in 2013 and 2011, and saw victory at Sunset during the 2011 Vans World Cup. With a strong appetite to win in his backyard, John John is off to a successful start after advancing in first from his Round Three heat.

”Winning Pipe would really top my year off,” said Florence. “Winning the Triple Crown and Pipe would really do it for me. But I’m just taking the whole thing relaxed. I feel like that’s what I did this year, I felt relaxed and focused, finding that balance between the two. Having no pressure and being able to surf these events is really cool because you’re not sitting out there nervous or anything like that. You’re not thinking about falling or anything. I’m just having fun. I’m just going to keep this mindset through Sunset and then get ready for Pipe.”

Florence went up against a fiery heat that included former Vans Triple Crown champion and Hawaiian Pro winner Sebastian Zietz (HAW), talented dark horse Torrey Meister (HAW) and Australia’s Dion Atkinson.

While every surfer has their sights set on a win in Hawaii, nobody tops Kelly Slater (USA) when it comes to seeking a John John upset at Pipeline. Last year at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Florence lost to the 11x World Champion in Round 4.

“More than anything I want to win Pipeline,” said Slater. “Triple Crown is second to that. To me, Pipeline is the one you want to win of any contest in the world, that or The Eddie. That’s going to be where my focus is. But if I can do well in these first two events and then have a shot at Pipe, obviously if you win any of these contests, Triple Crown is in the conversation.”

Slater competed at the Hawaiian Pro for the first time in four years and started his campaign off strong with a 9.00, the highest single wave score of the morning, and the heat win. He had victory earlier this year at the first Qualifying Series (QS) event of 2016, the Volcom Pipe Pro, and then again at the Billabong Pro Tahiti in August, and is hungry for another win.

In the most jaw-dropping performance of the day, Griffin Colapinto (USA) scored a 9.93 in the last second of the heat for a hail mary air reverse on a closeout. Touted as one of the best heat finales ever at Haleiwa, Colapinto catapulted from third to first and knocked Tanner Gudauskas (USA) out of the competition.

“That was such a big heat with so many big guys, everyone was pretty much on the CT in that heat,” said Colapinto. “I thought I was doing good to start and then I needed a big score and then I just made it happen I guess… I’ve got the most confidence in the world right now. I just beat Jordy Smith, he’s one of my favorite surfers, I always love watching him surf before I go freesurf, like in Modern Collective so to beat him at a good wave feels really good.”

With above-the-lip progression, Colapinto, 18, surfed well beyond his years to advance into Round 4.

Another standout in today’s conditions was local boy Keanu Asing (HAW), who took the heat win ahead of Tahitian powerhouse Mihimana Braye (PYF), Yago Dora (BRA) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA). Asing had his first professional victory on the CT in France last month, which shot him up the rankings to No. 23 on the Jeep Leader Board. One step closer to a win on home turf, Asing is already celebrating the Hawaii wins thus far.

“It’s so exciting, just seeing the elevation of our Hawaiian athletes surfing,” said Asing. “It’s just been such a growth and been such a long time coming. Right now we get to celebrate that here in Hawaii at the end of the year. We have a new World Champion and we have a few event winners. There’s no better feeling than to celebrate that. There’s a lot for Hawaii to be proud of. For me, it’s very exciting to be celebrating with everybody, it is so enjoyable.”

Finals day at the Hawaiian Pro looks likely for this Friday, November 18 as the waves are forecast to rev back up for a solid NNW swell in the 10-15ft. range.

World Champion Surfer Heads for Vans Triple Crown

Source: WSL

john john, surfing
John John Florence at the Met Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Image: WSL/Cestari/Poullenot

After claiming the 2016 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Title and event win in Portugal on October 24, Hawaii’s newly crowned World Champion John John Florence is home to compete in all three events of the 34th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

The series of events runs  from November 12 – December 20. and Florence, 24, will be looking for a continuation of his recently unstoppable form heading into the Hawaiian winter of events. Florence has previously claimed the esteemed Vans Triple Crown title in 2013 and 2011 and looks extremely polished after his most successful campaign in six years on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour.

2011 marked a winning year for Florence, as he also took the event victory at the Vans World Cup, the second gem of the Vans Triple Crown. He has yet to claim a win at the Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa however, and the highly coveted Billabong Pipe Masters title still eludes him as well.

The first two events of the series are the highest rated on the WSL International Qualifying Series (QS) tour and the final stops for surfers looking to complete their year-end rankings with a solid result. The Billabong Pipe Masters concludes the WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, is the third gem of the Vans Triple Crown, and happens to be Florence’s backyard break. The industry is positioned to witness what could be the most historical year ever for Hawaii surfing during the 2016 Vans Triple Crown.

Florence has returned the world title to Hawaiian soil after a twelve-year hiatus since the late Andy Irons won it in 2004. The win comes at a pivotal turning point for Hawaii surfing, as the WSL region has recently opened doors on a brick and mortar building and accomplished its first year under new leadership. Jodi Wilmott, General Manager of WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui and Executive Director of the Vans Triple Crown has taken the region to new heights and sees John John’s win as the beginning of a new era for professional surfing in Hawaii.

Destined for greatness, Florence, was the youngest competitor ever to compete in the Vans Triple Crown at the age of 13 in 2005.

The Hawaiian Pro QS10,000 is in its 32nd year of running this November and kick starts the surf series at Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park. Noted as a WSL specialty event, the Vans Triple Crown will determine seven winners over a span of 39 days and boasts a total prize purse of more than $1.1 million.

2016 also marks 40 years of the professional world surfing tour, which began in Hawaii in 1976 by surfing visionaries Fred Hemmings and Randy Rarick. Over the last four decades, the world tour has grown and spread around the globe to now encompass eleven tour stops, eight different countries and five continents.

This year will see the highly anticipated arrival of homegrown hero and native Hawaiian surfer Ezekiel Lau, who returns to Oahu after competing in Brazil for a QS6,000 and a year of international events. In strong contention to join the elite 32 surfers on the 2017 Championship Tour (CT), a good result at the Hawaiian Pro could mean a monumental leap in Lau’s professional career. After a third place finish in the 2015 Hawaiian Pro, Zeke is focused on finding another good result at the challenging Vans Triple Crown venue.

“Being able to compete in front of a home crowd is always a great feeling,” said Lau. “The energy this time of year is electrifying. I’m looking to embrace it all and enjoy every second of it.”

Lau has been laser focused on the QS tour for four consecutive years and recently placed runner up at the Azores Airlines Pro QS6,000 for a significant bump up in ratings points.

“My ultimate goal is to win,” continued Lau. “That’s my goal every time I put on a jersey. The only thing that changes is that I sleep in my own bed and wake up and compete in my backyard.”

Of the 128-man field confirmed for the Hawaiian Pro, 21 of the world’s best surfers will compete from the CT, including world No. 3 Jordy Smith (ZAF) and No. 4 Matt Wilkinson (AUS).

Other local contenders like Maui’s Dusty Payne (2014 Hawaiian Pro winner) and Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz (2012 Hawaiian Pro winner) will be familiar faces among the international crowd, while Italian standout Leonardo Fioravanti will put his progressive surfing to the test and defending event winner Wade Carmichael (AUS) will work to regain a second title.

Succeeding the Hawaiian Pro is the Vans World Cup of Surfing (November 24 – December 6) at Sunset Beach, followed by the Billabong Pipe Masters (December 8 – 20), which concludes both the CT and Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The infamous surfing trilogy highlights Hawaii’s most revered waves but more importantly, recognizes the athletes who risk it all to be the best.

The 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters drew the largest American surf audience ever with 1 million+ fans watching live, many who used the WSL app, which is on track for its 2 millionth download by the end of the Hawaii leg, 2016.

STATE OF SURF Event Rescheduled

Source: Transworld Business

The upcoming TRANSWORLD BUSINESS STATE OF SURF 2016 event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, November 16, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters.

Rob Machado, our keynote interview for the evening, is heading to Mexico this week to catch the incoming swell — we advise you to get out there and do the same.

The STATE OF SURF 2016 event next Wednesday, November 16, will feature a panel discussion with Firewire CEO Mark Price, Hurley VP of Sports Marketing Pat O’Connell, and General Admission Marketing Director Damien ‘Dooma’ Fahrenfort, and a keynote interview with Rob Machado. The evening will kick off with drinks from Duck Foot Brewing Company.

We look forward to everyone joining us for a night of insights and networking.


For more information on the STATE OF SURF 2016 report, click here.

2-Days until Big Wave Surfing Starts in Maui

Source: WSL

Greg Long tackles Pe’ahi. Photo: WSL/BWWT

On Tuseday, the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) placed the Pe’ahi Challenge in Haiku, Hawaii on Green Alert to potentially commence at 2pm (local time) on Thursday, November 10, 2016 with a projected 30-foot-plus swell heading towards the region.

“We have been tracking a storm from the Pacific Northwest and anticipate a promising swell to deliver for our first BWT event of the Northern Hemisphere season,” said Peter Mel, WSL BWT Commissioner. “We are calling the Pe’ahi Challenge ON for a possible start on Thursday afternoon, 2pm call, with swell expected to hold through Friday. We expect 30-foot-plus waves with favorable winds and tides.”

The Pe’ahi Challenge will be contested by 24 men, led by current rankings’ leader Grant Baker (ZAF), reigning BWT Champion Greg Long (USA), and defending event winner Billy Kemper (HAW).

For the first time in WSL Big Wave Tour history, the world’s best female big wave surfers will compete at Pe’ahi with 12 individuals vying for the maiden women’s title.

“We’re incredibly proud to be introducing a women’s event this season,” Mel continued. “These ladies as some of the most dedicated, passionate and talented big wave surfers on the planet. It will be phenomenal to witness them tackle Pe’ahi.”

Pe’ahi, known as “Jaws,” breaks off the northern coastline of Maui with the ability to produce waves in excess of 60 feet. The event premiered on the BWT last winter with exceptional performances in epic conditions. All eyes will be on this venue this year to see the top ranked BWT surfers take on the monstrous conditions.

Surfline, official forecasters for the 2016/17 WSL BWT season are calling for:

Another strong winter storm is currently sliding across the Bering Sea/Aleutians, packing a good fetch for Hawaii with wind speeds up to 35-50kts. Meanwhile, the same storm that pushed out the current NNW pulse is still holding a fetch aimed at the Islands, but now located up in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Pe’ahi Challenge will be webcast LIVE at and on the WSL app.

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