Well. This could get interesting if Grav hits ten feet…
Of course that is precisely what you want from the Quik Pro France – big Grav barrels, not air sections – and it delivers in spades every year. BUT 2018 has long been rumoured to be the last big French leg of the WSL tour, and the end of the Quik Pro as we know it. Allegedly due to the tour elite wanting to go on a Mentawaii boat trip to sort out who wins the world title rather than it go down to Pipe…
Personally I think Quik Pro France has been one of if not the best comp ever on the CT/WSL with its track record, atmosphere and huge crowds and it’s a travesty to even think about dropping it. Rumour is they will move it to spring. If you have been to France in spring you’ll know what a lottery that is. The prospect of leaving guaranteed autumn Atlantic swells for piddly left overs and freezing horizontal rain ain’t great.
But c’est la vie and bon voyage.
Interestingly some local heads had reacted to the news the Quik Pro was moving by threatening to hold their own non WSL speciality event in Hoss in Autumn. So this actually could be the WSL heading them off at the pass and laying down the future format for a comp in France in October… Or another delusionary attempt to take surf comps “mainstream” in time for the Olympics… Bon chance..
Anyway here is the news… Try and ignore the depressing ‘many say the future of surfing is in the air” quote.
“A special aerial display is on order this fall during the Quiksilver Pro France Championship Tour stop, as WSL announces the Air Invitational with Josh Kerr as the event director. Celebrating innovation, technicality and creativity, the event will honor the skate-influenced style that changed surfing forever.
The Air Invitational will be a combination of the 18 best aerial free surfers, CT surfers and social fan votes. The line-up already includes top air experts from the likes of Chippa Wilson, Filipe Toledo, Mikey Wright, and Albee Layer.
“Crowds love the athleticism and creativity of aerial surfing, and so do the surfers,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO. “Many say the future of surfing is in the air, and WSL is thrilled to be working with Josh to return a fan and surfer favorite into the competitive mix.”
“My early career and surf inspirations were all about these air events, and the guys pushing the progression of surfing,” said Kerr, former Surfing Airshow Series (SAS) Champion, long-time CT competitor and BWT event winner. “Now to be a part of bringing the air events back at highest level of our sport, it’s very special to me. I’m a huge fan of the talent right now, so I can’t wait to see the guys send it in France!”
Surf Ranch Pro Air Exhibition Pros Announced
In attempt to spice up what was a lack lustre Surf Ranch comp the WSL have also announced a new ‘Air exhibition”. Woo. Obviously lots of Ranch surf gnomes were out tinkering after ‘the Waco flip’ blew the bloody doors off and with the help of special advisers came up with a ramp section.
Most the worlds surf reporters refused to comment the WSL Facebook live debacle in fear of being left off the Ranch invite list, so this better be worth their silence.
“Fans will see an early preview during the Surf Ranch Pro at WSL Surf Ranch on September 6 in Lemoore, Calif. A sunset Air Exhibition is scheduled after Saturday’s CT competition, with air extraordinaires Chippa Wilson and Albee Layer headlining. The duo will be joined by two CT surfers yet to be announced in this celebration of creativity and innovation.
“I’m super hyped to be involved in the Air Invitational and Surf Ranch Pro. When I was a grom it was my goal to be able to surf in the air shows,” said Wilson. “They never seemed like a competition; it was loose, and all the lads looked like they were having a blast. I can’t wait for the boys to mix it up with the best air guys on the Championship Tour!”