The APB World Tour is set to continue in Chile in mid May and the APB team has been working on different changes for the structure in 2018 including a new format for the Mens Tour, a Pro Junior & DK World Championships, a returning location and a split 2 tier system.
The Mens World Tour in 2018 will see a 2 tier structure that being the WGS (World Grand Slam Series) and the QEST (Qualifying Event Series Tour). The WGS will be the top 32 field of competitors (Top 24 + 4 Wildcards + 4 trialists) and the QEST will be a qualifying tour for all mens athletes to participate in. At the end of the 2018 season, the top 8 athletes of the QEST will replace the bottom 8 WGS athletes. The World Title will be decided by the best 3 WGS results. The QEST Tour top qualifiers will be decided by the best 2 QEST events and best WGS trials event.
The WGS will undertake a new format that will include a Shark Island style format mixed with a competitive man-on-man format which will push the level of riding high and become more and exciting for spectators. The WGS format will see a field of 32 riders all surf 3 rounds non-elimination (competing against alternate athletes) and the best 3 waves from each rider will count to make the top 16 cut to enter the man-on-man round 4, from there it will remain MxM to the final. This new format is designed to give ample opportunity to all athletes and also allow fans to watch their favourite athletes compete multiple times as they strive for the biggest scores possible and to eliminate the “safe surf” concept to win heats which is sometimes not exciting for viewers.
TOUR RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA
Along with a new format for the World Grand Slam series (WGS) there is also the return of the Australian South Coast event – The Kiama Bodyboard Slam which will also include the WWS (Womens World Series), a Pro Junior specialty event and a tow-out air show along with local community projects and festivities.
PRO JUNIOR/DK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The DK and Pro Junior categories have struggled to maintain a high number of competitors and this is predominately due to high travel costs and small sponsorship support. The APB recognises this and has decided to make in 2018 a one world championships for these 2 categories. The World DK Championships will be held in Sintra Portugal this year and the Pro Junior World Championships will be held in Viana Portugal both in September.