People are always talking about the dire state of Australian surfing at the elite level. With Julian’s world title quest looking increasingly dubious, Wilko gone walkabout, and Wade Carmichael the only other Oz, WCT graduate (Mikey Wright is still a wildcard) in the top ten, it’s an easy theme to dwell on. The good news for Australian surf fans is that there is some dazzling talent knocking on the door of the WCT. Ethan Ewing (currently 29 on the WQS) has already enjoyed a bittersweet taste of WCT life, while Soli Bailey (currently 33 on the WQS) has come close to busting through the top 34 bubble a couple of times.

Both these guys are slick operators and would be comfortable amongst surfing’s top-flight competitors. It’s just a matter of gettin’ it done. The back half of the year is stacked with big WQS events; hopefully this duo has got it dialled.