WSL Announces Integrated 2022 CT and Challenger Calendar

LOS ANGELES, California, USA (Wednesday, August 4, 2021) - The World Surf League (WSL) today announces the 2022 Championship Tour (CT) and Challenger Series (CS) calendars, the inaugural season for the fully redesigned Tours and Competition framework, establishing the key venues and dates for the world’s best surfers moving forward. The all new format features a combined men's and women's schedule for the first time, as well as the introduction of a mid-season cut, a new defining moment for professional surfing. 

The WSL will have a three-tier competition framework that emphasizes developing young talent more locally via the seven Regional Qualifying Series, on which emerging men’s and women’s surfers will battle to earn a spot on the newly-formed global Challenger Series. Once on the CS, they will have the opportunity to qualify for elite CT where the best surfers on the planet compete for the undisputed World Title.

The 2022 WSL CT will include 10 regular-season events in seven countries, starting in January at the world-famous Pipeline in Hawai’i, for the first-ever men’s and women’s joint event at that legendary break. The CT will return to G-Land, Indonesia, which is back on the CT for the first time in 24 years for the men and for the first time ever for the women, and conclude in August at the infamous Teahupo’o in Tahiti before the second-annual Rip Curl WSL Finals in September, where the WSL Final 5 men’s and women’s surfers will face off for the undisputed World Title.

“The WSL exists to steward and celebrate the world’s best surfing and this redesigned Tours and Competition framework is historic in many ways, serving as the core engine of our business,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “In collaborating with our surfers and partners on delivering events like the Billabong Pro Pipeline, the MEO Portugal Pro, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the Quiksilver Pro G-Land, the Oi Rio Pro, the Margaret River Pro and others, we’re thrilled to announce one of the most exciting WSL Championship Tour calendars in history for next season and set the framework for the sport for years to come.”

2022 WSL Championship Tour Schedule

  • Pipeline, Hawai’i - January 29 - February 10
  • Sunset, Hawai’i - February 11 - 23
  • Peniche, Portugal - March 3 - 13
  • Bells Beach, Australia - April 10 - 20
  • Margaret River, Western Australia - April 24 - May 4

Mid-Season Cut - 36-man and 18-woman fields reduced to 24-man and 12-woman fields.

  • G-Land, Indonesia - May 28 - June 6
  • Trestles, USA - June 15 - 22
  • Saquarema, Brazil - June 27 - July 4
  • Jeffreys Bay, South Africa - July 9 - 18
  • Teahupo’o, Tahiti - August 11 - 21

WSL Final 5 determined to battle for the undisputed men’s and women’s World Titles.

  • Rip Curl WSL Finals, location TBA - September 7 - 18

“Next year’s combined CT schedule starts at the Billabong Pro Pipeline and concludes in Tahiti and adds back incredible venues like G-Land and Jeffreys Bay,” Logan continued. “Surf Ranch has been featured on the CT calendar since 2018 and we’ll be taking a year off from the basin in 2022. We will continue to innovate with the world’s best artificial wave technology and we are excited for a return to our wave system in 2023 and beyond.”

The 2022 CT season will start with 36 men and 18 women, and then be reduced to 22 men and 10 women after the mid-season cut. The top-ranked surfers will continue on to the second half of the tour (where they will be joined by two men’s and two women’s wildcards) and automatically requalify for the 2023 CT. The smaller fields in the back half of the year will create more compact and exciting events, with only the best conditions in the event window, and more matchups featuring the biggest stars on tour. The surfers who miss the cut will be relegated to the CS, which commences immediately following CT stop five in Western Australia, where they will have the opportunity to earn back their slot on the following year’s CT.

“We believe we have arrived at a structure for our tours that makes great sense and is a massive upgrade for fans, partners and athletes throughout the pro surfing ecosystem,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “It’s awesome that both the Championship Tour and Challenger Series will have a fully combined men's and women's schedule, as well as an equal number of events, for the first time in 2022. We’ve been really deliberate in working with our stakeholders to build calendars that are driving the world’s best surfing, have great venues and create the best possible platform moving forward. We’ve had overwhelming feedback from our surfers and partners in the development of the eight-stop WSL Challenger Series, including incredible events like the Vans US Open of Surfing and the Quiksilver and ROXY Pro France. We couldn’t be more excited about 2022 and beyond.”

“With the new mid-season cut, every event counts,” said WSL Surfers Representative, Conner Coffin. “The fact that someone could lose their place on tour after five events really ups the stakes and is going to push everyone to surf really hard.”

"It’s amazing to be part of such an incredible moment for women’s surfing,” said WSL Surfers Representative, Tatiana Weston-Webb. “2022 will be remembered as the first year we’ll have a combined tour for men’s and women’s, including an equal number of events. I’m very excited to surf the best waves in the world, and make history together with all of the CT surfers.”

The WSL Challenger Series

The second of three competitive tiers for the world’s best surfers, the 2022 WSL Challenger Series will feature 96-man and 64-woman fields, drawn from the seven WSL Regional Qualifying Series around the world. CS surfers will compete for a chance to advance to the elite WSL CT in 2023, with surfers counting their best five of eight results on the Challenger Series in hopes of finishing in the Top 10 men’s and Top 5 women’s spots by the end of the season.

The 2022 WSL CS will consist of eight events, beginning at Snapper Rocks on Australia’s Gold Coast, Australia from May 7 - 15 and concluding in Haleiwa, Hawai’i from November 26 - December 7.

The 2022 WSL Challenger Series Schedule

  • Gold Coast, Australia - May 7 - 15
  • Manly, Australia - May 17 - 24
  • Ballito, South Africa - July 20 - 27
  • Huntington Beach, USA - July 30 - August 7
  • Ericeira, Portugal - October 1 - 9
  • Landes, France - October 15 - 23
  • Piha, New Zealand - November 5 - 13
  • Haleiwa, Hawai’i - November 26 - December 7

Snapper Rocks has served as the opening CT event since 1998 and with the two Australian CT events in 2022, the famed righthand point will host an international field in the high-quality surf month of May, igniting the WSL CS schedule each season moving forward.

The New Regional Qualifying Series

The critical foundation to the WSL’s new three-tier competition framework, the Regional Qualifying Series enables young surfers to develop close to home, without the expense and burden of global travel, before competing internationally on the global CS and eventually, for those who perform, the elite CT.

"The regionalized Qualifying Series provides more opportunities to celebrate local stars and reduce the economic pressure for surfers as they work towards qualifying for the Challenger Series, and ultimately the CT," said Logan.

The seven Regional Qualifying Series (QS) are: Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America, qualifying men’s and women’s surfers from each region to the CS and an opportunity to earn a place amongst the world’s best on the CT. More information on the QS schedule to follow.

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 5:55am

First glance, looks good I reckon. Nice to see Sunset in the mix (though, mid-late Feb is starting to push towards the end of the season).

Moving Portugal to March should improve surf prospects a little.

Wonder if Lemoore is gone from the CT for good? Unlikely, given the investment, but it's an interesting strategy to 'take a year off', especially given the exposure the tub's about to receive once The Ultimate Surfer hits the TV screens of middle America in the next few weeks.

Surely part of the grand plan was to use the TV show as a massive promo tool to sell sponsorship opportunities for the Surf Ranch?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:14am

Big shakeup.

Goldy gone, Surf Ranch gone.

Real mystery bag now with Australia playing a much less significant role.

Pipe, Sunset, Portugal.

You'd have to think that gives JJF a massive advantage.

I thought the Challenger Series was an end of tour , tour to give discarded CT guys/gals a second chance to get back on Tour.

Runs through the year now so is the QS going to be wrapped by May>? How else to sort out qualification for the CS?

Otherwise the CS just looks like a "dumping ground" for ex-CT venues. A kind of poor mans CT.

Thats going to be a tough sell for tourism bodies.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:23am

Yep agreed overall looks good.

And what becomes of the Triple Crown? Looks like the mid-Dec window remains for a Pipe Masters.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:32am

Good point. If the Triple Crown uses Pipe and Sunset from the 'CT (and the previous year's Haleiwa event), will they have the same 32-person Trials event for Sunset as they do at Pipe?

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:49am

Or the order is flipped and it goes Sunset - Haleiwa - Pipe and is all done and dusted before Xmas as has been the tradition.
The press release above doesn't use the word Masters when referring to their Pipe event. Vans must still be playing nice with WSL as there is the Huntington event. Probably a wait and see. Would be a long triple crown if incorporated with the dates in the release.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:53am

Good pick up about the exclusion of 'Masters'. Here's part of a Woz presser from June:

"With limited permits available, both the WSL and Vans agreed to apply for Pipeline event permits independently, for the dates of December 8-20, 2022 – 2024, and Vans, who owns the Pipe Masters trademark, was awarded that permit. Although the WSL is disappointed to have not received the December Pipeline permit, which would have benefited Hawaii’s surfers, both men and women, seeking Regional QS points, we look forward to working together with Vans on the future of the event."

So the Woz has sidelined Vans?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:56am

.. and how does the Volcom Pipe Pro fit into all of this too?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:04am

Hmm, so is there the Vans Pipe Masters in Dec, unrelated to the CT, and then the CT event in Jan/Feb? So two seperate Pipe events?

I'm confused.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:08am

yep. me too.

Lots of moving parts, many of them new, and it's not at all clear how they will fit together.

Seems like classic WSL make it up on the run style.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 7:01am

Snapper event (Challenger, not CT) in May will be interesting, surf wise. Still good potential for groundswell events, but a major reduction in the seasonal trade swells that usually fill in the gaps during Feb/Mar.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 7:51am

RE the new Regional Qualifying Series, which I'm still calling the QS cos RQS is a syllable too far, here are the allocations:

Regional Ranking seeds will be allocated as follows;
1. Africa – five (5) men / three (3) women
2. Asia – six (6) men / six (6) women
3. Australia – ten (10) men / eight (8) women
4. Europe – ten (10) men / eight (8) women
5. Hawaii – seven (7) men / six (6) women
6. North America – ten (10) men / eight (8) women
7. South America – ten (10) men / five (5) women

Wonder how long it'll be till some pressure gets put on these numbers? For instance, Oz, North America, and South America, all have ten surfers, yet Asia gets six? In 2019 (last year of global rankings) there were just two Asian surfers in the QS top 100, whille both Oz and Brazil had 23 apiece.

And South America had 28, meaning it has 14 times the QS surfers but not even twice as many spots.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 7:58am

And the Kiwis will be in the mix for the Australia spots

JD Croobyard's picture
JD Croobyard's picture
JD Croobyard Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:04am

Yeah, this is where the running a business in worldwide markets thing meets the 'running a sport' thing.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Tuesday, 10 Aug 2021 at 11:58am

and of course "America" as in the USA actually has 17 male and 13 female spots but that is a whole other can of worms

tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden's picture
tylerdurden Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 8:31am

Notice every comp has a designated beach or break except “Western Australia”. Still mean it’s at Margaret’s or undecided?

shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 12:10pm

or maybe snapper is a good option?

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 8:49am

What if the final is at the tub? Could just be :-(

And what's with the mid-season cull? No consequence after that, apart from seeding?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:11am

Certainly wouldn't rule out the Finals in Lemoore, but Erik did explicitly state "we’ll be taking a year off from the basin in 2022".

So, where could the Finals be held?

September is too early for Hawaii, but good for late season Indo. Maybe Fiji? Maldives?

Surely they wouldn't drag everyone back to Europe, unless they can pull a rabbit out of the hat and lock in an A-grade location (like Mundaka, but a little more reliable in the consistency department).

East Coast US perhaps, to increase the eyeball potential?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:33am

Cloudbreak is the obvious choice.

If they wanted to throw some red meat to the fans.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 9:39am

Surprised Japan isn't a new inclusion; thought there might have been a bit of post-Olympics love.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 10:42am

Have they shorted the waiting periods?

“with only the best conditions in the event window.”

A week window for good Trestles in Summer?

Smaller numbers yeah, but if they want to capitalise, at least a two week window?

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 10:46am

Is there a reason they are not using the current men's World champ & Olympic Gold Medal holder on the promo poster? Did things not go to plan in japan?

shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy's picture
shoogsyboy Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 12:09pm

You can have the margs event in Qld if you want

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 12:50pm

So this season the Australian government spent $40M hosting the WSL for 4 events in Australia. The WSL is allegedly for sale at $25M. Why doesn’t Australia just buy the WSL? We will get it for $20M tops once we’ve threatened the removal of all Aussie events.

Tell Ziff, Elo and Turpel to go and get fucked.

The OZ world tour still has $20M left in the kitty after paying Dirky Boy to GTFO. Deck out a couple of buses - one for competitors and one for road crew and media - send them on the road holding one day events at local beaches ( no low key spots). Say ten events . In each event the surfers have to catch so many scoring waves during the day, surfing when they want. No heats just best waves over the day. Three best waves including one double whammy wave to push high performance radical surfing.

Assemble a dedicated media / transmission crew to beam it out to the world. Let offshore MSM pay for the international broadcast rights and throw the money in petty cash. Sell local ads for each event.

Give the the 34 men and 17 women $50K each as appearance money ($2.5M)and then pay out a $50K prize for each event win male and female. Only first gets cash bonus. ( There’s $1M in prize money).

Aussie leg champ gets a $500K prize at conclusion.

If any other nations / companies want an event anywhere else they stump up the cash and OZ Surf tour grants permission for contracted surfers to go compete.

There’s at least another $10M in the kick to hold festivals in each event town so the host crew get some glitter. Music / displays such as skateboarding etc.

Haven’t given it much thought beyond buying out the Seppo billionaire parasite and his parrot fish toothed minions.

Give the locals access as it’s their event. Fuck condoning off areas for competitors-they’re at work and their job is to entertain the Aussie taxpayers. Let the pros sit on haemorrhoid-inducing rocks between heats whilst the general public chills in tents provided.

The whole coach/ chiro / guru travelling appendage to the circus can take a flying fuck. MP , Andy and Kelly didn’t need a coaches and they were the best in the world.

samerubi's picture
samerubi's picture
samerubi Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 5:12pm

i am just an average nsw surfing ugg-boot wearing bogan, but.... some of what you suggest makes sense - except.... most punters, me included, want to see the best surfers in the world at the best locations during the best conditions. i love my local, but i go overseas to surf for a reason. i agree the format you suggest has merit. but really, an australia-only tour would be 2-6 foot scrappy waves for the most part. i like watching the pros interpret these conditions, but i would rather be sold the dream. Perfect waves and the best ripping it to bits. the tour should be comparable to a good surf flick in quality.

Kham's picture
Kham's picture
Kham Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 5:00pm

I can't believe everyone is not frothing on G-Land?? I was so bummed about the tour having to re schedule due to Covid and missing seeing such an exceptional platform to display surfing.
Really, just about anywhere in Indo is a given to score good waves in the right season.
I cant wait to see Robbo there, I don't think he really shines until he gets into meaty barrels.
The reality is, will Indo be ready Covid wise by next year??
Anyone that has done extensive travel there would say no.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:35pm

Regular travellers to G-Land have been happy it’s been off the pro circus radar the last 20 years. Why would we be frothing they’re back to blow it out again?

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:40pm

I've been to G-land a number of times. Part of me wants to see the pros shred there but I don't want that at the risk of blowing the place up. I like the pace of life and numbers there as it is / was. Doesn't need anything changed or more attention.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 6:41pm

Ulus would be perfect. But I remember reading here in the past that the WSL is not welcome there?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 7:44pm

I'm one of those who whinges about having g-land on the calendar.
Please Please Pleeeease stay away, its paradise as it is. It doesn't need the attention.

rjsgrey's picture
rjsgrey's picture
rjsgrey Thursday, 5 Aug 2021 at 5:14pm

Might be being a pessimist, but I'm doubtful of J/bay, G/land and also Brazil. All countries are getting flogged at the moment.

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam Friday, 6 Aug 2021 at 8:41am

At least robbo will have a chance now with sunset , pipe and chopes on the menu

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout Tuesday, 10 Aug 2021 at 12:03pm

J-Flo retiring after Chopes.
One of the few left I enjoyed watching.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Wednesday, 11 Aug 2021 at 2:53pm

Qld (vs) WSL
CT Locations are decided by which State / Nation is most desperate to chip in!

March 2017 Last WSL CT Final held at Snapper.

Qld has never hosted an Equal Prize Money CT Event

2019 WSL robbed the superbank & crossed the border with the loot.

Very same weekend Aussies were basking in Gold at Kirra.
17th July 2021 Qld Govt signs 10 year Cash Splash for 8x Aussies @ Sunny & Goldie
Interesting as Qld backs Clubbies to eve of 2032 Olympics ( Surfing (vs) SLS ) for Host Event.

Qld Cash Splash shows plenty of money there for surfing just not for jetsetting VIP vagabonds.
https://teq.queensland.com/news-and-media/latest-news/long-term-aussies-...

WSL 2022-24 (B grade deal) with Qld is News alright....
re:Freeride76 & Ben on Goldie CT...Cont...

GC Mayor : "Bitter Blow for the Economy"
"I would encourage Qld Events to put more Money in!"
(re: More from GC Mayor - In Qld -Below)
Qld Newspapers : "20 years as #1 CT Surf Opener now Axed + Dumped as a qualifier!"
https://www.couriermail.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=CMWEB_WRE170...
Business : " WSL Ditched the GC." Relegated > The Final Blow!
https://www.cimbusinessevents.com.au/world-surf-league-drops-gold-coast-...
GC Mag : "Left off the Tour"
In Qld : " Wipe Out: Coast loses it's most iconic event as salt rubbed into pandemic wounds"...Yeah?
https://inqld.com.au/news/2021/08/06/last-wave-of-summer-coast-loses-its...
Qld Surfing : Wot!

Stark : "We're excited! > Can't wait! > Really Proud!"
Goldie : "You know where you can stick yer CS stickerz!"

Noosa Festival 5-13th Mar/2022 (Moves back to original March ( but) > WSL Longboard Open?)
https://www.australias.guide/qld/event/noosa-festival-of-surfing/