21 November, 2017 21 November, 2017

WSL Releases New Championship Tour Schedule

The WSL have just released their 2018 Championship Tour schedule, sans Fiji and sans Trestles, replaced by the Bali Open Pro and the GOAT’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California respectively. The new schedule certainly begs the question, is change as good as holiday when the destination is shittier than the point of departure? We think not.

Cover image: WSL / Kelly Cestari

 

Trestles in Exchange for the Surf Ranch

Now here at Zag, we have remained fairly quiet about the whole KS wave pool deal, because it’s a confusing situation. The wave’s amazing, don’t get us wrong, but it ain’t no cooking Supertubes or Cloudbreak, and it certainly doesn’t provide the same excitement as the Banzai Pipeline. But yet, when each of the pros concluded their waves at KS’ Willy Wonka wave factory they seemed completely elated. Like they had seen the messiah in the flesh. And we’re not even referring to the perennially ecstatic Leonardo Fioravanti. That kid looses his mind witnessing a bird take flight! Even the serious lawyer like pros, such as Gabe Medina seemed to froth on the idea. Perhaps it was the idea of surfing alongside a moving train, or maybe the cameramen happen to catch Medina as he cracked an occasional smile. But if we’re completely honest with ourselves, considering pure wave quality, shouldn’t the pros get more frothed out getting a crazy 8ft drainer at Cloudbreak? It’s certainly more exciting to watch than three foot Lemoore. 

Oh Trestles, how we miss you already. Image: WSL / Kenneth Morris

 

Here are a couple of points to consider as we oust Trestles for Lemoore.

  • The wave itself is an awkward shape. There ain’t nothing like coming from behind a section and belting the lip, or burying the rail. The most exciting of turns start from behind the section. The late Andy Irons was famous for it. At the GOAT’s wave pool, there isn’t much space for approaching a section from behind. You kinda got to hang in the pocket and belt the lip straight up and down.
  • The barrel is small and pokey. We’re not here to watch the worlds best get pokey little barrels at Lemoore. Ain’t nobody about that. If the worlds best are going to get barrelled, make certain that barrel drains out, throws wide and spits at the end. Give it a couple of sections. Throw in a foam ball for good measure and have the exit chandelier to keep it exciting for the viewers. Nobody wants to watch the best have to knee board through a pit. It’s demeaning. Poor Jordy and Owen, they’re going to have to basically lie down flat to fit into that thing. 

When Adrian Buchan crouches through a pit, that’s when you know, the pit is tightaaaah. WSL / Kenneth Morris

 

Keramas in Exchange for Fiji

—Breaking News—

The baby boom on tour is over! Yes it’s true. The WSL have replaced paradise with the pigsty that is Bali. Experts predict there will be a 73% decline in new borns on the 2018 Championship Tour. Fiji and Bali are paradoxical in every way except the fact that they’re both islands. Fiji is clean, quiet, uncrowded, and unpolluted (relatively speaking), Bali is noisy, dirty, crowded, highly polluted and we replace Kava with Arrack (attack). 

Touted as one of the biggest airs ever seen in professional surfing history at the time, JJF nailed this full rotation alley-oop in round 1 of the Oakley Pro Bali back in 2013.

 

Let’s be honest, Keramas ain’t got nothing on Cloudbreak. Cloudbreak is a multi-dimensional wave that forces surfers at the top echelon of competitive surfing to bring their absolute ‘A’ game. Keramas, although a world class wave, doesn’t have the same x-factor as Cloudbreak. It’s a shame to see the world best fall from paradise to the firm reality that is Bali, but it’s still going to be a damn exciting event to watch. And the wave undoubtedly suits Jordy more than Cloudbreak. Which is a positive.

 

 

Ladies at J-Bay

Ahhh the light in the middle of the tunnel. The Women’s Tour to be included at J-Bay. What a treat! We’ve been waiting for this for years, and finally it’s happening. Supertubes is a relatively easy wave to surf, but to surf it well is an entirely different story. South Africa is made up of one huge right hand point break with a couple of beach breaks in between, giving our girls a definite advantage. They can put in heaps of practice at cooking J-Bay before the other ladies have the pleasure of witnessing Supers in the flesh. We can’t wait to see who will emerge victorious with a wildcard into the event after the Supertrial has concluded.

Bianca Buitendag belts the lip in celebration of the new and improved Women’s World Tour. Image: Trevor Moran

 

2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Australia – March 11 – 22, 2018
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Australia – March 28 – April 8, 2018
Margaret River Pro, Australia – April 11 – 22, 2018
Oi Rio Pro, Brazil – May 10 – 19, 2018
Bali Pro, Indonesia – May 27 – June 9, 2018
Corona Open J-Bay, South Africa – July 2 – 13, 2018
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, Tahiti – August 10 – 21, 2018
Surf Ranch Lemoore, California/USA. September 5 – 9, 2018
Quiksilver Pro France, France – October 3 – 14, 2018
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Portugal – October 16 – 27, 2018
Billabong Pipe Masters, Hawaii/USA – December 8 – 20, 2018

The 2017 WSL Men’s Championship Tour will finish with the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons in Hawaii, USA from December 8 – 20, 2017.

2018 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour:
Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Australia – March 11 – 22, 2018
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, Australia – March 28 – April 8, 2018
Margaret River Pro, Australia – April 11 – 22, 2018
Oi Rio Pro, Brazil – May 10 – 19, 2018
Bali Pro, Indonesia – May 27 – June 9, 2018
Corona Open J-Bay, South Africa – July 10 – 17, 2018
Vans US Open of Surfing, USA – July 30 – August 5, 2018
Surf Ranch Lemoore, California/USA. September 5 – 9, 2018
Roxy Pro France, France – October 3 – 14, 2018
Hawaii Women’s Pro, Hawaii/USA – November 25 – December 6, 2018

The 2017 WSL Women’s Championship Tour is culminating next week at Honolua Bay, Hawaii with the Maui Women’s Pro.

Read the full article here.

 

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