All Photos: Trevor Moran
Wiggolly Dantas won the Quiksilver Saquarema Pro in Brazil last weekend. It was the first Prime event of the year. In May. Fifth month of the year, first event of the season. Weird, we know, but not as weird as the abandoned One World Ranking system — the semi-maddening qualification method that gave WCT surfers too many extra opportunities to collect results. The One World’s flaws were made embarrassingly clear when a combined six surfers qualified the past two years. In 2014, however, we're back to the good ol’ two-tier ranking system. The 2015 WCT will consist of the top 22 from this year’s 'CT and the top 10 from the WQS, and we’re just starting the selection process. In May.
Wiggolly’s win jolted him to second place in the ratings, followed by event runner-up Keanu Asing and following WCTer Adriano de Souza. Since ADS is the only WCT guy currently in the top 10, early indications are that next year will see an injection of fresh talent. Could that be Mitch Coleborn? Maybe Mason Ho? How about Conner Coffin or Carlos Munoz? Or will some young, Brazilian wizard – possibly Yago Dora – catch fire a la Filipe Toledo? No matter, as long as more young blood challenges the status quo. Currently the median age of the top 10 on the WCT is 30 years old. It can’t be Kelly, Parko and Fanning forever. That’s the definition of fucking insanity.
It's a long slog and Saquarema was only just the beginning (in May). With seven Primes in the next six months, early season success does not guarantee qualification — just ask Mitch Coleborn, who won this event last year only to come painfully close to qualification and accept the consolation prize of an alternate spot. So yes, things are bound to change. Come December, it's likely the top 10 will resemble the current rankings in the same way cheese and flour resembles a supreme pizza or having a mustache and owning Fantasia on blu-ray resemble an episode of To Catch A Predator. —James Eastman