Contact Form

    News Details

    Southern California surfers make 2024 World Tour
    • October 21, 2023

    Get ready to cheer on a wave of new Southern California surfers competing against the world’s best next year.

    Several surfers from San Clemente and San Diego have made the cut for the 2024 World Surf League World Tour, a dream for up-and-coming athletes who have worked their entire lives to make it to the sport’s major leagues.

    The crop of young surfers on both the men’s and women’s World Tour is a huge boost for mainland American surfing. The athletes will be battling against Brazilians, Australians, Hawaiians and others from around the globe through next year, trying to make a spot in the top five, meaning they would being in the WSL finals at Lower Trestles and could win the world championship title.

    San Clemente boasts the most local surfers on the list, with Crosby Colapinto joining brother Griffin, who has been on the World Tour for five years, as well as Cole Houshmand, Sawyer Lindblad and Kade Matson.

    San Diego also has three on the list, Encinitas surfers Jake Marshall and Alyssa Spencer are joining Oceanside’s Caitlin Simmers, a teen who dominated on the elite tour last year.

    There’s also Huntington Beach native Kanoa Igarashi, who surfs for Japan, as well as others who have transplanted to local waters, including current world champions Filipe Toledo, from Brazil, and Florida’s Caroline Marks, both who call San Clemente home these days.

    Most of the California surfers earned their spots – and celebrated – this week in Brazil with results during the last Challenger Series contest, the Corona Saquarema Pro.

    “I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole life, it’s been a goal of mine since I was little … I’m just happy to join my brother,” said Crosby Colapinto.

    Colapinto said he’s most looking forward to going head-to-head with his big bro in a contest.

    “I think it will be cool, we’ve talked about it our whole lives,” he said.

    His parents, who now have two sons to cheer on, are “over the moon,” said the 22-year-old.

    The San Clemente surfers are part of a group called “2 Percent Surf” being mentored by former World Tour surfer Kolohe Andino and Griffin Colapinto, all supporting each other during successes and tough times.

    “Our crew is just something special. Everyone is our crew is working to better themselves, every day,” Crosby Colapinto said. “We’re just have a good energy.”

    Fellow San Clemente surfer and friend Houshmand had already clinched his spot on next year’s tour with his stellar results from earlier events. When word of him making the cut came during the U.S. Open of Surfing, friends and family mobbed him on the beach to celebrate.

    San Clemente surfer Lindblad, who won the US Open of Surfing earlier this year, was next to celebrate after learning she made the cut.

    Lindblad said it was “a pretty crazy feeling,” a belated present with the young surfer just celebrating her 18th birthday last month.

    “I’ve been working toward this my whole life, it’s just a dream come true,” she said. “I think it will be a lot of learning. I’m just really excited to be there. I’m excited to surf the bigger waves, get more comfortable.”

    Lindblad said surfing with the other up-and-coming San Clemente athletes has helped get her “fired up to surf my hardest.”

    “There’s so many good people coming out of my home town in San Clemente,” she said.

    Matson had to wait a few days when the Saquarema Pro was put on hold to know if he would qualify. But on Saturday, Oct. 21, it became official.

    It’s a huge moment for the surfer, who had suffered a major back injury last year that required surgery and months of out of the water to heal, not knowing if he’d be able to compete again.

    Oceanside’s Simmers joined the World Tour last year and made it to the WSL Final 5 in September for a chance for a world title.

    Fellow San Diego-area surfer Spencer narrowly missed her chance to join the tour last year, but this year had enough points to make the list.

    “This has been my longtime dream since I started surfing, to be on tour,” Spencer said in a WSL interview. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs these last couple of years. I’ve been so close, like within one or two spots these past three years, so that’s been the hardest thing to overcome. Every year people ask, ‘Is this going to be the year?’ and I was just tired of hearing it, so it’s such a relief to finally make it happen.”

    Marshall is returning to the elite level after being cut from the World Tour at the mid-way point earlier this year.

    “Just getting to see a bunch of my fellow Americans make it on tour has been extra special and cool,” he said. “It feels great and I’m super excited.”

    All the Southern California surfers grew up competing at Lower Trestles, earning USA Surfing and National Scholastic Surfing Association national championships through the years – meaning they have had many years to train on the wave where next year’s world title will be decided.

    If any one of them is successful, they will be the first California surfer to earn a world championship since Santa Barbara surfers Tom Curran in 1990 and Kim Mearing in 1984.

    Related Articles

    News |

    Rare northern right whale dolphin without dorsal fin spotted off Dana Point

    News |

    Pups born to mothers poisoned by algae bloom head to SeaWorld to join pup posse and then ocean

    News |

    Teen surf phenom Simmers, of Oceanside, named “Rookie of the Year”

    News |

    Bridge to Balboa Island to close for utility work, Balboa Ferry will be only option

    News |

    Playful humpbacks “dance” near boats, wowing spectators

    ​ Orange County Register