It's not easy to bust down the door to pro-surfing's Penthouse
With Mitch Colborn announcing his split from Volcom after 20 years it also signals the end of his CT dreams. One of his generation’s most explosive talents never made the cut, despite a decade of trying. He might be the best surfer to never make the CT, but he’s not alone. Here we take a look at those surfers whose freakish talents never saw the tour they deserved.
The Sunshine Coast goofy-footer spent more than ten years chasing CT qualification, but like his Volcom contract, it seems that gig is up too. That QS career included three Finals (but no wins) and a highest placed finish of 26 in 2015. In any competition, he was invariably the best surfer in the field, but could never sustain the freesurfing brilliance in an event. Frustratingly, the CT would have suited him far better, and if he’d just cracked it, anything was possible.
The pocket-sized, large-haired Costa Rican has been lighting up the QS with his surfing and his smile for a decade, yet has never cracked the big time. His surfing has it all; he’s gnarly at Pipe having done his time at the Volcom House and also has one of the best aerial games on the Quey. He’s hovered between 65 and 22 on the QS since 2014 and last year he secured his best-ever finish. His one crack at the CT, when he scored a wildcard spot at Trestles in 2014, was memorable. He still hasn’t given up on the CT dream, but time is running out for one of the most talented surfers of the last decade.
As a teenager, Evan Geiselman was considered as good, if not better, than his mate Kolohe Andino. The technique and talent was there, as was the application. His first year in 2011 saw him finish 54 and he came within a whisker of qualification in 2016 when he finished 19th, a year after he had almost drowned at Pipeline. Still one of the smoothest and easy-on-the-eye surfers on the QS, he’s maybe lacked the killer instinct needed to get over the line. Last year’s finish of 29 means he is still in the mix, but in his 10th year on the QS it’s a matter of if not now, when for the Floridian.
It’s slightly forgotten that surfing’s greatest entertainer slogged it out on the QS for a good six years striving to make the CT. It’s perhaps understandable that his surfing didn’t quite fit the strict, dog-eat-dog world of the grind and despite flashes of brilliance when the waves were right, Mase was forced to give up his dreams a few years ago. Competition’s loss was freesurfing’s gain, but there’s a school of thought that says every CT wildcard, at every event, should be given to the Hawaiian. I mean who would you rather watch at the Box, J-Bay or Pipe; Mason or Alex Ribeiro?
It’s heartbreaking how close Newcastle’s Phillipa Anderson has come to achieving her CT dream in the last 10 years. The powerful natural footer has finished in the top 20 on the QS eight times in the last nine years, always just one solid result away from making the cut. Often hampered by a lack of industry support and financial issues, she’s nonetheless kept hammering away at her life goal. If she made it, her surfing on the better waves on the CT could be dangerous, but until she does, we’ll never know.
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