One of the great things about being a fan of competitive surfing is the short offseason. It seems like the Pipe Masters competition—and one of the best world-title races in years—just finished up, and we’re already less than two months from the 2013 World Tour kicking off at Snapper Rocks on March 2. Here are a few of the things we’re looking forward to on the 2013 World Tour.
New Cast of Characters
There are a few new rookies on tour for 2013. Sebastien Zietz is in after tearing through the Vans Triple Crown on his home court. Nat Young’s in via solid performances at Prime and Six Star events. Taylor Knox retired with style. Patrick Gudauskas, Yadin Nicol, and Heitor Alves are all relegated to alternate positions for the year (which means they stand a good chance of getting into a few events). We’ll miss seeing some of these guys at every event, but we’re excited to see how guys like Sebastian and Nat fare against the current top pros.
Sophomore Season for Last Year’s Rookie Class
Along with that, 2013 should see last year’s rookies—John John, Gabriel Medina, Kolohe Andino—hitting their stride on tour. For Kolohe, that might mean making the final series of a few events. For John John and Gabriel—well, no one would be that shocked if either of those guys won the world title next year.
Parko, Kelly, and Mick
For a few years there it seemed like Parko might go down as one of the best competitive surfers to never win a world title. But in 2012 he put together one of the most consistent seasons in recent memory, capped with that victory at surfing’s center court, Pipeline. And Kelly and Mick gave Parko a good challenge throughout. With all three of these guys still somehow at the peak of their powers, and with one of the best crops of young tour surfers we’ve ever seen, the 2013 World Tour might be even better than last year’s—and we don’t have to wait long to see it.