Every year the SurfingTheMag.com staff sits down and ponders what will happen in the coming year. Usually, it’s events that can’t be predicted. But this year, we sat down and looked into our crystal ball and came up with what we thought might happen in the coming year. Check back with us in another year to see how we did.

Mick Fanning; SurfingTheMag.com’s ’06 World Champ prediction
Mick Fanning wins his first world title
– He's back. At one point we all wondered if he would be able to regain his form again. Well, he proved that he could. And more. He won two WCT events and finished third in the world in 2005. He also proved himself in Hawaii by finishing 2nd in the '05 Triple Crown. Mick Fanning – 2006 world champ. You heard it here first.

Foam alternatives
– While it's great that other foam companies are stepping it up to make up for Clark Foam's lost production, it will be inevitable that an alternative type of foam will eventually take over. It might not be the current form of epoxy that we know, but rest assured you're going to have a LOT more options available when you order your next board.

Custom shapes increase in number
– No longer content with store bought, off-the-rack boards, surfings population boom will finally take their dollars to the custom shaper. Think about it: tons of people every year take up surfing. At some point, those beginners will improve and need better equipment. And what better way to do that than order a custom-built surfboard.

Paddleboard races find new niche
– There is going to be a lot of races this year. Maui to Oahu, Catalina to Los Angeles, Hawaii to Japan (okay, just kidding on that one). With a greater emphasis on tackling some of these great distances, paddle boarding will become more a part of our surfing world than ever. Get your 18-foot unlimited-class ready!

Tow surfing becomes boring
– Okay, maybe not totally boring, but at least a little less interesting. After all, how many times can we buy into the hype of such claims as "Biggest Teahupoo ever"? Eventually it will get old, and someone will have to ride a {{{100}}}-footer in order to make us take notice again.

Big-wave paddle surfing becomes cool again
– It's not like it was ever NOT cool to have huge balls, but an emphasis will be placed further upon paddle-in skills. After all, who cares about a measly 25-foot wave if you were towed into it? Yawn. Seen it about a million times. Now show us a guy paddling into a 25 footer, and that is impressive.

Adriano De Souza wins a WCT event
– The small-wave wonder has too much talent NOT to win an event this year. It may not be until the Brazil WCT event, but expect to see this guy on the top of the winners podium at some point during 2006.

Big sponsor changes
– Well, duh. This happens every year, how can we claim it as some sort of fearless prediction? Trust us. Someone big is changing sponsors during 2006.

East Coast hurricane season smaller than 2005
– Can't go wrong with this call. A record amount of hurricanes rocked the East Coast of the U.S. this year. It can't happen two years in a row. Can it?

Live webcasts of surf contests explode in popularity
– Office productivity will hit an all-time low as the live webcasts of the world's best surf contests hit the air. Working will become so faux pas as soon as the first heats hit the water.

Betting on surfing hits the big time
– As of right now, the only place that you can place a bet on surfers to win the world title or an event is in Australia. That's gonna change real soon. If you can play "fantasy surfing", then surely betting on Taj, Mick, and Andy can't be too far down the line.

Timmy Turner makes a full recovery
– This kid is too strong and too well loved to have anything else happen. We love you Timmy. Get well soon.

The shaved head becomes the haircut of choice
– How can you argue with this one? Simple, stylish and soooo un-hippie. Grab the clippers, set them on "2" and get to cutting. And the haircut also makes you look thinner. Can't beat that!

Trucker hats burned across the United States
– The trend must come to an end. No more trucker hats, people. Either do your hair or spend more than $1.50 on what covers your head. Just leave the trucker hats to the people they were intended for; truckers.

Sorry Occ. You’re going to have to let that trucker hat go…
241 toll road becomes major issue in Orange County
– It kind of gets hidden on page two most of the time, but rest assured that this will be come a major issue when it comes to the battle for the coast between developers and activists. If you haven't already, visit www.Surfrider.org to help stop the 241 toll road from destroying the Trestles area.

Biggest ever
– Some magazine, somewhere, somehow will run the caption "biggest ever" on their cover. It's going to happen – it does every year.

"Revolutionary" design of the year
– Single concave. Yeah, it's been around forever, but some young shaper is going to run with it and make a killing selling his breakthrough idea of single concave and better water flow along the surface of your surfboard. And chances are most of us will buy into it. Oh, and it will work. Trust us.

San Diego wins National Surf League Championship / California Cup
– After two years of being dominated by the Orange County Octopus, the San Diego Sea Lions will finally step out of their northern neighbor's shadow. With talent like Machado, Knox and others, this should have happened long ago.

Surf clubs finally make their mark in the U.S.
– There is a reason that Australians do so well in surf contests; surf clubs. While we have a few that are worth mentioning in the U.S. such as the Del Mar Surf Club (DMSC), and the Wind n' Sea Surf Club, SurfingTheMag.com is calling for the development of a few more prominent surf clubs here in the states. Hell, who wouldn't want that kind of camaraderie in their local area? Getting together with your boys to take on a rival club is what surf contests are all about. While we may all want to be on the WCT tour, let's face reality – we aren't going to make it. But the Salt Creek Surf Club will take on the 56th Street Surf Club a few times every year and it will all be settled in the water. And then afterwards we'll all have a few beers, call bullsh*t on each other, and set the stage for more epic battles.

Everyone gets barreled
– 2006 is officially the year of the barrel. Everyone gets a stand-up tube, or makes it out of some unmakeable section. Go ahead and claim it. Everyone's doing it.

You + Barrel + 2006 = It’s going to happen