The World Surf League is the most prestigious international league in the surfing industry. Like the NFL for football or the NHL for hockey, the league features the best athletes in the field competing for the championship in various locations. Unlike the NHL or NFL, however, the WSL competitions are between single competitors, and the competitors and venues are international. The tour runs from March through December, holding events at locations in Australia, the south pacific, California, Europe, Hawaii, and more. The winner is determined at the end of the year by having the best overall ranking.
“The WSL is really exciting to watch because the contests are at a lot of the best waves in the world,” said sophomore John Magoun. “I follow all of the stats to know how my favorite surfers are doing, and they broadcast the contests live online for free.”
The tour kicks off with three contests in Australia, two of which have already taken place, and one of which is under way. The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast ran from March 10th through 21st at Snapper Rocks, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach ran from March 25th through April 5th, and the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro started on April 8th and is currently on standby, waiting for better conditions.
“I try to watch as much of the world tour as I can,” said junior Kaleb Curtis. “It’s entertaining because it’s the best surfers riding the best waves in the world.”
Matt Wilkinson, a 27 year old surfer from Copacabana, New South Wales, Australia, won first place in both the Quiksilver pro Gold coast and the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. With a head start like this, he is in position to keep his lead and win the Championship. He will be in Round 4 when the contest at Margaret River resumes.
“I don’t know what is going on,” Matt Wilkinson said humbly in an interview with Ross Williams for the WSL website. He revealed that he is working on refining his skills in 10 different aspects of surfing.
““If I can improve 10 percent in each of those 10 areas, that’ll be 100 percent improvement,” he said.
While Wilkinson has a great start, there are many other talented competitors who will surely make him struggle to maintain his position when the contest at margaret river resumes.