Stab Magazine | Gossip Girl: The WSL Might Not Make Those Big Changes In 2019

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Gossip Girl: The WSL Might Not Make Those Big Changes In 2019

Will the CT remain exactly the same next year? Yeah, probably.

news // Jul 21, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Of course you remember the big changes in format announced for the 2019 World Tour.

The season was, like, supposed to shorter…There was going to be a different thing for the World Title final…Something about a playoff…Didn’t Jordy get mad?

Oh fine, maybe it would be worth refreshing the ol’ memory. As per an article penned by our fearless leader, Ashton Goggans, last September:

– Instead of crowning a champ at Pipe, the WCT’s regular season will… BEGIN in Hawaii, in February.

– The CT season will end in September. (Possibly, at Teahupoo.)

– Instead of being decided by accumulated points, the World Champ will be crowned in primetime at a specialty event, held in Indonesia and featuring only the tour’s top shelf…

– At the end of the season, the top six men and top four women will compete in an event, most likely in the Mentawais, to establish the World Champion, in what will presumably be the largest scale production event in the sport’s history.

– To win the World Championship, the sixth-ranked surfer will go against the fifth, the winner of that against fourth, and so on, until the final matchup: Whoever’s made it through will face the world ranked number one.

– The Qualifying Series will commence immediately after the title’s decided, operating in similar fashion to Minor Leagues in other pro sports, and allowing a level playing field and open schedule for CT surfers to compete and re-qualify, or train and enjoy an actual off-season.

– The QS Season will run from September through to December and end in Hawaii, presumably with the Triple Crown.

Brilliant, right? The formula we need to make it a real sport and hook the mainstream! Oh, but none of it is happening.

An anonymous source (who happens to surf on the CT) told us he was informally informed (by someone who happens to work at the WSL) that the changes would not take place. Not next year, at least.

After hearing this, we did a bit of digging and here’s what we learned:  

-Some of the sponsors aren’t down. Changing the schedule meant changing how they’d play their year and take value away from certain events. This, apparently, was unsettling.

Hint: Quiksilver not wanting to sponsor the Gold Coast if it didn’t have the buzz of being the season opener.

-The WSL couldn’t sort out that infamous permit fuck-up in Hawaii. It turns out you can’t just illegally switch your events around in the City and County of Honolulu. Who’d have guessed? As of right now, this is what the schedule looks like in Hawaii.

Screen Shot 2018 07 13 at 2.43.08 PM

Note: The Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic won’t run, instead, the Da Hui Backdoor Shootout will run in it’s place and will include a bodysurfing division to make up for not running the originally scheduled bodysurfing event. 

We reached out to the WSL for comment, they told Stab, “At this stage, we do not have any info regarding the 2019 schedule to share, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.” 

There’s a chance they push it back and try to make the new format work for 2020. Or there’s a chance they try to make it work without Pipe kicking it off. Or there’s a chance that they have something else up their sleeve — Kelly Slater did mention something about “next April” on the WSL broadcast at J-Bay.

We’ll just have to wait and see. 




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