A fundamental change has been announced for the Championship Tour, with World Titles to be decided with surf-offs at the end of each season. It's an opportunity relished by two-time World Champion Tyler Wright, who says it raises the intensity of the entire World Title situation.
"The difference is that you get to win in the water, which is huge! Because it's up to you, the pressure is on you, you're the one that has to make the call, you're the one that has to make the decision," she told the WSL.
"It comes down to nobody else, and that kind of intensity, that kind of competitive nature, pressure… depending how you see it, it kinda just raises the bar, you know… I just want to see surf offs. So It actually put me in the position now where WSL is taking that idea and making it happen. It's pretty exciting," she says.
The World Title was decided with a surf-off between Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira last year, and it was one of the most exciting moments the sport has seen in sixteen years -- which is how long fans had to wait since the last time the Title was decided in the very last heat of the year, when Andy Irons cinched it from Kelly Slater in 2003.
"I was glued to Pipe last year sitting on the yard on the last day, like 'I can't wait to just watch the final heat'", says CT surfer Conner Coffin.
"So, it's just a great moment for the sport and it's exciting to think that from 2021 onwards that will always be how the world title is decided instead of the potential of someone winning it while that person is sitting on the beach," he says.
One thing is beyond a doubt - surfers are amped to get back in a jersey and competing again as soon as possible.
"I think the whole covid-19 and our pause on the 2020 season has fortunately given the WSL time to really look at what they want the tour to look like. Since we have the time, they've been open and collaborative with the surfers and I think they feel like maybe this is a really good time to kinda reset the tour," Coffin says.