As Sunset drew to a close yesterday the WSL 2016 qualifiers were announced, and what a field it’s turned out to be this year, here’s a brief rundown of all the new additions:
Caio Ibelli – Hailing from the beachies of Sao Paulo, 20 year old Caio is known particular for his air game, spring loaded carves and general proficiency in beachies, however like many of Brazillian beach break specialist counter parts, Caio’s barrel riding is also up there with the best of them.
Jack Freestone– I’m sure you know who Jack Freestone is by now, he’s been lighting up our screens both in and out of a contest vest for many years, and we’re stoked to see him finally make the tour. If he surfs even nearly as well as he does in his web clips we’re in for a really entertaining show this year from the young Aussie.
Kanoa Igarashi– Like Jack, Kanoa has been enjoying the international lime light for many years now and whilst many may have wagered that the 18 year old Japanese kid had a few years left on the QS grind, Kanoa has smashed it out of the park this year, winning no fewer than 4 events. Whilst Kanoa is undoubtedly right up there with the best of them in fun sized waves, we are excited to see how he performs at some of the heavier conditions on tour next year, and hope that like Medina back in 2011, that part of his repertoire is just waiting to be unleashed.
Alex Ribeiro– 25 years old and also hailing from Sao Paulo, Ribiero surfs a bit like Jadson Andre on his forehand, with solid carves and an amazing aerial repertoire. Again it seems that he’s most at home in beachies, but could well have a mental big reef break barrel game tucked away.
Conner Coffin– Growing up just down the road from Rincon, 22 year old Conner is undoubtedly one of the best on rail surfers to join the ranks this year and with bags of speed and flair to boot, Coffin is another one who’s heats you certainly won’t want to miss. Here he is surfing incredibly well in a recent edit from Young Wise Tails:
Davey Cathels– 23 years old and currently residing in Sydney, Davey’s surfing moulds perfectly to the judging criteria, with a nice style, great flow and a big repertoire of manoeuvres including big rail turns and airs.
Ryan Callinan– Born and raised in NSW, 23 year old Callinan is a super well rounded surfer, really typifying what it takes to be a successful comp surfer in 2015, read me waxing lyrical previously and watch a clip of him from earlier this year here.