While the Championship Tour (CT) is considered a dream run, it can also be a nightmare for those trying to stay in the Top 17 -- particularly if you have to pull double duty on the Qualifying Series (QS) as Alessa Quizon has.
Falling off Tour might have been a blessing in disguise for the Oahu-native. Although she still plans on making it back on the CT by 2018, she's hoping to do it on her own terms. With a new mindset in place and talent to coincide with it, it's only a matter of time before the 23-year old is back on top, disrupting the world's best. WSL caught up with Quizon at the Barbados Surf Pro QS3,000 where she ended up with a runner-up result and push toward the Top 6.
WSL: Since falling off the CT, where are you at mentally?
Alessa Quizon: I'm excited for this year. I don't mind having this little break. It's nice to take a good step back and see what I need to change, but also improve my surfing and add new moves I didn't have on Tour. I think this year will allow me to do that because the past three years I haven't had time to go on a surf trip. I've just been on that grind.
What are some of the improvements that you need to make?
I definitely need to work on my forehand since I haven't been on it in so long. I feel like the only real wave I've had on my forehand in the last three years is Fiji which is unlike anything else in the world to me. Watching the guys and girls on Tour, I definitely see where I need to improve. Caio [Ibelli] tells me that all the time, to just watch the guy's backhand and see how they extend.
Watching the guys and girls on Tour, I definitely see where I need to improve. I'm making it a priority to focus less on the things that don't matter and put all my energy into the main goal.
Being at a QS3,000 like this with a good boost of points on offer, do you put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform?
I would love to win this event, but overall it's just to keep in the jersey really. I don't want to be out of the jersey too long and it would've been nearly four months between the QS6,000s. I'm making it a priority to focus less on the things that don't matter and put all my energy into the main goal. I'm going in with no expectations other then enjoying the competition and the waves. Plus being here in Barbados, it's a paradise and I'd rather be here in a bikini than training in a wetsuit back in California (laughs).
What went through your head at the beginning of the year and how do you go about making that requalification push?
It's definitely an eye opener seeing myself starting back from the bottom again, but I know I belong back on Tour. I just won't put any pressure on myself and I want to enjoy this time I have. I just need to do the same thing I did to qualify the first time. If I can do it once, I can do it again. It's just a matter of being in the moment and really embracing it all.