CT Surfers In The CS Draw
Earlier this year the WSL made some fundamental changes to how Challenger Series (CS) competitions were run. For one, they reduced the field from 96 to 80 for the men, and from 64 to 48 for the women. The streamlined numbers - though still bloated by CT standards - means organisers can make better use of conditions during the event window.
The reduced field size largely came at the expense of another change: removing the obligation of CT surfers to enter CS events.
When the Challenger Series started in 2020, CT surfers had to enter at least two CS events. In 2022, this was changed to one event, but it had to be in the surfers' region - i.e Australia, US, Europe. Late last year, the rule was scrapped altogther following push back from CT surfers who complained about event congestion.
The requirement had also been questioned in the media, with both Swellnet and Stab wondering why surfers who'd already qualified were entering 'lesser' contests, taking starting places and ranking points from surfers for whom the series was initially devised. After all, the CS is a pathway towards the CT, not a chance at easy money for those already qualified.
For example, in 2021, three out of the four CS events were won by surfers who'd already qualified for the following year's CT.
Despite scrapping the requirement, 7 of the 80 men entered into the upcoming Gold Coast Pro are surfers already qualified for the next year's CT. They assumed a start either through the placement on last year's CS (Waida, Chianca, Callinan) or by applying for one of the five wildcards (the rest). The surfers are:
- Kelly Slater
- Joao Chianca
- Ryan Callinan
- Caio Ibelli
- Callum Robson
- Rio Waida
- Connor O'Leary
The situation is different in the women, with just one qualified CT surfer, Steph Gilmore, confirmed to enter. Even Caity Simmers, last year's winner, has shunned the event.
A few of the above surfers, such as Waida and O'Leary, may have entered prior to The Margs Pro being completed as a back up in case they didn't make the cut.
Then again, some of the above surfers may have entered purely on the strength of the sizzling footage coming out of Snapper over the past three weeks. Now that the forecast has headed south, it'll be interesting to see if they pull out and give their spot to one of the 35 surfers on the waitlist.
Jho will be wearing his Jeep leaders jersey?
"not a chance at easy money for those already qualified."
If it's the same as last year:
1 - $20,000
2 - $10,000
3 - $5,000
Kelly needs a new Peloton.
Kelly will be getting a healthy appearance fee - he is after all a keen student of golf
WSL should say no to wct surfers competing
Slater runs wosel,full stop
Without him it doesn’t exist as ceo Erik would pull out with $
Kelly in 3 foot NE Snapper?? no chance
Will Slater make a heat? I hope not.
Let the fall from grace continue. He should have retired after his pipe win. Now his legacy is tarnished.
could you walk away from empty line ups at world class breaks ?.....i reckon sticking around to score as many uncrowded waves as possible makes his legacy shine gold !...H emight bail on this one though,,,as the other bloke said : Kelly in 3 foot NE Snapper?? no chance.
Surely it's not about "scoring uncrowded world-class waves". Go to a comp, sit around and wait, maybe surf two heats or three, then out. Or just go somewhere with world-class waves and stuff yourself.
I'm leaning more towards the can't bare to leave the limelight theory.
not sure how many world class breaks they have surfed this year
Not sure you can tarnish a legacy 11 world titles burleigh?
by chasing a dream that is no longer there. Taking up valuable space for the next generation.
It's going to be a sad fall from grace
Totally agree.. him being there taking a spot is killing it for the kid who misses a spot because of it.
Makes him look like a greedy knob... same applies to the other guy already qualified
Oh yeah, just read a lot of the comments. Slaters stock outside the pro surf bubble would be on the decline. Tony Hawk was arguably the Slater of vert skateboarding. Hasn’t stopped just not competing with the young bucks. And soundly realises that the sham that is the Olympics needs skateboarding for more than skateboarding needs the Olympics. Solid legacy.
Slater I fear….not so much of a good legacy. And what other top level sporting organisations engage in charity as athletes age and no longer are competitive at the top level. None that I can think of.
Thanks for explaining the WSL setup ... didnt know...
If you look at this current CS scenario from the glass (barrel) half full angle...
1. How many chances will the CS surfers gonna to have the opportunity surf a WSL heat against the best in game (eg. Kelly Slater or Steph Gillmore)
2. If I was a pro surfer wanting to keep in tune with the game, judges and maintain a high media profile & sponsors; I would enter what ever comps were available ....till next years CT
Ive seen so many great surfers in Oz choose a more reliable career than pro surfing... its a juicy carrot, cooked by media & money into fash mash cash for the mass.
PS cant wait for AI to do these reCATCHA puzzles
They could start & surf charity events in the meantime .....eg. Lismore flood refuges, Teahupo'o recovery efforts, big wave crash victims, etc
Interesting to me that KS is the one that everyone is zoning in on. I'm guessing entries needed to be in for snapper before Margaret river took place. At that time he was under the cut line and would have needed to get an entry in. Hypothetically he may have found out during the comp that he had a wild card for the rest of the year but his entry was already placed for snapper. Joao on the other hand had already made the cut and was wearing the yellow Jersey. No heat on him whatsoever and he's perfectly entitled to enter the event. Same for Steph although she was close to the cut line before WA. I'm actually personally in favour of as many big names in the CS events as possible as it's brings more prestige to the event. Can't see the viability of a 3 level tour for much longer though with the lack of surf industry support. So I've got no criticism whatsoever for Kelly entering. I think it's great for the event. But from what i've heard he's already left Australia. But my big issue is probably the same ruler isn't run over others like Joao, Connor, Ryan, Ciao and Rio. They're all entered too and in exactly the same boat as Kelly
Bums on the beach. But yes case in point Jordy knocking out Michael Feb in SF of Ballito years ago, though Mikey was awarded a, ummm, reparations WC the following year
if the forecast isnt good no way Slater will show.
Reckon if I was in the position to have a chance to surf Snapper without the crowd, I'd be taking it. Any prize money would be a bonus....
WSL preach equality and they still reduce the women from 64 to 48. Would have been much better to have left it at 64 to encourage more competitive depth.
It’s all just lip service.
Much better being a female pro surfer. Same pay as the men for half the work.
It’s twice as hard to make it with that logic. They get the raw end for sure
What's the ratio of men professional surfers to women professional surfers?
i'm guessing 10/1
So, it's much better being a women surfer.
So as it stands from the CS 12.5% of men will graduate to the ‘CT whilst 10% of women will.
On the men’s CT 58.8% of them make the cut whilst on the women’s 55% make it.
CT allows 34 men and 18 women
CS allows 80 men and 48 women
If you think that’s even Stevens then ok
What is the ratio of actual professional surfers?
IMO it would be way harder as a professional male surfer to qualify compared to a female.
The term professional surfer is pretty subjective and broad, you know as well as I do there isn’t an answer to that.
Why is it way harder as a male?
It’s harder because there is at least 10x the amount of competition for their spots. Yes they have double the amount of spots as girls but it’s still harder
This debate feels like asking your Dad a question when you’re 8 and he says ….’because I say so’.
Also comes across as thinly veiled misogyny.
I agree with Burleigh and I really couldn't care one way or the other. It's just cold mathematics.
Nationally, the pool of male surfers is vastly bigger. About a decade ago Surfing Oz had their males/females ration at 10:1. It may have increased since then yet there are still many, many more male surfers.
If a strict measure of 'fairness between the sexes' was the aim then Surfing Oz and the Woz would mimic that ratio with places on their respective rankings.
However, they don't do that. Instead, there's a notion that, as Burleigh says, there's a much larger pool of male surfers, and that's broadly reflected with a larger pool of rankings and prizemoney.
It's not exact, yet if it were to be, then the women's CT spots would drop significantly. Same individual prizemoney, that's absolutely warranted, but less spots on their tour.
EDIT: Agree with you that the discussion tips towards misogyny, though I don't think Burleigh was doing so, and it's why I'd rather not get vocal about such matters. Any discussion runs cover for genuine women haters.
Some valid points there and I’m not suggesting there aren’t more male surfers - I just can’t see anywhere that states actual numbers.
I don’t think privileged middle aged males have much of a leg to stand on when commenting how ‘hard’ it is for women to become or maintain professional surfing status.
The debate gets more philosophical if you start to consider reduced numbers of female role models and therefore less incentive to take up surfing in the first place. That is the battle even before you hit the water, can you imagine how difficult it must be at most lineups around the world still in the 2000’s to get the same opportunities to hone your craft? This is not even going down the road of sponsorship (read: opportunity to travel, gain equipment, coaching etc) and media/industry’s ongoing need to place value on ‘looks and personal aesthetics’ to those athletes blessed enough to have won life lotto in that way.
My argument is just that I don’t think anyone can say it’s ‘easier’ for women to be a pro surfer. There a so many facets to the debate aside from numbers of surfers in the water. I hope that we see lineups with equal amounts of guys and gals in the future, would make for a much better time out there.
That’s very kind, thank you.
Hi Burls, can I ask a favour? A few people have asked me recently and I struggled to answer, can you tell me what woke means?
CT > CS (Review)...exclusive to #1 swellnet
First Event of 2023 / Gold Coast Pro Annual Event / For Over 20 years / World's best Surfers
GC is talking up the the CS as if it is the same CT as ever...stick to the script!
Govt pay 4m for WSL CT (vs) 500k for WSL CS.
Gold Coast Pro is #1 CS Comp attracting 25 CT surfers > Hawaii 24 CT > US 21 CT
Prize Purse Allocation
Women $133,000 / 64 surfers = $2,087.50 performance (Min pay $775)
Men $155,000 / 96 surfers = $ 1,614.59 performance (Min Pay $600)
CS Women earn 29.2% more than CS Men per surf + 29.2% extra min Pay (Coincidence?)
That's not the bottom line..
Salute Tru Starling : "What is the actual cost to make the CT in 2023"
Tru budgeted every RQS / QS / CS Event...totally brilliant...
CS = GC + Syd $3,765 > SA $3,840 > US $4,740 > EU $7,350 > NZ 3,010 > Haw $4,420 = $27,125
Fact : "$750 CS entry Fee is $150 more than CS Men's min return pay + only $25 return for Chix
Tru couldn't report this at the time as no prize pool appeared until "Proper" CS 1 Goldie
Tru :"CS Surfer needs to hit QF in every event just to break even."
Tru actually guessed this prior to Prize Pool...very clever Surfer chick...Tru was spot on > Yes! QF it is!
So! Leads into next obvious Question...How can Surfers afford CS Tour...
Tru : "Did hear that Ripcurl slot their Team into inhouse Tour Accom!"
Tru: "Not everyone" is on this CS Gravy Train!
Tru's CS insight marries beautifully with Current WSL CS Promo Vid...
tbb asks the crew to ID [0:20] Brooding CS star in Promo...Let's Go! See ya on the Other Side...
Ok! So wot is going on here...
This brooding surfer ya see is Imaikalni de Vault...
Also the longest serving 100% CS Tour Surfer about to surf his #13th continuous CS comp...
Crew can add other 100% surfers from list as or if they appear in Goldie Lineup!
Yep! That includes the very first Covid Sydney CS comp...that's why he is important!
CT = Remote Comps (Hide the Tubbies) > CS = Urban Comps (Fit / Young / Sexy Playthings)
Well kinda like that...Depends on Sponsors Market...
Example : Rip Curl need Superwomen to model Bomb Wetties...Feel the Power
Here's a List of CT surfers that have surfed every CS Event...(Including Sydney)
Why does tbb include Sydney > Coz these Surfers were the CS Prototypes & still play the game.
They are team riders that VIP through each CS event...paid for by WSL sponsors...
They are the chosen ones to advance ahead of others...Insta / Model good Looks etc...Bankable!
These Glam VIPs are bankrolled thru CS Tour that Tru speaks of...not one of us, but above us! Got it!
Rip Curl : Molly / Alyssa / Amuro / Brisa
Hurley : Kirra
Quiky : Zeke / Mesinas
Volcom : Joao / Imaikalni
Billabong : Macy / Luana
Slater : Betty Lou
Dragon Group Sophie (Not sure of this Oz Package)
CT / CS Surfers riding their Luck without sponsors > LOB / Ribeiro / Maxime
CT / CS Anomaly
Above Surfers will miss or boycott plenty of CT Events but will never miss a CS event!
Now ain't that back to front...How & why does that weird shit Happen?
One must consider Team riders are instructed to surf the lower road as a Team players.
Kinda like Cycling / F1...Take one for the team.
This needs more focused review > Pairing up competitors before pulling out...
Basically the CS provides more stock to fill the grid = More trading power with rival Teams!
Says : I'll trade my CS start Grid Pawn 6 with your Pawn 2...are we good now!
Team that Stocks most CS > CT Grid Positions becomes more powerful than CT Trophy hunters!
It's a Corporate Power play more powerful than WSL CT itself! This then brings in the Sponsors!
Knowing you can buy Grid Positions cheaply by banking off the tour!
Note : WSL never share Tour Heats until very last minute...
Can envisage that the Big Brands trace the Comp plots where Surfers cross & pull their CS > CT star.
Exploiting CS as a CT Wild Card Bank...beyond the scope of this review...just saying that's on the table!
We see a shitty CS tour...but it's least designed for surfers or fans...it's a powerful corporate Game Board.
Like it was me > My swap that won our Team the Cereal Bowl...bloody Hodad legend is this Corporate Kook!
( Crew can tick off these high placings from Major Sponsor's List )
Women ( 40k-155k insta clicks)...Again beyond the scope of this review but did present large!
2x CS Victories ~ Betty Lou
Top 10 CS Event Placings 10 Macy > 9 Betty Lou / Alyssa > 8 Molly > 7 Kirra > 6 Sophie > 5 Caitlin
Notice how Kelly's only plaything scoops the Pool...that's professionalism or Favouritism?
Also note WSL "Team Rip Curl" x2 / Billabong are sitting pretty as Tru already passed on...Got it!
Those with Penthouse Suites perform like Champs! CS is no place for cheap chix with low insta clicks!
Men (30k -2m Insta Clicks)
2x CS Victories ~ JJF / Zeke / Leo
Top 10 CS Event placings 7 Leo > 6 LOB > 5 Zeke / Ryan > 4 Kanoa / Morgan / Joao / Imaikalni / Mesinas
Major Sponsors - JJF / Kanoa / Leo / Zeke / Ryan / Joao / Imaikalni / Mesinas
Dragon Group may also package Tour accom' for Morgan + Sophie
Which leaves Dark Horse LOB punching well above his hard earned 18k insta clicks!
How? As Tru said...Surfers need to hit QF to keep in the game...LOB placed 2nd best without the frills!
Pretty much writes itself this CS review...
CS is designed to promote Big Sponsor's hip surfers to urban audiences but also promote them into CT.
Recall that Big Sponsors can then Play with them in the CT to trade or boycott even switch grid lineups.
WSL CS Tour sponsors pay for inhouse Sponsor's Team Accom within WSL posh precincts.
Recall Tru punchin' out km's & counting fuel litres to comp sites...not for Big Brand elites!
But there is just a sniff of a chance for a rogue Surfer to sneak thru the CS & take down The GOAT.
Crew would've heard about that!
tbb recently revealed 90% Surfers are banking low Scores(Tanking) to offset lower Cut handicap.
Comp Surfing is moving toward Corporate Team Chess...Where surfers are squashed as bugs!
Happy to share CT > CS intro Review...
Just enough results on the board to see thru the WSL game plan!
In case crew are wondering about the odd context of this review...Don't!
tbb collects the data & simply follows the flow or Anomaly.
That then drives the above lay out...no tricks! A straight rip!
The order likewise hustles for position to formulate the flow of the Tour!
So we get what the CT > CS itself spits out...good or bad!
The good of course being that CS surfers now rank larger than life in CT.
Check former CS ~ #1 M + #3 W have yet to bank any throwaway scores.
tbb admits to not knowing of 2023 > 1/2 throwaway scores...can check on that!
So, from what I understand 4 out of the five mens wildcards have gone to currently qualified CT surfers.
It sort of defeats the purpose of what wildcards were intended for IMO, with the exception of injury cards.
The WSL states that "A wildcard's goal is to win heats and disrupt the top power brokers on Tour."
That might be the case for the most part on the CT, but it doesn't seem to apply as to how they issue them on the CS tour.
In fact, it seems the opposite to me. I'm sure there's plenty of names on the wildcard application sheet more worthy of a shot at the big time and 'disrupting the top power brokers on tour' than actual qualified CT 'power brokers'.
And I also understand the CS surfers need to compete against CT guys in that series, but surely there's enough of them in the cut etc to keep it competitive. I know the bigger names are a drawcard but that isn't what the series is about. And if the Wozzle can't run the CS events without the likes of Slater etc they should probably rethink their plan.
Go the underdogs.
I reckon there’s enough draw cards , with all the surfers that didn’t make the cut this year ( and last year ) and those we’ve been watching for years, hoping to make the breakthrough. No need for the the current ones who made the cut. Slater is a one off .
The heats only just came up for me on the WSL app. I came straight here to see what the go was , with Joao, caio, Ryan etc competing. WTF !!! that’s ratings points, prize money being directly taken from non sponsored battlers. Gives me the shits.
PS , now that the cut has been and gone on the WCT , let’s streamline it and and get straight into elimination round one. You’re all back next year, let’s shake it up, no one is safe to make the 5.
"PS , now that the cut has been and gone on the WCT , let’s streamline it and and get straight into elimination round one. You’re all back next year, let’s shake it up, no one is safe to make the 5."
Yes! Yes! The crew are fishing...
CS Ideal of CT stars lighting up the Local...
Good Luck with that...
Hire some CT Bully 'Olympians' to smash up yer Local
Men > #1 x2 JJF / Medina (Undefeated CS Surfers)
Silver medalist Kanoa is the WSL CS Gun for hire
Chix > Sally / Gabriela / Caroline (Bagged top 10 finishes in your town)
That's about yer obligated lot...the rest are store dressing!
Pause: tbb noticed that these Comp reviews out Kanoa / Sally as best ISA/CS/CT/Olympic Surfers.
Unsportsmanlike Star/s that breached CS Mandate
#1 Toledo ~ Never once stooped so low in 2020/2021/2022
Add that to Toledo's contempt of WSL Judges & ya got a Cereal Pest...
Surfers could argue that 3x Unsportsmanlike behaviour is not worthy of the Cereal Bowl.
2022 Many Top 5 surfers actually complied well after CT season but in Calendar Year
CT stars that tanked in their CS Mandated / Home / Regional Events...
Women > 25 Steph / 25 Carissa / 33 Johanne / 25 Lakey
Men > 37 Italo / 73 Jack / 33 Colapinto / 25 Caio / 73 Jordy / 49 Moniz /
Multiple Hacks ~ *37 - wdn - wdn - 25 GOAT / 37-25-25 S Pupo / 73-49 Nat / 25-49 Owen
GOAT = * 2019 Sydney CS Prototype (wdn Withdrawn)
GOAT is most heavily promoted CS attraction for poorest showing...(Not a CS kinda guy!)
Kinda like the Frontline face of CS..."Like if the GOAT keeps tanking...then the CS Stinks & sinks!"
All these throwaway scores or poor showings at Star's home breaks can't be a coincidence.
Bookends the CS stars tanking in CT...
In only a few short years > CS stars tank in CT + CT stars tank in CS.
Can only think they're crash test puppets for Wheels of Surf Industry to mow down.
Again in both...ya get these Pro Polar opposites...
CT Stars JJF / Medina smashing CS Gromz as bugs (Outta my way little surfer Dudes)
CS Stars Joao / Molly smashing CT Pros as bugs (Wot baggage!)
Crew are wise to these Wily Wildcards...
tbb referred to GOAT repeatedly hooking Local WA fish that scores under 5 combos at surfer's point!
Just imagine the smirk on Kelly's face hooking his "D-Day Nemesis > Date with Destiny"
Kelly : "Got no chance making the Cut against my handpicked fav' lowest ever scoring pet Wild Card!"
Crew keep outing more dodgy dealings...tbb's intro review may have been nerdy but well overdue.
Can't see how WSL push on with Pro level CT > CS without mandating Stack Helmets for Tanking!
Oops! That should read Tank Helmets for Stacking or both Helmets for the same CS heat...just in case!
That Olympic Reef Slab Test Kelly hooked up is surely his Ultimate Devious Plot...fark...Drool!
Dark Overlord Surfer X Olympic Slab Challenge...whole crew wanna be sacrificial lambs...pick me!
Kelly : Wot! So everyone else died...(Bummer) Looks like I win the last Olympic Ticket...(Ultimate Pro!)
Forecast has jacked up
KS just asked the pilot to turn her round.
Seriously taking out the real challengers trying to crack it with points and any prize the CT qualified Surfers should be ashamed of themselves.
Some of the lower ranked CT surfers could do with the money so there's an argument that they should be allowed to ply their trade and if thats the case then they couldn't stop the better of ones from competing but it would be a bit silly if the whole draw was stacked with CT surfers.
Gold Coast Pro ( Format *Elimination Changes)
2023 Prize Purse should also change ( re: End of Goldie Pro.)
2022 ~ Seeds/96 R1(2* 2>) 48 R2(2* 2>)24 R3(1* 2>) QF
2023 ~ (Says 80?) 32 R1(2*2>) 18 + Seeds 48/64 R2(2* 2>) 32 R3(2*2>) QF
2022 ~ Seeds 64 R1(2*2>) 32 R2(2* 2>) QF
2023 ~ (Says-48?) 32 R1 (2*2>) 16 +16 Seeds 32 R2 (2*2>) QF
WSL seem to be counting R2 Seeds M 48 + W 16 > in R1 Draw competitors
Unless any can draw a better conclusion...we can run with that as it lines up!
CS > CT Peak = 24 Surfers 2022/23 (Can lock that in as Magic 'Contractual' Number)
So we got same number of CT pros but slotted into Heavily Stacked R2 eliminations
A true challenger format where the rookie must now take down 2/4 R2 Pros to advance
In theory...R1 continues Trial > R2 should now have more Competitive Spirit > Fireworks!
Good chance of Seeing a Rookie take out a Pro & his hired hand Wingman Wildcard
Perfect CS Record Run of all 13 Appearances > 2020/2021/2022/2023
Considering cost of Touring a very even Continental Drift.
Now in 4th year > these 8 surfers from 6 Surfing Nations front up for every CS.
M = Qld -LOL / Bra- Joao / France- Maxime / Haw- Zeke + DeVault
W = Qld -Sophie / Jap- Amuro / US- Alyssa
Goldie CS News...
Below Cut = Current 2023 (Default CS rank) #1 Brisa + #3 Courtney pulled out of GC Pro.
Brisa has won a CS event + finished 4/6 CS Top 10 (Placing 17th @ 2022 GC)
Courtney competes well in Local US / CS (SF / 17)
Both Withdrawals are unusual as both these Chix are in Oz & place high in CS/CT events.
Both Women reflect on WSL interval > It's very powerful & emotive..
swellnet crew sends best wishes to both Surfers
Young talent has no chance getting anywhere on the WSL... Just a recycling old boys or girls club... Where eliminated has beens are only too happy to accept CT places they have not deserved.
Its no longer a competition.. just a suck up to sponsors.
Looks like Kelly pulled out of the Gold Coast event this morning.
Yesterday's WSL press release had this, for the upcoming Round of 64:
Today's WSL press release has this:
he finally realised he wouldnt make a single heat in a qualifying event.
Was KS at Wai-Kai Pool yesterday ?
Sounds like Nate Florence is on the real dream tour
Haha why doesn't that shock me.?
It's good to be the King.