It's come down to this last event, the Junior Pro Sopela. A four-event series across France, Portugal and Spain is where the youngest talents in the world of European surfing get to train, compete and fight for a title and a spot on the global stage.
While Teresa Bonvalot has already secured a second consecutive European Junior Title, much is left to be determined: who will claim the men's title, and who will make the men's Top 4 and women's Top 2 to win a ticket for the World Junior Championships in Australia early next year?
This quiet little Basque seaside town nearby Bilbao has become over the years the center of the juniors universe, well, at the very least the most popular event site among surfers under the age of eighteen.
176 surfers competed last year in Sopela, that is more than your average QS events worldwide. So much so that organizers had to extend the event's waiting period to make everyone's job a little easier, and days a little shorter. It's a customary thing in Sopela to run twelve-hour days on double banks, to complete an insane amount of heats.
Surfing-wise, it's true that the place is exceptionally consistent, in the middle of European summer you'll always find a little something breaking on the beautiful white sand beach nested among the large greener cliffs. We're not talking World Class waves, but the shore break certainly packs a little punch when conditions play nice.
For all those reasons, you too should get excited about the upcoming Junior Pro Sopela from July 19-23 next week.
Check out all the photos, videos and updates right here as the event unfolds.