The 7-mile miracle on the North shore of Oahu has always been the ultimate proving ground for surfers as conditions challenge even the very best in the world. It also used to be the one place careers were made and broken as the final QS push happens at Haleiwa and Sunset every winter. But for professional surfers trying to join the elite, there's a new major player in the game.
This year, the European leg will offer the biggest chance with 26,000 ranking points up-for-grabs in the span of just four weeks and with a few other smaller events just prior, technically a surfer could qualify without leaving the region.
Competitors are already hard at work at the Pantin Classic presenta Abanca Galicia Classic Surf Pro. The 32nd edition of the event which for the first time welcome QS10,000 divisions for both men and women, with a massive, equal prize purse, as well as one of only four Longboard Classic series events in the world.
Competition is about to wrap up in the next 48 hours in Pantin and with some of the top QS surfers already eliminated, a first massive shuffle is about to go down.
Ten days later, surfers will be back on the paradisiacal shores of Sao Miguel, Azores for the men's QS6,000 Azores Airlines Pro and another major opportunity to make up ground in the Qualifying race to make the 2020 Championship Tour roster. For the first time ever, Sao Miguel will also welcome junior surfers for the grande finale of the European Junior QS at the Ribeira Grande Pro Junior the previous week.
The fantastic waves of the Azores will no longer be the sole propriety of some of the world's best, but now the younger generation of rippers can also prove their worth and battle for the prestigious regional junior title in world-class surf.
The final stop on the European QS leg will take surfers back to Portugal for the second edition of the EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira, another men's QS10,000 event and a final opportunity to secure crucial points before heading to the middle of the Pacific for the Hawaiian leg. The famed Ribeira d'Ilhas righthand pointbreak is one of the classic high-performance waves in Europe and promises incredible action as well with more Championship Tour surfers joining the show in their final preparation for the European CT leg.
With six events rated 10,000 this season, it's hard to predict the cut line accurately but one thing's for certain, if someone went on a tear and won all three events, they'd pretty much secure a Championship Tour seat right there and then for next season.
Catch up on all things European Summer Leg with the following links below:
Galicia Longboard Classic / August 28-31, 2019
Pantin Classic presenta Abanca Galicia Classic Surf Pro / September 2-7, 2019
Ribeira Grande Pro Junior / September 13-15, 2019
Azores Airlines Pro / September 17-22, 2019
EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira / September 24-29, 2019