Starved of CT action a new tour based on current QS venues could provide better waves and balance.
The CT isn’t set till kick off until March 26 on the Gold Coast. Now that’s a good three and half months since Italo Ferreira claimed his World Title at Pipe. That’s a pretty big gap for those professional surf fans craving top-flight action. In the interim, we’ve been forced to follow the QS. And it ain’t been that bad. Epic points in Morocco, pumping Merewether, quite good Brazil, pumping Pipe. It had us thinking that, in terms of waves at least, maybe the Quey might be superior to the CT. We’ve compiled an 11 event schedule based on the current WSL’s QS calendar. Sure it has two massive Chopes and J-Bay shaped holes, but apart from that, it looks solid. Is it better than the CT? You tell us
Pro Taghazout Bay, Anchor Point, Taghazout Bay, Morocco
The first big event at the legendary location scored this year. A mix of barrels and performance sections make it a ready-made Snapper replacement, and the backup venue at Anza has been likened to Trestles.
Volcom Pipe Pro, Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
Yep Pipe gets a start. Now being held in February means we don’t get a World Title showdown, but on the flipside you also don’t get that dreaded sand that clogs the waves most Decembers. Feb' has a better rep for good Pipe conditions, which is incidentally part of the reason the WSL made a failed bid to host the opening WCT event there, a couple of years back.
Oi Hang Loose Pro Contest, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Brazil
Saquarema has provided a far better option in the last year than Rio and waves in the south, but Fernando de Noronha is genuine barreling left on one of the most beautiful islands in the country. We need Brazil on tour, this could be the answer.
Air Tahiti Rangiroa Pro Rangiroa, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
Sure this is no Chopes, but as Mason Ho showed last week Rangiroa is one of the funnest waves on the planet that offers barrels and turns in a place as close to paradise as possible.
Barbados Surf Pro Soup Bowl, Bathsheba, Barbados
Soup Bowls is a truly world-class wave that can offer some meaty slabs of perfection or super rippable, powerful walls. Kelly Slater calls it is his favourite wave so that has to count for something, right?
Maui and Sons Arica Pro Tour El Gringo, Arica, Chile
Andy Irons won a Search CT at the Chilean slab a decade ago and every year it invariably provides a tuberiding fest for the QS event. Both a left and right, holding 15 feet that breaks 10 metres from dry rock, this would add the fear factor.
Nias Pro, Lagundri Bay, Nias, Indonesia
The best seven-seconds in surfing breaks from four to 15 foot and can provide some of the most perfect and heaviest tube rides in surfing. Add the history and the backdrop and this could be a truly epic CT spot.
Krui Pro Krui, Lampung, Indonesia
Gabe Medina turned up here a few years ago and showed that Krui is one of the great high-performance waves in Indo. Barrels, turns and airs, this wave has it all, plus a number of world-class backup options.
EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira, Ribeira D'Ilhas, Ericeira, Portugal
An incredibly consistent right that can take over the Bells role of the powerful, wally right. You won’t get the magic of Supertubos, but you won’t get the days of closeouts either.
Oaxaca Pro, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
Cause who doesn’t want to watch Filipe Toledo paddle out on a 9’8” and try to get a 20-foot beachbreak barrel?
Hawaiian Pro Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii
Haliewa is surfing’s best high-performance big wave arena offering both a test of character and true progression and a fitting end to the year.