There were some big rankings rises on the Women's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour in 2016, as both experienced veterans and rookies, found their grooves and form over the 10 events. Tyler Wright's path to the top was perhaps the most obvious, but she was just one of five surfers who had big turnarounds over the 12 months.
Erickson broke in to the CT back in 2012, but despite one stellar result each season, has failed to make the cut each year with her elite tour rank. 2015 was the same, with her first six events featuring first-round losses, resulting in a 16th place finish. This year, though, she finally found the consistency her talent deserves. The back half of the year she strung together a series of quarterfinals, plus a semi at the Roxy Pro France, moving up to 7th place on the CT and her highest career finish yet.
For the first time since coming on tour in 2012, in 2015 Laura Enever was forced to requalify with her Qualifying Series ranking, and her 17th-place finish that year was the worst in her career. This past season, however, after a slow start, the upbeat Australian was a model of consistency and secured her 10th place ranking at the final event on Maui. This came after a brave performance at the Pe'ahi Invitational, the first-ever women's WSL Big Wave Tour event.
The six-time World Champion was ravaged by injury in 2015, missing six events and slipping to a career low 12th as a result. Returning to fitness in 2016, she climbed her way back up the ratings with a run of quarterfinal placings in the first four events. It was at September's Swatch Women's Pro, however, when Gilmore showed that she was back to her very best, shredding Trestles with her incredible style to make the final. The icing on the cake came with a win at the Pipe Invitational event, proving that the frustration and pain of 2015 was very much history.
A jump from fifth in 2015 to first in 2016 doesn't, on paper, seem that significant, but for Wright it was truly seismic. At the first event, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, she put aside a recent death of her uncle, and head injury of brother Owen, to win the event. With a new steely determination, and new coach Glenn "Micro" Hall, she would go on to take the World Title in Portugal, and win four of the 10 events on offer.
Andrew had limited opportunities to impress on the CT in 2015 as a wildcard, surfing in just four events to finish in 18th. In 2016 her improvement is best shown by her third place at the Maui Women's Pro, where she proved that she can match it with the very best in the world. With her spot secured for 2017 through the QS, you can expect this upward trajectory to continue in 2017.