Big announcements will be made this coming week by the WSL.
After more than six months without the sound of a CT heat siren, fans and Pro Surfers are eagerly awaiting the planned announcement by the WSL next week.
If the COVID - inspired contest hiatus has taught us anything it is perhaps how much we love pro surfing. I for one can’t wait to watch John John roar through a frontside carve and see Italo fly while Gabriel stalks them both around the lineup with all his magnificent, growling menace.
Likewise, I want to witness Steph Gilmore fight for the elusive eighth title, Sally Fitzgibbon claim her first and Tyler Wright return to make them both earn it.
Hell, I can’t even wait to hear Joe Turpel launch into one of his two-minute monologues and Pottz plunder his personal, pro surfing archive - the lounge room will seem like a much more familiar place when it’s filled with those voices.
Pro surfing may not have the perfect model yet but it’s still pretty dam good compared to other sports .
Rumour has it that Eric Logan and the WSL powers that be have decided it’s best to scrap the entire COVID cursed 2020 season and start from scratch in October of this year with the 2021 season. No novelty events or truncated tour, just a fresh start to a new season. If it plays that way it’s probably a smart move, allowing the WSL to bring all the hype and anticipation associated with a new season. If the tour reboots with a new season, the rest of 2020 would host a series of meaningful events rather than just token efforts at entertainment.
It’s suggested the tour would wrap up around August of next year - most likely featuring the surf-off concept that was announced back in April. The WSL still have a little work to do selling a concept that would automatically put the final say, six or eight competitors in contention for the world title at the last event.
The announcement of the surf off concept has had time to simmer and has been received with mixed results by fans and surfers. One person who is certainly opposed to the idea is four times world champion Mark Richards. In an interview with Tracks he outlined his reasons for opposing the new proposal. Hopefully, we can expect the WSL to fill in a little more detail on their Surf-Off plan next week.
Perhaps the messiest problem for the WSL to deal with involves the WQS. While no CT event ever got underway, several major WQS contests were held and a couple of surfers were probably well on their way to qualifying for the CT ( Matt Banting, Nat Young and Shun Murakami). If those pre-existing points are completely scrapped at the start of a new WQS season you would have to feel a little ripped off. Hopefully, the WSL has figured out a way to reward those who did well at the beginning of 2020.
Of course this is all just based on a rumour being tossed around at a surf shop by people supposedly in the know. We might have it all wrong but either way, there is some kind of big news coming from the WSL this week. Providing certain parts of the world don’t get hit with another wave of COVID-19 the world’s best might be back in the water sooner than expected.