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World Surf League Announces Fiji as Its New Finals Location

Wouldn’t it be great to see this guy at a Finals event at Fiji? Photo: WSL

The Inertia

Well, it’s finally official. Instead of hosting the WSL Finals at Lower Trestles in the heart of the Southern California surf industry, the World Surf League announced today that it had shifted its season finale to a heavier, barreling wave. One with plenty of competitive mystique as well: Cloudbreak, the crown jewell of Fijian surf.

The move comes after the WSL changed its format to a five-surfer, end-of-year finals event for the title, and moved said final to a performance wave, which has run at Trestles since 2021. Fans have certainly let the League know they’re ready for a change to a more critical wave as a Finals showcase, which Fiji will certainly provide.

“Cloudbreak is truly one of the best waves in the world, and hosting the Finals at such an iconic break is going to be incredible,” said Ryan Crosby, WSL CEO in a statement released by the WSL. “As our surfers continue to push the limits at every event, Cloudbreak will be the perfect place to showcase their progression and crown our World Champions next year.”

Aside from fan displeasure, there were also hints from athletes that it was time for change.

“I think Lowers is a great wave. It’s just different, it’s a lot more technical,” current world number one John John Florence told us in an interview late last year. “This is where personal preference comes in. I’m way more interested in heavy, high-risk waves. So when you watch the world title being won at waist-high Lowers, you’re like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s cool.’ But it’s not as exciting as 10-foot barreling Pipe when you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ It doesn’t have to be Pipe, either, It could be anywhere that’s a wave of consequence. It’d be great to do the final five at Pipeline, though, instead.”

Cloudbreak, of course, is a very solid second choice as a Finals destination (and arguably just as good). The WSL has a relationship with Fiji tourism locked up through 2026. The wave, that first became a Championship Tour stop in 1999, is without fault. When it’s at size, we’ve seen incredible moments there (think Owen Wright’s two perfect heats as one example), and it can hold contestable surf down to two feet. The beautiful setting also makes for a fantastic television product.

One question is what will replace Fiji on the main CT? This year’s Fiji Pro runs from August 20 – 29. The WSL schedule typically comes out at the end of each year so we’ll see what the League replaces it with. The WSL has not committed to a finals location for 2026.


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