Rookie campaigns on the Championship Tour are tough to predict, and making the jump from the Qualifying Series to the big leagues can often be a tough transition. Some surfers take to it straight away, like a duck to water. Other struggle to find the delicate balance between progressive performance and tactical savvy. For teenage rookie Ethan Ewing, ranked No. 34 on the CT, the jump has been difficult. Three of his fellow rookies, meanwhile -- Frederico Morais, Joan Duru and Connor O'Leary -- have thrived.
However, all three of those surfers are well into their 20s, with a level of physical and emotional maturity beyond what's realistic to expect from a teenager. For his part, Ewing's won his second- straight Round One heat after going eight events before overcoming that hurdle for the first time. The next step for the Aussie now is to find the secret recipe to success in man-on-man battles. He'll get his chance in Round Three at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.