Who Will Qualify for the 2019 WSL World Tour
Coming into the tail end of the competitive surf season, almost every pro on the planet is descending on Hawaii. A red hot world title race is all coming down to the Billabong Pipe Masters, and there’s another battle going on - Qualification for the 2019 World Tour.
With a whopping 23,000 points up for grabs in 3 WQS Hawaiian events, someone who hasn’t competed all year could conceivably go a clean sweep and shoot onto tour. Griffin Colapinto’s dream Triple Crown run last year shows that someone outside contention can easily step up to the big leagues.
However, most eyes will be on the Top 20. And, with only two CT guys double qualifying right now, it’s going to be a major hustle to see who gets the points to sneak into the Top 10 cut off. Here’s a look at 6 Billabong guys who are sitting well within striking range.
Ryan Callinan #2
R-Cal went on an absolute tear in Europe last month, winning a QS 10,000 and making the final of the Quik Pro France. He looked super deadly and also looks like a shoo-in to make the cut for 2019. However, Ryan isn’t counting his chickens just yet. History shows that the QS cut off can run anywhere between 16,000-20,000 points. With 19,360 points he’s sitting pretty safe. But, strange things happen in this sport and you can bet he’ll be focused to cement his spot and maybe even take out the minor title for the year. It would be amazing to see R-Cal back on the world stage.
Griffin Colapinto #3
Griff is sitting just below Ryan on the ratings. Coming into Hawaii where he dominated last year, he’ll be excited to get that winning feeling back. Griffin is also one of the few surfers double qualifying right now. However, he’s sitting at 20th slot on the WT, just 2 places inside the bubble. He might need to rely on solid WQS results to sure up next year’s place on tour. If he does do well at Pipe to maintain his key spot, it will mean happy days for someone else on the WQS fighting for a shot at their dream.
Seth Moniz - #4
The youngest of the Moniz siblings, Seth is a freak when it comes to airs and tubes. He broke Instagram this year with his back flip in a wave pool at Texas. Damn, he can even lay down savage carves when needed. It would be crazy for Seth to make his dreams come true while surfing his favorite breaks on the North Shore. There will be massive support for him on the beach and a solid support crew making sure he has all the weapons he needs to win. Considering Seth’s dropping a measly 600 points off his tally, any big result will see him skyrocket up the rankings.
Ethan Ewing - #9
No stranger to the World Tour, this ex-World Junior Champ is gunning for his second run at the big leagues. Ethan is often compared to the late great Andy Irons when it comes to his style. While he doesn’t have the same pedigree as AI at places like Pipe, he does have major chops in solid rights. In 2016 he made the quarterfinals of both the Haleiwa and Sunset QS events to vault himself onto tour. Let’s hope he can manage that same feat again.
Jack Freestone - #16
Jack was on tour both in 2016 and 2017, and is someone missed for his explosive airs and sharp style. He’s dropping a pair of 600 point results on the WQS this year, meaning a pair of solid events would easily see him jumping on the world stage yet again. Jack has set up home in Kauai this year too, just an island away from the North Shore. He feels more comfortable in Hawaii than most, so will be a major danger man in any heat. Someone to watch as the season kicks off this week.
Reef Heazlewood - #17
Right now, you might be wondering who Reef Heazlewood is. He has a quarter of the social media following of any of the athletes mentioned above. However, he has every bit as much of drive and talent. This polished goofy from the Sunshine Coast of Oz finished runner up in the Under 18 World ISA Champs in 2015, won the Surfing Australia Rising Star award in 2017 and has been turning heads on the QS ever since. If you don’t have Reef on your radar, get onto it now. He could well be a fixture on the 2019 World Tour.
Hawaiian Pro, starting November 12.
All photos via World Surf League (@wsl)