The 2020 World Surf League (WSL) North America season is taking shape with the first leg of events confirmed. The newly formatted Challenger Series is now in place to highlight marquee events and the Qualifying Series (QS) now encompass the QS 1,000 - QS 5,000-level of competition to showcase the next generation of emerging Championship Tour (CT) qualifying threats taking on seasoned veterans.
An important trend of equality continues following a massive year in 2019 that witnessed equal pay for the CT and now makes its way into the QS. Three of the first five events will be held on California's shores with men and women taking center stage with the women's addition at the fourth-consecutive Jack's Surfboards Pro QS 1,500 set for March 26 - 29.
The southside of Huntington Beach Pier's iconic surfing arena will play host once more after 2019's event brought world-class conditions for competitors to shine. Now that the women are on board, the event takes another big step in its short history on the QS.
"It means a lot for us to be able to put on an event in our own backyard and give surfers an opportunity to earn valuable QS points," said Jack's Surfboards co-owner Jamal Abdelmuti. "We know the task of trying to qualify for the CT isn't an easy one physically, mentally or financially so we hope our contest in Huntington Beach helps some of the QS warriors reach their goals. The level of competition in women's pro surfing is so high right now. To showcase that in our event and to provide women with the same opportunity to earn QS points was an easy decision."
"It's awesome to have multiple women's events to start 2020 because I have not done any QS events and it gives me an opportunity to hopefully get points to get into the bigger events later in the year," said upcoming talent, 2019 North America Pro Junior No. 2, Sawyer Lindblad. "I was really excited the Jacks Pro added a women's event. It's close to home and I am really comfortable in Huntington. I am only 14 years old so to have an opportunity to start the QS early close to home will be fun. ."
The return of the men's event also highlights some of the region's, and surrounding country's, top up-and-coming as well as veteran talents once more. This event provided 2019 breakout competitors Kade Matson, North America Pro Junior Regional title and WSL Junior Championships runner-up, defending event champion Crosby Colapinto, Dimitri Poulos and many other upcoming Californian talents some extra opportunity near home to help prepare for a big year ahead and does the same in 2020.
The Jack's Surfboards Pro QS 1,500 will run March 26 - 29 at the Huntington Beach Pier, Huntington Beach, California.