The 2016 World Surf League Tour is now underway. We know the dates, we know the locations, but do we all know the athletes? Below you can find a list of all the male athletes, including a brief description of their surfing history.
This year the League Men’s Championship Tour will consist of 13 Australian surfers, 10 Brazilian wave riders, 5 surfers from the USA, 2 Hawaiian surfers, 1 rider from France, 1 surfer from Polynesia, and 2 unknown wildcards:
Adriano de Souza, Brazil
Souza has been competing in the World Surf League Men’s World tour since 2005 and is the 2015 World Surf League Champion of 2005.
Mick Fanning, Australia
Nicknamed “White Lightning”, Mick Fanning won the 2007, 2009, and 2013 Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour.
Gabriel Medina, Brazil
Gabriel Medina Pinto Ferreira, more commonly known as Gabriel Medina, joined the World Surf Tour League in 2011 at the age of 17. Medina went on to become the champion in 2014. The media references Medina as second person to properly execute the “backflip” –a move which until now has not been performed in a competition.
Filipe Toledo, Brazil
Toledo has been a competing member of the World Surf League since 2013. In 2015, Toledo earned recognition as the surfer with the most wins that year. The 3 WCT awards Toledo won earned him 4th place last season.
Owen Wright, Australia
Australian Surfer, Owen Wright, is the first surfer to receive two perfect scores in a single event.
Julian Wilson, Australia
Hailing from Coolum Beach, Australia, Wilson is surfs as an ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Inspired by his mother, a breast cancer survivor, and close family friend, Matt Hayden, Wilson rides a pink board when competing.
Italo Ferreira, Brazil
Ferreira has been competing in the World Surf League since 2015 where is earned the title of Rookie of the Year.
Jeremy Flores, France
A native of France, Flores began surfing at the age of 3 and became a professional surfer in 2007 at the age of 19.
Kelly Slater, USA
Kelly Slater is an 11 time winner of the World Surf League Championship. Slater earned 5 consecutive titles from 1994 to 1998.
Nat Young, USA
Nat Young became one of only 3 Santa Cruz natives to reach professional surfing’s highest ranks when he joined the WSL in 2013.
Bede Durbidge, Australia
Nicknamed “The White Fijian” and Durbo Bej, Durbridge joined the WSL in 2005 and was also the 2008 Australian Male Surfer of the Year.
Joel Parkinson, Australia
Joel Parkinson has been competing on the world team for twelve years and has since won eleven titles.
Wiggolly Dantas, Brazil
Dantas has been competing in the WSL since 2015 subsequent to placing fourth in the World Surf League Qualifying Series.
Taj Burrow, Australia
Taj Burrow won ASP Rookie of the Year in 1998 and has been competing in the WSL since 2015.
Kai Otton, Australia
Australian born surfer, Kai Otton, competed in the World Qualifying Series from 2002-2006 before joining the world tour in 2007.
Sponsored by Rip curl, Etnies, and DHD, Wilkinson’s most recent awards include the 2016 Quicksilver Gold Coast Pro (March 16, 2016).
Adrian Buchan, Australia
Adrian ‘Ace” Buchan first began surfing at the age of four. Buchan has since won World Junior Championships in the 16 and 18 under divisions.
Keanu Asing, Hawaii
Asing has won many awards including the HIC Pro in 2010, the Quiksilver Saquarema Prine in 2012 and 2014, and the Vans Pro in 2013. Asing made his World Surf League debut in 2015.
Michel Bourez (French Polynesia)
French Polynesian surfer, Michel Bourez, began surfing at the age of 13 and has since won one of the most prestigious Hawaiian awards- Hawaiian Haleiwa Round. In 2015, Bourez fractured the vertebrae in his left hand and was forced to withdraw from competitions. Bourez made a successful return to the sport in July of 2015 at the J-Bay Open in South Africa.
Jadson Andre, Brazil
Jason Andre had been competing on the World Surf League Men’s World Championship Tour since 2010.
Caio Ibelli, Brazil
This Ibelli’s first season competing on the WCT. Prior to joining the tour the 22 year old was the ASP World Junior Champion.
Jack Freestone, Australia
At the age of 18, Freestone became the first Australian surfer to win the ASP World Junior title in 10 years.
Miguel Pupo, Brazil
Pupo has been competing in the WSL since 2011.
Alejo Muniz, Brazil
Hailing from Mar del Plata, Argentina, Alejo Muniz has began participating in the WSL in 2009.
Kanoa Igarashi, USA
With the encouragement of his father, Igarashi began surfing at the age of 3. He has since won the Rip Curl Grom Search in 2012.
Alex Ribeiro, Brazil
Ribeiro finished in 7th place in the 2015 WSL World Qualifying, which earned him a spot on this year’s 2016 tour.
Conner Coffin, USA
Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Conner Coffin displays a “throwback” surfing style and is often compared to the likes of Tom Curren.
Davey Cathels, Australia
Nicknamed “Davros”. Davey Cathels began surfing at the age of 9.
Ryan Callinan, Australia
Surfing since the age of 5, Callinan is widely referred to as one of Australia’s best exponents of aerial surfing.
Jordy Smith, Australia
Matt Banting, Australia