A compilation of some of the Air Tour's finest.
Introducing The Air Show Dream Tour: Dane Reynolds, Noa Deane, Filipe Toledo and Chippa Wilson
The Air Tour's first event will be held in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro France!
Last week, we exercised our out-of-the-box thinking, hypothesising what the rumoured WSL Air Tour may look like.
Last night, some of our hopeful conjectures were confirmed and some denied.
WSL officials at Snapper Rocks have allegedly held meetings over the past few days discussing the organisation's implementation of an Air Tour—where it will be held, who will surf, and the competition format.
The first ever WSL Air Tour event is rumoured to be held adjacently to the Quiksilver Pro in France later this year, and the event will be WSL sanctioned.
Consider the event a type of "test-run" to iron out any issues in the event format.
Hossegor is known for heaving shorebreak funnels, but it's also renowned for ramps, which provide the perfect platform for an air show. And who better to direct these fledgling flight efforts than Josh Kerr, who won more than his fair share of the SMAS Vans Air Shows back in the 00's.
But who will be competing in this France Air Tour extravaganza?
Well, as surprising as it is, the tentative list features a mix of both high-end CT surfers and the anti-WSL's very core. How's this for an Air Show Dream Tour?
Dane Reynolds, Noa Deane*, Craig Anderson, Chippa Wilson, Ozzie Wright, Albee Layer, Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Ratboy, Christian Fletcher with Gabriel Medina and John John Florence are currently being persuaded to take part in the event.
Cluster meets the WSL anyone?
Essentially, it's the perfect list. I don't believe any of us could have dreamed up a more fulfilling tour contingent. Dane, Chippa and Noa showing up—that's impressive, but within grasp.
The return of Ratboy and Christian Fletcher is a complete mind blower.
It will also answer questions as to the ability debate between 'free-surfers' and competitive surfers.
Competitive surfers are frequently accused of restraining themselves or holding back in competition, whereas surfers who don't compete are accused of landing only a small percentage of the airs they attempt.
Whilst we're unsure of the scoring system – how many waves are scored nor the scoring system – it's difficult to imagine anyone other than Filipe taking the top spot.
A heat stacked with Dane, Chippa, John, and Filipe all donning jerseys would excite anyone even remotely interested in surfing.
But wait, it's speculated there won't be any jerseys in this format.
If you want to remain core, as the Air Tour does, then you don't want to be contorting into a rash vest prior to your heat. Instead, competitors (if that's what they'll be called) will simply wear whatever they want – similar to a skateboarding contest. Any surfing fan knows you can spot a surfer instantaneously from their style alone—a jersey simply makes it more official.
At this stage, there's no public confirmation from the WSL regarding the Air Tour, nor from any of the surfers rumoured to be competing. However, once decisions are finalised and practicalities set, a WSL announcement is imminent.
*We're not sure whether Noa must revoke his "Fuck the WSL" statement or not to compete.