Momentum is a force to be reckoned with in the world of surfing. Which is why, at the upcoming Vans Pro QS3,000 in Virginia Beach, where 3,000 points are up for grabs, at least a few surfers there will be looking to get off on the right foot ahead of the next series of contest, in Europe.
Current CT Rank: No. 28
Current QS Rank: No. 3
The Huntington Beach, California kid claimed his lifelong dream of winning a Vans US Open of Surfing title and carries plenty of steam to the East Coast. That win also propelled him up to No. 3 on the QS rankings and now looks to continue that form into Virginia Beach where he already has a victory under his belt. A rough go on the Championship Tour (CT) has Igarashi out of a Top 22 requalification spot, but his ability to back himself on the QS is never in question.
The Gudangs are back in Virginia Beach, where elder brother Pat has a victory in 2013, but Tanner has not had the same fortune -- his best result has been an equal 5th. Both former CT competitors are still striving for spots back on the Dream Tour. This is Tanner's final go at things on the QS, and they're hungrier than ever. Pat Gudauskas currently leads the Gudang charge at No. 10 on the QS, but with Tanner's high-caliber surfing and experience, these two can never be left out of the qualifying conversation.
Current QS Rank: No. 5
It was Pat Gudauskas who called Colapinto the "man to beat" in 2017 and the newest San Clemente threat has lived up to that title so far. The 19-year-old continues to be a topic of discussion in each event he enters as Colapinto keeps climbing the rankings after every one of them. Anything short of a win won't truly be of help to Colapinto's dream of qualifying as it will only see him to 14,730 points, but, in the grand scheme of a stacked year left, every contest matters.
Current CT Rank: No. 32
Current QS Rank: No. 41
The new father finds himself in a tough spot starting the back half of 2017 being far from both CT and QS cutoffs. Pupo narrowly re-qualified for the 2017 Championship Tour (beating out Nat Young by 250 points) at the No. 22 spot (No. 22 is the CT qualification cutoff) and has a lot of work ahead if he's to be back there come 2018. Still, it's never a time to completely panic for the Brazilian, wh's now in his seventh year as CT competitor. His equal fifth finish at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal last year showed his ability to get a result when under pressure, something he'll need to find more of again starting in Virginia Beach.
Current QS Rank: No. 19
This year has been a resurgence for the Costa Rican talent after earning his first-ever QS win at the Surf Open Acapulco QS1,000 and massive Semifinal result in Huntington Beach. Munoz, just 24, is considered a QS veteran after nine years of competing and has showcased just a glimmer of his talents in a jersey. His big smile and pura vida vibe help guide Munoz ever-closer to his ultimate goal of joining the Top 34 -- he only needs the results to go with it.
Current QS Rank: No. 12
Asing's "heart over height" mantra helped keep in contention to compete against the world's best for two seasons and he knows that's where he belongs. Now he must find his way back there. The Hawaiian already has a QS3,000 win in Barbados and another would help claw his way back into the QS Top 10. But, dropping 1,000 points already won't be an easy task moving forward for Asing as he can look at this event as more of a stepping stone toward great achievements.
Also looking for a big momentum swing; Bino Lopes, Torrey Meister, Evan Geiselman, Michael Dunphy, Ian Crane, Wade Carmichael and dozens more are in the mix vying for 3,000 points to jumpstart the back half of 2017.
The Vans Pro QS3,000 and Vans Pro Junior will run August 22 through 27 at Virginia Beach, Virginia.