Just reading a li'l WSL bio thing on recent CT qualifier Ethan Ewing. When he started getting results this year I was suprised I hadn't heard of Ewing before, just assumed he was one of those fellas who flies under the radar due to lack of sponsorship, no social media game, or whatever it may be. However the WSL story explained the lack of transmission. Ewing, who's only 18, was ranked 257 in the world last year.
And this year he came 2nd on the QS and qualified for the CT.
The usual trajectory is break into the top 100 to improve your seeding, slowly increase your rankings over the years, cop a few setbacks, take 'em on the chin and learn the lessons, by which time you're in your mid-twenties wondering whether to assume an all or nothing approach or chuck it in and start a surf school back home.
The exceptions to that are the Golden Children, JJF, Dane, Jordy, et al, who's position on the CT is preordained, but then everyone had advanced warning of their talent.
Not so Ethan 'Who?' Ewing.
'Cause of the piecemeal WSL website I can't check if Ewing's ascent is a record but it's gotta be close.
I got to surf with him and see him surf at the TMH Komune Keramas Pro last year, and he was absolutely ripping and getting the best barrels.
Just lost to Taj in the final as well.