The new WQS season has kicked off in pretty similar fashion to the way proceedings ended last year, with Xcel team rider and WQS '08 Champion Nathaniel Curran claiming the first event of 2009 at the 4-Star O'Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro in Florida last weekend.

Sebastian Inlet produced 2 to 4 foot conditions for the final heat, in which Curran jumped out to an early lead and outlasted fellow finalists Aaron Comican, Blake Jones, and Cory Lopez. "The final clicked for me," said Curran after his win. "I was stoked to be in the final ... it was a fun heat. There's been a four month break for me, and I didn't want to go into my first [WCT] event without doing anything."

Set to make his first appearance on the ASP Dream Tour in 2009, Curran will not surf another contest until the Quik Pro at Snapper next month.