Surprise! Josh Kerr Wins Todos Santos Challenge


Josh Kerr, once pigeonholed as a small-wave aerialist specialist, now hailed as a formidable all-rounder, fended off various titans of the big wave world to win the Todos Santos Challenge, thereby claiming his maiden victory on the Big Wave World Tour.

The waves were big-ish but not particularly inspiring; Josh by contrast was on the small side but electrifying throughout, storming through the rounds with high heat totals to scoop the US $18,750 prize money. The WSL say “biggest victory of his career” — although if you wanted to be pedantic you might point out that he earned $20k for each of the two QS events he won almost six years ago, and $40k when he finished 2nd at Margaret River in 2014. Not that he was complaining:

“To walk away with a win — I feel like one of those dogs with his head out the car window. I was smiling the whole time I was paddling around in the Final.”

Dogs sticking their heads out of windows don’t care about money! Very dangerous though, sticking one’s head out the window of a moving vehicle. Maybe more money would be nice?

A few days ago Kelly Slater confirmed he would be taking part in the event, which automatically quadrupled interest in the whole thing, but then he pulled out a day or so later — suffering maybe from a lack of enthusiasm, or maybe fear of the big Todos Santos waves, although probably not the latter because he’d just been surfing Jaws a few days earlier and surfing it rather well. Still, a few dozen extra people probably tuned into the webcast for thirty seconds in the expectation of seeing Kelly. Result!

Swell the figures further by watching the highlights here.

Kerr on the left, Carlos Burle, who finished third, on the right. Photo: WSL / Sean Rowland


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