WSL Plan: More Comps In Pools
Recently, the WSL announced the Surf Ranch would return to the CT schedule after a one-year hiatus. The news wasn't a great surprise considering their investment in the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC).
Overnight, however, the Woz has made another announcement about wavepools and this one comes from left field.
As per the press release, "the WSL has created guidelines for evaluating and hosting competitions in wave systems across the Pro Junior, Qualifying Series, and Longboard tiers."
Though there's nothing yet written in the rulebook, nor their tour schedules, the Woz will announce new competitions in these "wave basins" later this year.
The upcoming tour schedule - typically released mid-November - will hold further details.
Though they acquired KSWC to run surf contests there'll be no play for exclusivity. Said Erik Logan, "We look forward to working with other facilities to both sanction and run WSL events there, as well as continue to host elite-level WSL Championship Tour events at the WSL Surf Ranch."
With set dates and no waiting period, wavepool contests are shorter and hence cheaper to run. This is a valid concern for QS contests which have been drying up in recent years. For instance, last year Hawaii had just one Men's QS contest to decide who'll surf on the Challenger Series, while this year they had two, and neither were held in waves over three feet.
Kelly Slater Wave technology will be the only system to earn the 'WSL Certified' designation, meaning the waves are fit for CT competition.
Already, Wavegarden pools have hosted various junior and state-level contests. Rip Curl Gromsearch events have been held in Melbourne and Praia da Grama, Brazil, while Melbourne has also hosted the Victorian Titles.
With the most pools in the ground, plus operating infrastructure, Wavegarden appear best prepared to benefit from the news. In turn, they released a press release of their own stating, "surfers and fans alike can look forward to hearing some big announcements very soon."
EDIT: Didn't have to wait long. URBNSURF have just made said announcement with a QS happening in the Tulla Tub next month. See below:
The Rip Curl Pro URBNSURF presented by Pirate Life, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series event, will happen on Saturday December 10th and see 80 male and female surfers from across Australia and Oceania compete. This is the first time a Qualifying series has been held in a wave park in Australia.
Surfing fans are welcome to come and watch 40 men and 40 women carve it up on the left and right, while live music adds to the summer vibe from The Lawns, bringing the park to life.