Filipe Toledo has announced his withdrawal from the remainder of the 2024 Championship Tour Season. The reigning two-time World Champion will take a one-year mental health break from competition. In his place, Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam will compete in all upcoming CT events before the Mid-Season Cut.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce today that I am withdrawing for the remainder of the 2024 Championship Tour season,” shared Toledo in a statement. “This decision has been so hard for me to make, and it comes after days of discussion with those closest to me. The WSL has been very supportive, and I am very grateful that they have granted me the wildcard for the start of the 2025 season. I am committed to coming back better than ever.
“In the past, I have been honest about some of my challenges not only with injuries, but also with mental health. Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me, and I need a break to recover for the next chapter of my career.
“The platform of the CT has given me everything – it is a dream life that has allowed me to support my family in ways I could never imagine and have incredible experiences. I love this. I live for this. I have so much respect for my fellow competitors, both the men and the women on tour. You guys are amazing.
“I have so much passion for the sport, but I need some time off to fully recover so I can come back stronger than ever. I appreciate the support and loyalty of my family, friends, sponsors, and the WSL. I hope my fans around the world understand this decision and will stick with me when I return to the tour next year. I wish my fellow competitors a great CT season ahead. I will be watching!”
“The commitment and dedication involved in competing at the highest level can be all-consuming,” added WSL Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer in a press release. “We support Filipe’s decision to prioritize his mental and physical health as he takes a step back. We hope he has the time and space to recover this year and look forward to seeing him back amongst the world’s best via the WSL CT wildcard in 2025.”
Filipe’s withdrawal comes hot on the heels of a disappointing performance in the 2024 Pipe Pro, in which Toledo scored only 1.77 his first heat before withdrawing. Toledo cited illness as his reason for exiting the event, but many surf fans vehemently questioned the claim. Instead, a narrative began to emerge that Toledo was afraid of surfing larger and heavier waves, despite two previous quarterfinals appearances at Pipe and a semifinal at Teahupo’o.
However, we’ll be waiting until 2025 for Toledo to silence his critics. For now, we can only hope that his time out of the spotlight will allow him to recover and prepare for a triumphant return.