WSL transformed: World Titles to be decided in a single day

Swellnet Dispatch

LOS ANGELES, Calif./USA (Tuesday, April 28, 2020) - Due  to the continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Surf League (WSL) is postponing or canceling all events, at all levels of competition, through the end of June. The WSL will continue to monitor the situation and make the next call in early June. 

In a video released on all WSL Channels today, WSL's CEO Erik Logan said to fans: "Where and when we will run this year is still very much an open question, but we will continue to work with governments, world health authorities and our local communities on returning to the lineup.”

“That said, we are extending the postponement of all WSL events through June. This means the scheduled Championship Tour stop in June, the Oi Rio Pro, is officially postponed in hopes that travel conditions ease enough to run this year. Our ‘Next Call’ update for the 2020 Championship Tour season and all our events will be on June 1.”

The WSL has also announced an evolved Tours and Competitions format for 2021 covering the Championship Tour, the Challenger Series, and the Qualifying Series.

In the video, Logan also said: “Prior to COVID-19, we had been working hard on how we would evolve the Championship Tour, the path to the CT, and all our tours in 2022 and beyond. The more we worked on this transformation, the more we became excited and it became clear that our pause due to COVID really allowed us to see that now is the time to accelerate these changes.” 

Starting in 2021 the women’s and men’s World Titles will be decided in a single day of competition on the last day of the Championship Tour season, with the top surfers battling for their respective titles in a new surf-off format. This evolution has been part of a multi-year discussion, and the final design is a collaboration between the surfers, partners, and the WSL.

Two-time WSL Champion, Tyler Wright, said, “I feel like the new format raises the intensity of the entire World Title situation. The difference is that you get to win in the water, which is huge! It comes down to nobody else, and that kind of intensity, that kind of competitive pressure, raises the bar. It’s pretty exciting!”

“The world title being decided in the final, between two surfers in the running, is super exciting,” said WSL Surfer’s Representative, Conner Coffin. “I was glued to Pipe last year on the last day. So it’s a great moment for the sport and it’s exciting to think that from 2021 onwards that will always be how the world title is decided.”

In addition to the redesign of the Championship Tour (CT), the schedule will be updated to create distinct seasons between the CT and the Challenger Series. This update will not only provide an enhanced showcase for the surfers, but also allow those who fail to requalify through the CT the opportunity to perform on the Challenger Series and requalify for the elite CT the very next season as opposed to waiting an entire year. 

“With the Challenger Series at a different time of the year you can highlight the up comers, you can highlight who is in the Challenger Series, you can highlight what’s new, who is coming up that is fresh, who is requalifying, and the people that drop off the CT will have an opportunity to go on and completely focus on the Challenger Series,” continued Wright.

Increased weight and value will also be given to regional Qualifying Series events to encourage up-and-coming surfers to develop closer to home without financially overleveraging themselves before jumping to the Challenger Series and beyond. The regional series will provide increased opportunities to celebrate regional stars, reduce economic pressure for surfers and sponsors, as well as drive media interest around those athletes.

“We’ll have more details soon but we’re really excited about what this means for surfers and surfing worldwide. We are approaching these updates and evolutions as holistically as possible,” said Logan. “Working with our entire community, we know we are going to emerge through this pandemic with a strong, exciting platform that propels professional surfing, and all surfing, forward in a positive and impactful manner.” 

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 5:54am

"...decided in a single day of competition on the last day of the Championship Tour season".

I appreciate that it'll (potentially) create a more dynamic day of competition, but.... assuming this is all to happen at Pipe... what if the surf's terrible and the forecast isn't great either?

And there are quite a few variables (wind, tide, sand, swell size/period/direction) that can rapidly turn surf conditions about-face, even with a good forecast.

'Tis a large roll of the dice I reckon. Will be interesting to see what happens (in 20 months time, of course.. a long time away!).

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:53am

Yeah and although pipe is an awesone wave, it's a specialised spot and no one wave represent all-round surfing as a whole. If the spot is pipe and its winner take all guys like Jack Robinson or Jeremy Flores would start jumping ahead in likelihood of say Toledo as a World Champ. There is probably guys not on tour with a better shot of winning at pipe than half the guys on tour.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:06am

And that (rightly) assumes it'll be at Pipe. 

Remember the proposed rejig with Pipe up first? What if the decider is at Portugal?

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:20am

When was the last time the Portugal contest was good viewing?
Seems like they've been skunked there for a while or I haven't been paying attention.

How do you pick the perfect grand final event anyway - perfect right, perfect left, high performance beachie, wave of consequence?

Felipe could have an epic year and be streets ahead of 2nd place eg Gabby and then it's held in perfect pipe.
Can't see him winning that.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:25am

Portugal hasn't been spectacular (bar the odd two hour tidal window) for quite a while. 

But, Pipe can also disappoint. So can Chopes. Everywhere on the World Tour can be either epic or shithouse in any given year; there are no guarantees.

Also, assuming this WT showdown runs at the conclusion of the associated event - i.e. Pipe in December - it'll have a very small window to pick and choose from, not twelve whole days.

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:13pm

I was looking for that comment before I typed it and didn't have to scroll far. My thoughts exactly. Someone could wipe the floor all year and have it all come undone due to luck of the draw.

Maybe good in theory (depends who you ask), but I think trying to replicate the drama surrounding italo and Gabby's final is stupid, as per the quote in the article. Those two happen to absolutely charge heavy waves and are two of the most talented surfers in any wave conditions going round. But then again, what do I know, they pay people a couple hundred grand a year to make these decisions, let's see if they get it right. Also hope it's not too cringe worthy watching someone like Felipe get mauled at heavy pipe after a year where it all comes together for him.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:31am

I like it. Grand Final days are a lot of fun, good days to get together with friends and have a couple beers and watch the drama unfold. Surely they’ll have a waiting period for the day. I agree it sounds like they’ve been talked out of macaroni’s and plan to have it at the only deserving location, Pipe.

Regarding recommencement of the tour, I predict it will re start with a higher number of cv cases than when they cancelled, March 13, with 145,417 world wide cases.
This will prove it was an unsustainable action in the first place.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:52am

What if you win every event of the year and then lose on finals day? Doesn't make sense..

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:20am

100% and then was happens if they are way out in front and in an early heat at pipe or even before it have an injury and cant compete?

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

criso's picture
criso's picture
criso commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:09pm

Im with you on that but remember it is a circus

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:03pm

Exactly what i was thinking.

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:08pm

Yep, that was my thought. Not fair on the person who has been the best all year, especially if they won every event.
Lets say it is the top 6 in this final event. In 2019 Kanoa Igorashi was almost 20,000 points behind Italo. How does he deserve to be world champion?

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:23pm

ha yea, like winning the Premiership but losing the Grand Final.

You still get a trophy, its just not as big.

Tomay's picture
Tomay's picture
Tomay commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:54am

Terrible idea to have a grand final day in a sport that is so dependant on surf conditions beyond the control of organisers. Certain conditions suit certain surfers and styles - that's why the variation of the tour is so important.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:03am

Womens World Title to be decided at Honolua Bay? Or moved to Pipe? Or somewhere else?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:20am

Surely not Pipe? Only 2 or 3 could surf it

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:05am

The end of the Aussie leg?

Though it's not mentioned, while Elo is talking about the new Challenger Series this graph appears:

There are 12 gaps, ostensibly indicating the CT begins in mid-April.

Considering Easter can be as early as March 22nd, that puts a question mark over the inclusion of Bells in their forward plans. Snapper too, for that matter.

simsurf's picture
simsurf's picture
simsurf commented Sunday, 3 May 2020 at 5:49am

Does snapper even deserve to be on there anymore? Unless they luck into a cyclone its more a longboard wave 99% of the time.

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:36am

Problem with every event was too many surfers, too many rounds, swells not long enough to allow good surfing in every round and too many meaningless heats.

Tour should have been reduced to either 16 or 32 surfers so events could be run 2 days and pick the eyes out of the waiting period.

Also needs an incentive to innovate, go big and remove safety surfing. Too many outstanding surfers who did just enough to get through a heat. Perhaps double point waves, longer heats or tweaking the scoring system in some way.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:46am

In concept it looks good.
Can't help but think they will make it flexible enough to pick the best spot and wait for the best swell and conditions.
Yes looks like the current aust leg is about to change big time. Don't know if that such a bad thing. It has been pretty static for a long time. Imagine if Margaret River became a challenger event. That would be worthy.

One thing I don't agree with is the comment. "the WSL is the home of surfing". No, not even close. It may be the home of competition surfing but overall surfing is way, way bigger than that.

Cromwell's picture
Cromwell's picture
Cromwell commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:56am

Just shuffling the deckchairs in the hope of grabbing a slightly less pathetic slice of the viewer pie.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:18am

How weird so one guy could win every comp and be way out in front and then the second on the leader board could take it from him, that sucks.

What happens if the guy in number one position gets injured and can't surf the last comp, but still has the points to win?

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:58am

No different to a footy grand final.

Top two teams qualify for the chance to be the champion

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:32am

Not really, it's more like playing 10 footy games, winning them all and then come the final one, losing and then losing the whole year. Doesn't add up.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:35am

Yep, which is what happens when a team goes undefeated all season then loses in the grand final to the team who finished second.

It’s how you play on the day that counts.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:39am

No, because in footy you don't play against the same team 10x. Surfing you surf against the same people every event.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:43am

Chance plays a part in any sport, however a static field is a wholly different medium than the ocean. 

As has already been mentioned, choosing a wave that suits some surfers and hinders others puts the latter at a pronounced disadvantage.

And if it is Pipeline, as suspected, how the hell do those without experience get it? It's too crowded and localised to make any meaningful improvements.

I'm not totally against the idea, but the Woz has to take the above into account.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:57am

Surely the question is then, that’s probably worth it’s on forum post, is what is the most competitive neutral wave?

Go!

I am the bone

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:59am

Surely it has to be some sort of a-frame or viable left and rights. You can’t have a one directional wave. Ill go off the top of my head and say trestles but no shack there, maybe lakeys?

I am the bone

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:02pm

Competitively neutral?

Take Slater out of the equation and it's the Lemoore Hot Tub.

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:06pm

*natural

Surely there not deciding titles in pools. Thats should be a different leauge.

I am the bone

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:08pm

I'm with Stu and with that, to take away from the heaviness and theatre of Pipe would be a disastrous decision.

I can see them planning it like a GF though with performances in the middle, packed bleachers etc. Ughhh yuck!

nolocal's picture
nolocal's picture
nolocal commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 3:51pm

Imagine - Meatloaf, marching bands, anthems, a flyover, a nipple slip, and pyrotechnics. There will always be someone who would have preferred Bon Jovi, but you can't please everyone.

Fieldy's picture
Fieldy's picture
Fieldy commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 2:38pm

Meatloaf.........haha.....horrid

Fieldy

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:10pm

No waiting period.
Can be run in one day.
Draw can be constructed so the final two go head-to-head.
Every surfer rides exactly the same waves.
No luck is involved.

I'd say it's even money that's where it will be.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:12pm

That would be truely fucked.

This could be the last straw for the WSL.

And hopefully they have given up on G-land

Nigeisblessed's picture
Nigeisblessed's picture
Nigeisblessed commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 1:19pm

OMG! I think you might be right. Just imagine in a few years the tour could be exclusively held in pools - all in the name of fairness.

I'm not even sure if I'm mucking around.

braudulio's picture
braudulio's picture
braudulio commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 1:09pm

Not really, it's more like playing 10 footy games, winning them all and then come the final one, losing and then losing the whole year. Doesn't add up.

@Craig - South Sydney 1989

‘IF YOU UNDERSTAND, things are just as they are;
if you do not understand, THINGS ARE JUST AS THEY ARE.’

nolocal's picture
nolocal's picture
nolocal commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:04pm

Greatest footy league world wide is the EPL. No GF.

I don't think this is a good fit for surfing. Not that I care.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:32am

Looks like the WSL are preparing. for a deeply interrupted 2021 tour.
I can't think of a sport that will be more impacted by coronavirus. Half the surfers on the tour are from basket case countries, Brazil and the USA. Event locations are mostly in countries that have, or had, seriously high rates of infection. Australia is highly unlikely to open borders to people from the USA or Brazil anytime soon. About the only thing that could save the 2021 tour is a vaccine.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

fcalmon's picture
fcalmon's picture
fcalmon commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:33am

They lost me. Bye WSL....

90% of what you know was told to you....

sandcastle's picture
sandcastle's picture
sandcastle commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:54am

Yep!

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:33am

Not much of a championship tour if world champion is decided on one day.

Sounds poxy..

redclement.'s picture
redclement.'s picture
redclement. commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:33am

Sounds like it will be held in the wave pool. Laced with some disinfectant.

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:38am

How do you increase the potential for an even playing field by ensuring good (enough) and predictable conditions on any given day? KS Wave Co...

These types of significant changes are never received well by the masses. My surf history isn't great, but how were world champions of the 70s, 80s and 90s crowned (prior to the ASP, 'dream tour' or whatever it was called back in the day)?

nolocal's picture
nolocal's picture
nolocal commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:09pm

My understanding was PT originally kept a notebook of results from events all around the world. Selected events he did well in, tallied the results, and announced himself the first ever ISP World Champion. The rest, they say, is history.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:44am

So we can assume 2020 tour is done. 2021 - a lot of 'if's', 'buts' and maybes.

I think some of the previously mentioned ideas such as fewer surfers, longer windows, better locals etc would be the way to go.

Many a year there seems to be that of a 'Grand Final' feel @ Pipe anyway....there's usually 2-5 surfers with a possibility of winning.

I'd love to see them include Haleiwa, Sunset and Pipe into who can win the world title. That would be a TRUE champion.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:11am

Anyone remember that TV show Gladiator?

Joeseph's picture
Joeseph's picture
Joeseph commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:33am

Really devalues all-round performance across all types of waves and conditions, but I guess they can start working on their final showdown sound-effects and hype package earlier now.

It's the dud events, classic days, people going on a tear throughout the year etc. that means every world title race is unique, and that makes the CT interesting.

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:35am

Not wanting to start another conspiracy theory - but this could be the WSL “managing the narrative “ With a view to stage a wave pool final event

I would prefer the World champion is decided in a 3 event showdown in Hawaii (the real World Cup) results up till then decide the seeding

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:11pm

Yep! That sounds good to me. 3 different types of waves, all challenging in their own way, and best of 3 gives the very best the opportunity to prove themselves as the best. It would be like the footy finals, leading into the GF, not just a season and then a grandfinal straight away.

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:39am

Without a deep dive.. I'd guess that the final day of competition at Pipe will be the top 10 / 16 decided by results from the tour. If this is the case perhaps leaders would be seeded? Also if it's one day I guess they could extend the waiting period and use a traffic light system as per big wave events for the call; and one day with limited surfers means longer heats giving everyone a better chance to shine?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:46am

Anyway, this lil' installment is yet another in the WSL narrative for the year. We're due an update on June 1 ("Will the 2020 season start at all?", to which the answer will be "No"), followed by another update in July about how this one-day-winner-takes-all World Title will actually work.

According to Wikipedia, narrative 'pace' is "sometimes dictated by the genre of the story: comedies move faster than dramas; action adventures move faster than suspense. A dragging pace is characteristic of many novels turned down by publishers, and of some that find their way into print but not into the hearts and recommendations of readers."

At this stage, it sounds like a dragging pace to me.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:27am

More of a case of not wanting to state the obvious bad news. Trump's banned, immigration, borders are closed, and even if people can get in to contest locations, they will be doing the 14 day quarantine thing for the foreseeable future. Unless there's a miracle breakthrough with a virus, there's zero chance of a tour this year.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding's picture
Ben Harding commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:40pm

VL - I feel you've developed an almost paranoid obsession with this virus and all/any news surrounding it. All your comments are centred solely on it. I mean this sincerely and with respect, take a deep breath and focus on the beauty around you. As there still is plenty of that around. From what I've read on here, you live in a fantastic spot. Switch the news off and break away from the virus thinking and reclaim your thoughts. Covid won't define us, there is still a whole lot more living to be done.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:33pm

Hi Ben, Thanks for your feedback. Don't worry about me, I'm getting out, exercising, teaching my kids maths, English and Bahasa Indonesian and staying busy. I'm also writing a few articles about this topic, so it's interesting to take part in the debate and see what others are thinking.
"Covid won't define us". Sorry but I completely disagree.
The coronavirus is the defining moment of this generation. It's more significant than the GFC, Asian Financial Crisis, Tech Wreck, and 9/11 combined. I'm actually fascinated how this episode will shape the next few decades, from how we work, to what we value in life, to geo-political implications.
I'm particularly interested in how people's attitude to the virus is shaped by self interest and mad conspiracy theories. This is leading to some truly delusional and lethal policies. Sit back and think about the need for cleaning product companies having to issue warnings about not drinking or injecting bleach. Wow, it's mind blowing to be in that position.
Covid 19 has shattered the myth of American superiority and rocked their society. People are using the crisis to push some genuinely bizarre agendas, and play the blame game to coverup their own incompetence.
When this is all said and done, the "tough guy" nationalist leaders in the USA, Brazil, UK, Turkey etc will be exposed as utter frauds. Not that their tribes will admit it. What replaces this failed Uber-nationalism will be fascinating. Will Trump and his followers accept election defeat? Are we on the brink of a US civil war based on ideology? What happens if Trump wins and making up the facts is the spoil of the victor? It's a key moment in history. Plus I may be breaking out the big wave board on Friday. So life is good.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

mowgli's picture
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mowgli commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 12:09pm

I'm not sure about this.

Lots of people talking up how different life will be like on the other side. But I'm not so sure about this beyond businesses now genuinely supporting flexible working arrangements (what I've been hearing is the feared collapse in productivity has not happened, and some people doing better); and governments will use national security reasons (understandably so) to bring certain supply chains back on national soil (or perhaps to strategic ally shores).

Everything beyond that seems like total guessing and maybe even some wishful thinking to me. Don't forget, our whole socio-political economy is built on people buying shit that doesn't last, that they don't need, to impress people that don't give a (real) fuck, coupled with a system that helps to ensure this paradigm by constantly depressing us about our lives (with advertising) and distracting us with manufactured drama to both sell us stuff and to distract us from the money they pilfer from the masses. The push from the powers that be to return everything and everyone to BAU will be immense.

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:12am

They are creating mystery, Ben. That’s a way to generate pre-launch buzz.
Like with a new phone.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:24am

The Pipeline is still backed up from Charlie's dip shit.
ELO is dusting off a bespoke shoot-out at the Ranch! [Super 8] or [BETA]

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:46am

Ha.

scrotina's picture
scrotina's picture
scrotina commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 10:54am

this is very odd. i thought i was misunderstanding him until i read the comments with similar sentiments. i thought the whole CT thing in the first place was to decide who is the best (well rounded) surfer in the world across a number of different conditions and locations.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:31am

Looks to be playing right into Robert mountain goats hands.
Doesn't he have shares in the tour.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:33am

It doesn't really make sense to have a world tour then?
Seems pretty odd to me .

sanded's picture
sanded's picture
sanded commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:34am

It doesnt make sense? Its trying to make an individual sport into a team sport? Why surf around the globe in all different conditions to a final held on one day in a wave that can be 2ft slop? I thought the tour was to find the best all round performance surfer?

It would be like finishing of the F1 tour at Eastern Creek Drag races to see who was fastest in a straight line.

.........is this the start of the Wave tank tour?

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 11:38am

Erik Logan is to surfing as what Donald Trump is to being the POTUSA

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:36pm

2019 (No Chix) WSL Pipemasters = 8 lay days / 4 comp days

2020 WSL Charlies Angels Pipe Title Shoot Out = 15 Lay Days / 7 comp days
Add 2 days as Rookies / Wildcards tap into the Ring = (Pipe Comp runs for 24 days)
Allow for Pipe's double/triple length set & lull time (Best not! Long enough as it is!)
Both Pipe & Teahupoo flip as most dormant Olympic / All in one comp sites. Durr!

27th April / North Shore Coronavirus (Pipeline Naughty List )
https://www.khon2.com/top-stories/city-parks-and-state-beaches-re-open-f...
Aussie Pros must upgrade from 1.5m > 1.8m Hawaiian size Covid -19 boards
No Crowds, Coronas, Towels, Comp Sheets, Judges Chairs > see: (Electric Chairs)

Hawaii Covid -19 WSL Comp Fines $5,000 x 70 WSL Surfie Bludgerz x 15 laydays.
WSL Coronasurfluenza Pipe Shoot out (State fines alone amount to $5.25m)

GOAT palms Charlie $5 to spike JJF on the Reef, just to see if the Olympic singlet fits.
Worth $5m, just see Kelly's evil revenge plot!...One Shot! One chance...Take him out!

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:04pm

Dumb move.
Note they don't say final day of competition "at Pipeline".
The world title shouldn't be a one day wonder. It devalues it.

Squidy's picture
Squidy's picture
Squidy commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:08pm

The only way this could work is if the points gained during the regular season determines what round you enter for the tour championship decider. eg last on the rankings enter round 1, first in the rankings enter at quarter final stage or somewhere along those lines.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 1:05pm

The last time they talked about this was a top 6 men finals day.
6 v 5 first 1 hour heat
Winner v 4 second 1 hour heat
until it’s winner v 1 for the final.
So it’s heavily bias for seeding.

I reckon both world titles and event wins, only around 50% of the time the very best surfer is the eventual winner. That’s sport...

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:13pm

Sounds like Occy at bells in the skins...sort of....

channel-bottom's picture
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channel-bottom commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:14pm

If a massive swell is headed for Cloudbreak, and the pro's are aware of the forecast and the expectation to bring the right equipment, will the new tour still find a reason to sook and call off the comp for the day?

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:48pm

Even with the new format they’ll still be sooo last century, I mean they don’t even have a gender non specific league...

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 12:52pm

Here’s a thought.
Maybe they’ve listened to us, and the GF will be a 1 day strike mission to anywhere (with broadcast capabilities) in the world, subject to forecast.
Now that would be interesting

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 1:38pm

Note: 2019: Deciding events into + both WSL Pipe contests were corrupted
We can see / hear each time that a good handful of players were involved.
Jack's Pipe payback & Caio exit in Masters, were orchestrated by many beforehand.
No denying the commentators were awake to it all, adding Judge's slip ups!

Note these were Title deciding events as with this Fairytale ending.
Shoot Out Surfers + Judges have months to fabricate a winner...Won't be pretty!
Oh sure! It won't as no one gotta a pass out last year..Much!
Pay to recall these Pros signed 10 year acting contracts with WSL...whose turn is it?

Wildcard into Olympics would shake things up, as most Players have their tickets
Olympic -Coach/Contracts/Clause/Add ons, also change prior to new Shoot Out rules.
Team USA failed WHO/IOC Lockdown Test - Does IOC ban the illicit viral cheats.

For the record swellnet did broadcast the new format 2020 WSL Margs Pro Event.
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2019/02/25/margaret-rive...

Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano's picture
Bob Sacamano commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:46pm

Our fearless leader, ELO! We're in safe hands.

European soccer has the best format - a league which represents consistency and then a knockout competition to showcase drama and who turns up on the day. Keep the tour as the league format and for drama surely we have a few locations that could be turned into some kind of 2 or 3 event surf fest in a variety of waves to even out the playing field. All in a small time frame ala the triple crown

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 3:22pm

I don't get it seems to make all other events meaningless all that matters is a pipe final? Am I missing soething here?

Toppa

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 4:30pm

"Am I missing something here?"

No.......this is what happens when a bunch of corporates with ZERO surfing background or knowledge of the history of it somehow end up running the whole fucken thing.

*somehow = shitloads of money to blow on it that the surfing cohort doesn't have

campbell's picture
campbell's picture
campbell commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 3:23pm

Announcement on WA ABC radio today that the Margs pro may be run later in the year than normal (april-may) , not sure how that fits into this or if they mean just this year ( dream on ) or in the future . Back to the old days of spring rather than autumn perhaps?

...

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 5:01pm

We will probably be paying for the privilege to watch the WSL in 2021

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 5:13pm

Don't the competitors themselves have a say in it? Or are they just well paid lemmings?

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 5:29pm

Yawn
Boring yawn
When is pro surfing going to realise the tour is a load of shit.
Do it like the skate board world champs oh hang on there is none because real skaters dont give a fuck about judges and glory. The highest accolade a skater can get is to be voted Thrasher magazine skater of the year. Done via peer review. No need to prance about a full blown circus, you can still be a fucked up mongrel and win this coveted crown. WSL is just so fucked on so many levels. The sooner it dies the better for surf culture.

billythekid's picture
billythekid's picture
billythekid commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 8:11am

Totally agree - beach closures for comps and then a whole lot more people in the water - WSL is just a surf industry marketing tool. Rather be surfing than watching people surf

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:04pm

Rediculas...

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 6:50pm

Why is the "end" being assumed to be in Hawaii?

And.

Do you all think this one day will be free to view? If not, what's the call on price to view?

As an aside, alternate process, why not use a tennis or golf style world ranking system? Have the elite CT type events worth more points like the majors and opens, with a sub tier of other events... Progressive tour, world number one is highest ranked and can change as events unfold etc.

At least by making announcements the WSL are staying in the discussion, fuelling discussion and trying to stay relevant. TBH I haven't had any feelings of loss from not having any tour events ATM. It's actually been good to not have the pro circus distracting my surfing enjoyment.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:04pm

I'm another that reckons a Grand Final like scenario works well in sports where conditions don't play such a big part - like they do in surfing.

Unlike in footy where pretty much everyone forgets who won the competition round tally and only remembers the grand final winner I think in surfing there will be plenty of years where world champs are crowned and the surfing fan base believe the guy who topped the tally count was the best that year - making each victory somewhat hollow

Having said all of that - and not liking everything the WSL does - competitive surfing and the brands that funded it were bankrupted by the GFC - I like following competitive surfing, it has its place... so I'm grateful Dirk and his family stepped in ... if they eventually sell out competetive surfing, I'll stop watching it - it won't spoil my enjoyment of being a surfer and riding waves...

so I'll be watching events in whatever format they put-em on when things re-start and fingers crossed it goes well

Tomay's picture
Tomay's picture
Tomay commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:19pm

I just hope we don't see something next year where JJF wins 8 events then the final event is held in shitty conditions and he can't make the final against the 35 kg aerial specialists.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 7:34pm

The most sensible thing to do for this year, if it becomes possible to travel would be to just run the triple crown and who ever wins that gets the world tittle.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

palpacino's picture
palpacino's picture
palpacino commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 8:08pm

No Bells + No end of year Pipe = every reasonable pro surfing fan that has any soul/dignity walking off into the sunset to find a new pursuit.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:02pm

The Grogan has spogan.

Frogg

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:03pm

Quote from his interview referring to the pandemic - "I look on this period as a tremendous gift". Published on CW.

Me thinks Grogan reads way too many power of positive thinking books.

Frogg

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:02pm

Everyone seems to have forgotten we already have a ratings leader this year.
Spangles for the men and Chloe for the womens.
Noosa Festival of Surfing Dog Comp WSL Approved.
Get The Dog! a nice big trophy.
Unless they can run an event this year we will have our first ever canine world champs. Unfortunately rules are rules WSL.

Bluedreams's picture
Bluedreams's picture
Bluedreams commented Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 9:57pm

This feels like a desperate ploy to increase viewer numbers by grasping at the excitement of last years finals day. It is a joke to think that one days surfing can decide the world champ. It leaves open the possibility of a small wave aerialist taking the ultimate prize without having to first charge big waves, or vica versa.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 12:22am

Pretty sure the Yanks hold a million World Cups without the World ever knowing!

World : 'But all the flights are still down !'

USA: "Too bad so sad !"

World: 'Did Team USA just host a another World Cup without the World ?'

USA: " ELO! ELO! ELO! "

Pre recorded 2020 WSL USA extra sparkly slow-mo World Cup "Victory Montage."
[ Order Now ] & receive a free box or boxes of Tokyo 2020 Olympic [Surf Stickerz).

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 8:36am

Regarding paying to watch the WSL possibly next year or whenever.. I wouldn't unless it was a pumping swell and conditions, then It'd be worth it.

So that puts more pressure on being more flexible in the waiting period, say with less surfers or longer waiting periods etc to better locations.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 9:17am

One thing that this format creates is even more meaningless heats and/or comps for individual surfers. This is a real problem given the rise of sports betting and the real financial pressure on WQS surfers.
The WSL would want to be right on top of this situation. Sports, played by individuals, with low prize money second and third tier circuits are the most vulnerable to match and spot fixing.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

jfs's picture
jfs's picture
jfs commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 9:49am

English Premier League has no GF. The title goes to the team that are most consistent for the year. Makes more sense. The same should apply to the Surfing World Title.

Sir Abacus Bent's picture
Sir Abacus Bent's picture
Sir Abacus Bent commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 10:45am

Also, the 2022 ASL Donald Trump Surf for the 1% Pro at The Coolum CessPit is looking a starter after FPFK* Research found overwhelming support for the event in Kansas.

* free pizza for kiddies .

Santosha's picture
Santosha's picture
Santosha commented Thursday, 30 Apr 2020 at 5:10pm

Vote 1 Occy for the next WSL CEO , not some corporate thunderbird looking automaton . Sorry Erik but you’d be better suited to a car salesmans job really . Wsl is morphing into some Disneyland type circus . We need a groundswell to uprise against the machine ..bring back the likes of some modern day err.. MP and Buttons types to take over . Arrrrrrr

simsurf's picture
simsurf's picture
simsurf commented Sunday, 3 May 2020 at 6:10am

Occy will remove the interference rule so everyone can drop in like he does.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 7:15am

Just remembered: the WSL's slogan is "You Can't Script This". They even produced a 90 second promo clip (below).

But.. deciding the World Title in a single day seems pretty scripted to me. 

Of course, there's nothing wrong with change, but they'll have to come up with a new slogan.

From an interview with WSL's-then chief marketing officer Scott Hargrove:

CMO.com: One of your first big marketing pushes for the brand was the “You Can’t Script This” campaign, which speaks to the inherent unpredictability of the sport. What was the genesis of this?

For surfing, the simple truth is it’s impossible to predict what will happen next due to the constantly changing swell conditions. This truth is the driver of our brand campaign and [explains] our tagline, “You Can’t Script This.” The campaign celebrates the unexpected and reminds fans about what’s so unique and special about our sport and the WSL. 

We debuted the campaign during our Super Bowl: the Billabong Pipe Masters event in Hawaii in December 2015. We launched with an anthem spot entitled “Chaos Theory” and an integrated event campaign celebrating the fact that there were six potential champions going into our final event. The campaign has been extremely successful for us.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 9:56am

That's Gold Ben ..."You can't script this!"

*Last WSL CT comp - scripted/directed by Charlies Angels-(#1 surferz/Booth/Judges)

*2020 Last WSL QS unscripted comp upgrade >1st CS comp-stacked with CT Pros.

Mens Comp seeded 9 current Oz WSL CT Pros > (*All Oz /NZ Olympians competed)
Several Olympians in 96 surfers from 15 countries (All level access WSL comp!)
You Have a Go you Get A Go...no excuses here...Grom can take out his Idle (Idol?) Pro.

By comparison to " #1 & #2 Interstellar Surf Comps "

2020 CT is restricted to 36 surfers from 8 nations (Kiwis got kicked off the WSL dole bro.)

2021 Olympics is restricted to 20 surfers from 10 nations (Don't do Hawaiian Style)

This one off Sydney WSL 'all level' Comp was held as OZ- o/s ban lockdown kicked in.

(Mens) Winner was a banned o/s injured wildcard struggling to qualify for 2020 CT.

Womens)winner, a gap year Pro ring-in that only competes to score empty line-ups.
WSL keep crashing poor surf chix gap year...Not Funny! > 2021(Gap Year compo?)

2019 Only Oz Top 10 Olympic Surfer relegates to 2020 Qualifying Series Rank *293
For the record Oz #2 Olympian was also knocked out in his first heat in a real comp!
Same 2 Olympians also crashed in real ISA comp & beached Aussie Chix for Chiko Rolls.

Ben's unscripted promo best suits current off the charts - up in the air comp reality.

Reality Check!
WSL already held 2020 Comp to end all Comps on home soil & we Aussies blew it!

willywonty's picture
willywonty's picture
willywonty commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 10:43am

funny stuff! im surprised elo hasnt announced sending them all to tavarua yet, making a big brother reality tv thing with voting online to decide the world title and loads of ads during hours of live streaming the pool.
i wonder if the "Ultimate Surfer" will be back in 2021? it looks like they are still taking applicants - https://ultimatesurfer.castingcrane.com/

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 1:53pm

A one day World Title is not a bad idea. Run the allotted heats. The highest 16 heat scores regardless of place goes into a finals series. Highest 2 heat scores from final series goes into the Grand Final. Done. Always try to remember unless you are a surfer Pro Surfing is very boring to watch. And even then most surfers do not even tune in. I liken surfing contests to a tennis match where there is a 10 second rally then the players sit on their backsides for 5 minutes, then repeated. The WSL obviously wants to appeal to a broader audience. This though has nothing to do with actual surfing, but the bureaucracy attempting to get a bigger slice of the sport viewing pie, thus revenue.

onetimeonly

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 3:35pm

I the tour as we know it survives the downturn caused by this Coronavirus thing I’ll be surprised.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 6:16pm

IMHO, the one day decider is all about creating flexibility for the 2021 tour in an unpredictable world.
Brazil and the USA are going to be two of the worst hit countries by this virus. I've seen very little to suggest either country isn't getting a second and third wave. I can't see Australia opening the borders to athletes and entourages from either country.
Don't be shocked if the WSL introduce hubs in the Pacific, Europe, Brazil and the USA., with the top 4 or so surfers from each region competing at a final event sometime late in 2021. This would allow the traditional events to run plus a few more. Fiji? Yes please. Hubs would take out a worst case scenario of countries locking down borders, and the late 2021 finish would give all surfers a fighting chance. A world champion simply wouldn't be legitimate if US surfers and Brazzos couldn't compete at Snapper, Bells and Margs.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 1 May 2020 at 6:17pm

Scomo's (NRL $10m package) NZ resumes Essential international flights this weekend
Essential NRL Oz Clubs < > NZ Tour flights resumes by end of this month...

Mere mortals & non believers...STFAH.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 7 May 2020 at 5:34pm

WSL Pipe Comp just got a little heavier...Pros gotta double up on ankle straps
https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/04/24/welcome-hawaii-heres-your-ankle...