The women's Qualifications Series (QS) heads back to the shores of Los Cabos for the QS 6,000. For the first time, Cabos will also host women's and men's Junior Tour (JT) events.
Hurricane Blanca passed through Los Cabos over the weekend with little impact, as its force weakened drastically approaching the Baja Peninsula. However, the storm's leftovers will leave plenty of fun swell to be had for the competitors and all of them are looking forward to a great week.
Coco Ho (HAW) returns to Los Cabos in search of a back-to-back title after an incredible performance at Zippers last year. Dropping only one heat en route to her victory, Ho looks to stay on top of this competition with fond memories of the wave.
"Coming back as defending champion is definitely exciting," Ho said. "It brings that little bit of extra fire that I need to want to back it up. It was so consistent and so fun with priority I forgot I was even competing and that's always when I do my best."
After a Round 4 exit in the Fiji Women's Pro on the WSL Championship Tour (CT), Ho looks to come back to the QS with the vigor that sparks her competitive spirit.
"The QS is much more of a grind and some times that is better for me as I find myself thinking too much in heats on Tour," she said. "In the QS it's about just hurrying up and surfing. But Zippers last year being so perfect it all just fell into place."
World No. 9 Malia Manuel (HAW) will make her first appearance at Zippers and is looking forward to what could be on hand after an exciting event last year. Coming from the heavy left reef-breaks of Tavarua, Fiji, Manuel has her mindset set on what she needs to do to perform coming into Los Cabos.
"I haven't really experienced back to back events in totally different waves like this before, but I think the most important thing for me would be being prepared with good boards," Manuel said. "I always respect every opponent but I usually just focus on myself and that moment in time. Being on the CT, the level raises every year so I'm always having to push my surfing."
Parker Coffin (USA) is excited to be back in Mexico for the newly added Junior series and the prestigious venue.
"I came to the event last year and had such a memorable trip," Coffin said. "I had so much fun surfing and being a tourist. Zippers is an amazing wave and I'm super grateful we are given the opportunity as Juniors to compete here."
Coffin returns to the lineup for the first time since suffering a significant ankle injury nearly three months ago and has been putting in the time to get back in the water.
"I have been slowly gaining momentum in the water over the last 3-4 weeks," Coffin said. "I'm waking up at 6 a.m. every day and going to gym, and then straight from the gym into surfing for 2-3 hours. I'm feeling better every day and I am really excited to get a jersey back on."
Mahina Maeda (HAW) is fresh off her experience as a wildcard at the 2015 Fiji Women's Pro and is set to put that knowledge into her QS campaign.
"The girls are always prepared," Maeda said. "I'm going to learn from my mistakes, to have a wide range of boards for each condition to help me battle through heats and having confidence on my boards to ride in each heat. I got to learn from Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Carissa (Moore) and they always had plans if things didn't go as plan, and a good mental game will help me throughout the future."
The contest window opens Tuesday, June 9 with the first call at 10 a.m. MDT. Look for the live broadcast at loscabosopenofsurf.com.