The move this year to lower the age cutoff from under-21 to under-18 in the Junior Qualifying Series opened a new chapter in what is the foundation of professional surfing. All of a sudden, the pathway from early ages towards the ultimate Championship Tour clarified.
You won't likely ever find another surfer three years in on the CT fighting for a Junior world title like that was the case with Gabriel Medina back in 2013.
That move allowed younger surfers to really have a shot at making rounds and working on their technique as much as heat strategy, priority management and such, thus preparing them fully for what comes next, the infamous Qualifying Series (QS) grind.
The European Junior tour is no exception and currently grooms a new generation of talents that will likely make waves in future years.
With two events in the books already this season, Portugal is set to host an important third stop at the Junior Pro Espinho from June 22-25. Teresa Bonvalot leads the women's field while Polynesian rising star Kauli Vaast sits currently on top of the men's regional rankings.
Behind both of them, an army of unsuspected threats prepares for their next assaults towards the highly coveted top spots, synonym of a qualification for the World Junior Championship in January of next year.
The fun, peaky beach breaks of Espinho have delivered excellent conditions these past three years and promise another intense four days of action in June.
Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here as the event approaches.