It's Spring Break in Florida and the sun will be blazing the beaches of Cocoa Beach as the men's Qualifying Series (QS) and North America Junior Tour are back March 8 through 11. The Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro QS 1,000, Junior Pro and Ron Jon Roxy Junior Pro have been a staple at the long-standing Beach N' Boards Fest.
But, before the WSL heads back to the Sunshine State once again, there's always some pre-event knowledge to be had. Here's what you need to know:
When and Where:
The WSL returns to the Sunshine State March 8 - 11 at Alan Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
What to Expect:
Each year the Ron Jon Quiksilver QS 1,000 and Junior Pro, and Roxy Junior Pro, take place in the heat of Florida's Spring Break season with hundreds of people coming to its beaches. This provides quite the spectacle for those in the water as early morning, barren beaches become littered with countless eyes on the ocean to get a glimpse of the action.
Cocoa Beach provides a typical beachbreak for competitors to battle it out and puts their wits to the test with sometimes challenging conditions. But, with the talent on hand, some incredible surfing will go down during the four-day event window from North America's next big threats.
The North America Pro Junior has kicked off its season at Alan Shepard Park each of the last six years running. It's the longest running Pro Junior in North America alongside Barbados' illustrious Soup Bowl affair. This sets the benchmark for who to keep eyes on with only one previous winner from both the men and women, Ryland Rubens and Alyssa Spencer, going on to win the regional title.
But, in 2016, it garnered a men's QS 1,000 event that enters a third consecutive showing as some of the regions up-and-coming talents fight for an all-important win toward regional rankings.
A few names that are continuing to find their foothold in surfing have claimed wins in Cocoa Beach, but the East Coast event has been dominated by West Coast surfers in the past. Seven of the twelve event titles belong to California opposed to the East Coast's two -- with winners also hailing from Peru, Hawaii, and Barbados. Will there be a change in the tide for the local crowd to celebrate?
Ron Jon Quiksilver Men's QS 1,000:
2017: Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna, Beach, Florida)
2016: Taylor Clark (San Diego, California)
Ron Jon Quiksilver Junior Pro:
2017: Ryland Rubens (Ocean Beach, California)
2016: Kei Kobayashi (San Clemente, California)
2015: Lucca Mesinas (Peru)
2014: Cam Richards (Garden City Beach, South Carolina)
2013: Jake Halstead (San Diego, California)
Ron Jon Roxy Junior Pro:
2017: Alyssa Spencer (Carlsbad, California)
2016: Alyssa Spencer (Carlsbad, California)
2015: Tia Blanco (San Diego, California)
2014: Mahina Maeda (Oahu, Hawaii)
2013: Chelsea Tuach (Barbados)
The 2018 Ron Jon Quiksilver QS 1,000 and Junior Pro, and Roxy Junior Pro, will be held March 8 -11 at Alan Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach, Florida.