coffee convo Hwilsin tour talk writing WSL


The race to get onto the Championship Tour has now become the center of attention to the surfing world at large. The CT itself is constantly on the receiving end of shit talk, criticism, negative comment boards, bad luck, shaming, etc. The Challenger Series is the sweet, innocent, cute, new little sibling. You can’t hate a baby. Unless you’re just a terrible person. 

So what have we learned about our new favorite infant through ⅓ of the year? Well, for one, we don’t hear (or read) many complaints about the conditions online. Snapper was the first event, quickly followed by Narrabeen. Neither was cranking, though neither completely lacked waves. Of course Snapper will usually provide some kind of canvas to be worked with, but the week + before the event, the SuperBank absolutely cooked. Typically for a CT contest, the Wozzles IG comments would be flooded with complaints about the lack of swell and the mistiming of the event. We really haven’t seen too much of that, yet. The most common grievance that I have seen thus far has been about the judging. And, well, to be frank, I don’t think that will change anytime soon. That’s a whole nother topic. It seems the fans are, in general, enjoying the series thus far.

The always contestable Snapper Rocks. Photo: Andrew Shield/WSL.

Secondly, the men from the USA are finally making a charge. Only Eithan Osborne and Jett Schilling were inside the top 30 at the end of last year’s rankings. After these first 2 events this year, we’re looking at 6 in the top 30, and 3 in the top 10. I told you, something’s cooking.  Here are some of America’s finest young World Tour hopefuls – Cole Houshmand #3, Jett Schilling #5, Crosby Colapinto #6, Kade Matson #14, Eithan Osborne #22, and Evan Geiselman #22. The 2% crew has taken the surf world by storm – pun intended. The pun being storm. Brazilian storm. San Clemente Storm.. Anyways. Interesting note – Eithan finished 16th last year without even surfing the first two events. I think he will get there this year, as per my predictions

Fly that flag kid. Cole Houshmand, proud winner. Photo: Matt Dunbar/WSL.

Last thing, as previously mentioned, now proven, everyone rips. Like, everyone. Cole Houshmand, the winner of the Sydney Surf Pro (event #2), lost at Snapper (event #1) in his first heat to Leo Casas. Sorry, Leo Casal. Who is Leo Casal? Oh yeah, Kolohe lost in that heat too. Adin Masencamp was the name I referred to in my first post about the Challenger Series, and he quickly verified himself at Snapper on the first day of the season. Mikey McDonagh is a name I was not familiar with and he’s been the most consistent yet, nabbing two 9th place finishes. Through both events it feels like anyone in the field can take out a win. We should be in for an exciting year. 

I present to you, Leo Casal. Photo: Andrew Shield/WSL.

The next contest isn’t until July, when the CS heads to Ballito, South Africa. I’m personally pretty excited for the US Open which will follow. I will definitely be in attendance. Should be a good time. We’ll see the dreaded Surf Ranch, El Salvador and Brazil all to go down on the CT before the next Challenger Series event. I’ll be back with some Surf Ranch stuff soon. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *