It's hard to forget Dusty Payne's Cinderella story during the 2014 Triple Crown in Hawaii. After falling off Tour, the Maui native launched an impressive campaign that earned him a spot back on the Championship Tour by surfing consistently well in the final two QS events of the season.
However, the 2015 Championship Tour season stood in stark contrast for Payne, who struggled to find that same consistency that earned him his place back among the elite. But with a plague of injuries to some of the world's best, Payne is getting a small taste of redemption in 2016.
"Before, I would do the QS and those were the easier events and I'd be stressed on the CT," said Payne after his Bells Beach exit. "But now it's the opposite. I'm stressed on the QS and these are the fun ones. It's kind of cool and I get to surf against my heroes. I'm having a good time."
"I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain if I do well here," Payne said, "but it's hard when you come up against guys like Mick and he's looking like that. Sucks for myself (laughs). But it was fun, I've had a good time."