STOKE Guide: Women's World Surf League 2016
Female surfing was taken to an absolute new level in 2015. The girls are absolutely charging at some of the bigger waves on the tour and are becoming progressive with their approach to surfing, now throwing in airs and flare. There were a few surprises at the top of the World Surf League ratings for 2015 and who knows how the 2016 season will pan out with the return of some big names like aussie Stephanie Gilmore, coming off an injury ruined campaign.
Here is a form guide and a look at where some of the best in the world will shine in this year’s World Surf League.
The 3 time and reigning World Champion is always looking to get better and has this competitive drive which wasn’t seen in surfing in previous times. Having grown up watching Layne Beachley and Steph Gilmore dominating women’s surfing, she was no doubt inspired to become a powerhouse herself. Insanely consistent, Carissa doesn’t get phased by the pressure and hype, she just continues to show up and finish high in competitions if not winning them. Expect nothing less in 2016, there seems to be no sign of slowing down for Carissa.
*Top 2 overall, Best Bets – Gold Coast, Bells Beach and Maui
A favourite daughter of Australia, Steph has held the World Title trophy above her head six times, only one shy of former Aussie great Layne Beachley. Unfortunately, her 2015 campaign was ravaged by recurring knee and lower leg injuries. Steph will be like a caged lion being released out into the wild after having so many frustrating setbacks last year, so look for a big year in 2016.
*Top 3 overall, Best Bets – Gold Coast, Bells Beach, Fiji and Maui
The ‘Smiling Assassin,’ Sally just keeps putting in great performances but falling short of her dream of winning that World Championship. The ultimate professional and eternally consistent, Sally can rip a wave as much as any in professional surfing and will charge the biggest waves on tour. Finishing 3rd last year was another great result but she will be hoping to go further in 2016. Look for Sally to be smiling and in good spirits throughout the entire year no matter what is going down, and expect some stellar performances!
*Top 5 overall, Best Bets – Margaret River, Fiji and Maui
Part of the iconic Australian surfing family, the ‘Wright’s’ have some seriously good surfing genes. Tyler is a powerful competitor who can throw buckets of water in her turns and is super competitive and consistent throughout all the different waves on tour. Even though a 5th in the 2015 World Surf League is an outstanding result with the quality of girls on tour at the moment, Tyler will be striving for improvement and is desperate for a World Title. Likely to have a really strong start to the year enjoying the waves on home soil.
*Top 5 overall, Best Bets – Gold Coast, Bells Beach and France
One of the most professional and driven competitors on the World Tour. Unfortunately she hasn’t had it her own way in the first couple of years, throwing down some really fantastic displays of surfing and creating highlights but also battling injury and form along the way. The frustration continues again this year with Lakey having to sit out of the first contest, at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, after a run in with some aggressive backwash. A broken ankle and some time on the sidelines will set her back but no doubt Lakey will fire up for a few big finishes and hopefully push into the top 5 on tour.
*Top 7 overall, Best Bets – Trestles and France