Waiting for the Surf World to Reopen
Meanwhile, What’s Happening?
Surfers, think about this: the World Surf League (WSL) hasn’t run a single Qualifying Series or Championship Tour (CT) event in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, according to the league’s CEO, Erik Logan, the 2020 season of surf competitions has officially been called off.
On top of that, the next WSL season — 2020-2021 — officially kicks off in November. That will be in Maui for the women and Hawaii’s North Shore for the men.
For those who follow, here are the proposed WSL CT dates:
- November 25 – December 6
Shiseido Maui Pro presented by ROXY: Maui, Hawaii
- December 8 – 20
Billabong Pipe Masters: Oahu, Hawaii
- February 18 – 28
MEO Pro Portugal: Peniche, Portugal
- March 18 – 28
Corona Open Gold Coast presented by Billabong: Queensland, Australia
- April 1 – 11
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Victoria, Australia
- April 16 – 26
Margaret River Pro: Western Australia, Australia
- May 20 – 29
Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona: Saquarema, Brasil
June 10 – 13
Surf Ranch Pro: California, USA
- June 20 – 29
Quiksilver Pro G-Land: Indonesia
- July 7 – 19
Corona Open J-Bay: South Africa
- August 26 – September 6
Outerknown Tahiti Pro: Teahupo’o, Tahiti
- September 8 – 16
WSL Finals: Location TBD
Without the 2020 season of the Circuito Nacional de Surf, the competitive muscle remains unflexed.
Whiling away little water time
What exactly does this mean for the Costa Rican guys and gals on the WSL circuits? It means a hell of a lot of practice time until the end of the year. With the national beaches rolled back to the hours of 5 to 9:30 a.m., that doesn’t mean a lot of water time here to keep in shape.
And, without the Costa Rica Surf Federation’s 2020 season of the Circuito Nacional de Surf, the competitive muscle remains unflexed.
Since competitions stopped, the Federation has been focused on improving the sport’s management at the national level, getting ready for the time when contests can be launched once again safely.
Randall Chavis, Federation president, reported, “We have created three new work commissions: Technical, Selections and Disciplinary, which are made up of people with extensive knowledge of surfing and who will work in their fields to improve the sport in the country.”
Costa Rica Surf Federation competitions, meanwhile, are on hiatus, Chavis stated.
“To relaunch the Scotiabank Circuito Nacional, the beaches must first be opened in their entirety, and we are currently following the government’s guidelines and schedules on that.”
The Federation’s board of directors and members have been working on the competition protocols, he added, to have ready when beaches are fully reopened.
“Our athletes have adapted to the current hours of access to beaches and are also training from their homes, obeying orders and safety protocols.”
Tico draws global attention
Anthony Fillingim of Santa Teresa, former national surf champion and former Latin American surf champion, trained for 120 days at the Kandui Resort in the Mentawai Islands. When the swell was big, he took the opportunity to surf Bank Vaults, Hideaways, Pistols and Kandui. If it was smaller, he headed to Burger World, Nipussi and 4bobs. Check out some of these lefts in the video by @kanduiresort on Instagram.
On this trip, Fillingim received a lot of international surf media attention for his skills. When Stab magazine wrote about it, 11-time surf champion Kelly Slater took to social media to write to the Tico: “1 broken quiver could ruin your one chance at the best surf trip of all time.”
Fillingim replied: “Kelly, what a legend. I am honored to see this comment here. Pura Vida and I am going today with everything for more waves.”
Portugal’s Nick Van Rupp said: “What a lucky motherfucker,” while Australia’s Matt Wilko said: “Your backside (sarcastic mode) will have worked well by now.”
Meanwhile, here in Costa Rica, obeying the laws of beach openings, Alberto Muñoz and Maykol Torres of Playa Esterillos, rule the roost at Bowie’s Point in Playa Hermosa de Jacó.