With 2012’s ASP World Title showdown finale one of the best in living memory, thoughts now turn to the 2013 ASP World Tour. Just to be clear, the World Title Race will consist of 34 surfers. These are the top 22 ranked surfers on the year-end ASP World Championship Tour rankings, plus the Top 10 surfers ranked on the year-end ASP World Rankings. Clear as bum fizz? Then there are two additional wilcards allocated by the ASP.
The end result is that for 2013 only four surfers will be making their debut on the elite World Tour. Hardly a massive injection of fresh blood is it? Surely those four, Filipe Toledo, Glenn Hall, Nat Young and Sebastian Zeitz, as good as surfers as they are, can’t be expected to be responsible for keeping the dream tour fresh?
It was only in 2011, when the half year rotation was introduced that we saw John John, Gabriel, Dusty and Yadin come in half way through the year and tear a new arsehole in this thing called pro surfing. Of course the mid-year cut off was scrapped after only six months and this year we see the “qualifiers” consisting of veterans like Tiago Pires and Fred Pattachia. Meanwhile the guys who made the cut off in the back end of the top 22, guys like Kieren Perrow, Travis Logie and Kai Otton, did so with only one decent result (a 3rd for Trav or 5ths for Kieren and Kai) and the rest of their results a series of 13ths and 25ths.
The point being is that it seems it’s even harder for new blood to crack into the elite top 32 and with only four rookies (one of who, Micro, is in his ‘30s) it hardly seems the two new ranking systems has cultivated a sense of regeneration or rejuvination. Sure 2012 was a vintage year for professional surfing, lucky then, as it seems like 2013 looks exactly the same.
Words by Ben Mondy.