Tubular Tour Party

Thursday 19 January 2023 The WSL season kicks off in 10 days for the second year of a redesigned Championship Tour, with men and women surfing the same venues for equal bucks. Here's the year ahead.

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PROPER: Waves like Tahiti cancel out others that give you a facial tic. Photo WSL / Poullenot

2023 CT_Schedule2

The CT format will kick off the season at the Billabong Pro Pipeline from 29 January to February 10 in peak winter time for the world's premier spot. While not everyone is convinced, we will see the Mid-season Cut at the season’s halfway point, and conclude at the Rip Curl WSL Finals, where the WSL Final 5 men and women will battle for the World Title.

“We’re excited to welcome and officially confirm the new class of Championship Tour competitors,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. “We’re coming off of a groundbreaking season with the first-ever combined schedule for the men and women and the continuation of equal prize money, and we will continue to make history in 2023 and beyond.

“We have so much to celebrate as the 2022 season comes to a close, and we look forward to next season. We’ll have world-class athletes take center stage representing new countries on the CT, with Ramzi Boukhiam representing Morocco and Rio Waida representing Indonesia. Our surfers are role models, paving the way for the next generation and showing the world what’s possible.”

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YAY FOR JBAY: The best righthand pointbreak rightfully keeps its place. Photo WSL / Ryder

The men’s Championship Tour will be contested by the WSL Top 36, made up of:

  • The Top 22 finishers from the 2022 CT rankings
  • The Top 10 finishers on the 2022 Challenger Series rankings
  • Two WSL season wildcards
  • Two event wildcards

The women’s Championship Tour will be contested by the WSL Top 18, made up of:

  • The Top 10 finishers on the 2022 CT rankings
  • The Top five finishers on the 2022 Challenger Series rankings
  • Two WSL season wildcards
  • One event wildcard
RipCurl-partnerships Portugal22_6K0A0808_Margarita-Salyak

BUCKS IN BRAZIL: The Rio Pro takes place before the Corona Open J-Bay. Photo WSL / Salyak

The 2023 CT season will start with 36 men and 18 women. Halfway through the season, the field will be reduced to 24 men and 12 women. The top-ranked surfers will automatically requalify for the 2024 CT, as well as continue on to the second half of the Tour, where they will be joined by one season-long wildcard and one event wildcard (two men’s wildcards and two women’s wildcards).

In addition to the WSL wildcards announced for the season, the WSL Tours and Competition team also assigned one WSL Replacement for men’s competitions and one WSL Replacement for women’s competitions. The WSL Replacement surfer will surf amongst the world’s best when a CT surfer withdraws from the competition.

The WSL Replacement spot will only be available at the first five stops of the season before the Mid-season Cut. The 2023 WSL Replacements are Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) and Carlos Munoz (CRI).

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PIPE CLEANER: The best has not been kept for last, with Pipe opening the tour. Photo WSL / Heff

The first stop on the 2023 WSL Championship Tour will be the Billabong Pro Pipeline, starting January 29 and running through February 10, 2022. The women made history last season after competing in the first full competition at Pipeline and will continue paving the way in January to kick off the 2023 CT season.

“The WSL held the first-ever women’s competition at Pipe in 2020 and hosted the first full CT competition there earlier this year, and now we cannot wait to see this group kick off the CT season at the world-renowned venue again in January for the Billabong Pro Pipeline,” said Miley-Dyer.

Women’s 2023 Championship Tour Qualifiers
Top 10 Qualifiers from 2022 CT Rankings
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Carissa Moore (HAW)
Johanne Defay (FRA)
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Brisa Hennessey (CRI)
Lakey Peterson (USA)
Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Tyler Wright (AUS)
Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
Isabella Nichols (AUS)

Top 5 Qualifiers from 2022 Challenger Series Rankings
Bettylou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Molly Picklum (AUS)
Caitlin Simmers (USA)
Sophie McCulloch (AUS)

WSL Season Wildcards
Caroline Marks (USA)
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)

WSL Replacements
Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)

Men’s 2023 Championship Tour Qualifiers
Top 22 Qualifiers from 2022 CT Rankings
Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Jack Robinson (AUS)
Ethan Ewing (AUS)
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Connor O'Leary (AUS)
Callum Robson (AUS)
Samuel Pupo (BRA)
John John Florence (HAW)
Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Kelly Slater (USA)
Barron Mamiya (HAW)
Nat Young (USA)
Jake Marshall (USA)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Jadson Andre (BRA)
Seth Moniz (HAW)
Jackson Baker (AUS)

Top 10 Qualifiers from 2022 Challenger Series Rankings
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Rio Waida (IND)
Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Ian Gentil (HAW)
Joao Chianca (BRA)
Liam O'Brien (AUS)
Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

WSL Season Wildcards
Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Yago Dora (BRA)

WSL Replacements
Carlos Munoz (CRI)

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