The World Qualifying Series season has just started. To qualify for the elite World Tour, there are dozens of contests and over 300 surfers to beat in ten months. There will be challenges that will put the participants to the test both emotionally and physically, but the young surfers will always be fueled to chase their dreams. And among all those who decided to compete, the following five surfers have set the pace and are rising through the rankings. They’re building up on the momentum to potentially realize their World Tour dreams by the end of the season.
Does his name ring a bell? Prior to his win at the Carve Pro at Marouba in January and before his second place finish at the Telstra Stores Tweed Coast Pro, 18-year old Cam Richards competed against Dane Reynolds in the 2013 Hurley Pro Video Trials, and put up a good fight. He gathered support through social media from people including celebrities like Jamie Foxx, and went from being unknown to landing more votes than the world’s most exciting surfer, while causing an uproar in the process. The kid is now leading the QS ratings and proving those haters wrong, with his brand of surfing that combines handy rail-work and an innovative air-game. While he might still not be Dane Reynolds, he definitely has what it takes to make it into the World Tour.
There’s something about how Kalani Ball started 2017 that is similar to Ethan Ewing’s dream run last year. It might be his blonde hair, or his flashy natural-footed flair reminding you of past great surfers like Taj Burrow. Perhaps it’s the fact that he had two outstanding results right from the start. But regardless of what makes his run similar, there are no guarantees that the young surfer from Stanwell Park will be able to repeat the performance of his friend and fellow Billabong team rider last season. But this kid is surfing in the best possible way he can, having the speed and style that is noticeable to the discerning eye. If he puts up a consistent performance the entire year, he might have a good chance of finding himself qualifying to the world tour by the year’s end. Scroll to 21:11 in the video below to see Kalani surfing in Mentawai.
Basing on his abilities on world-class waves, Jack Robinson should probably be part of the world tour already. The surfing community has seen flashes of this kid’s brilliance for the past years, but unfortunately, it has rarely been on display in terms of notable contest performances. With a win at Sunset this January and an expressed desire to make it to the World Tour, this year might be the year that Jack delivers on his reputation and earn a place where a talent like his belongs.
Peterson has been a former Rio Pro wildcard, and seemed like an integral part of the pool of young Brazilian talents who has been dominating the world with the “Brazilian Storm.” But unlike Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira, Miguel Pupo and Filipe Toledo, Crisanto has yet to qualify. And when Billabong decided to drop his sponsorship, he has fallen off the radar and did not join any Qualifying Series event over the last two years. His career was seemingly over until now. With a win in Israel earlier this year and a refueled desire to become part of the world’s elite, the natural-footer has his sights set on qualification and is in a comfortable position on the ratings. If he continues his stride and consistently delivers, he may just make it to the top 10 and ultimately qualify for the 2018 World Tour.
The current Female World Junior Champion and Qualifying Series ratings leader, Macy Callaghan has an incredible start for 2017. With three wins in a row and a runner-up finish at the Burleigh Pro, the stylish, long-limbed blonde shows talent screaming future world champion. Her sharp surfing skills at a very young age only show that she could grab that world title very soon.
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