Yadin Nicol at the US Open of Surfing, Huntington Beach, CA

“There are still two World Tour events to go," said a coy Yadin Nicol of his recently acquired 27th place on the ASP World Rankings. "So it doesn’t completely change my life just yet. It definitely helps the vibe though.”

After beating wunderkind Kolohe Andino in the semi at the US Open of Surfing, Yades powered into the final with Kelly Slater. Unfortunately, the West-Australian lost his steam and slipped a little by sitting too far out the back, waiting for the bigger sets. A fact Kelly noticed: “I guess Yadin wanted me to win because he didn’t catch any waves,” Kell said. “I was just really frustrated for him because he was sitting out the back waiting for the big sets and the big sets were close outs. The small ones he was just two far outside and I got them. I think what happened is I got the 8.50 to start and he was just going to be patient. If he got a good one he would have thrown a big rotator, but it just never came.”

The result's moved Yadin from 36th to 27th on the ASP World Rankings, sitting him well inside the top 32 midyear cutoff. The next two WT events will decide whether Yades becomes a man of the dream tour – but at this point, it's looking good.