When the Men's Qualifying Series (QS) takes over Virginia Beach and Outer Banks, they are first joined by a crop of Pro Juniors at the Vans Pro. Virginia Beach continues where the Vans US Open of Surfing left off by showcasing some of North America's next up-and-coming talents alongside a few internationals pulling double-duty.
Each year the talent pool thickens and this year pushes the envelope once again -- here are a few looking for a breakthrough win.
Current NA Junior Rank: No.4
The younger brother of QS surfer Griffin Colapinto, Crosby began creating a name for himself this year both in and away from the WSL. The 16-year-old took down the Surfing America Primes at Lowers earlier this summer and continues to build that form in his Pro Junior career. Though he's still in search of a Pro Junior Finals appearance, Colapinto has just begun to scratch the surface of his potential.
Current NA Junior Rank: No. 11
Another San Clemente talent who found his breakthrough result on the WSL Pro Junior circuit at the Vans US Open of Surfing is Kade Matson. The 16-year-old's results haven't reflected his surfing to date, until showcasing what he's capable of at Huntington Beach in punchy, testy conditions. Matson's surfing is groomed on the famed cobblestone break of Lowers, along with neighboring beach breaks that have given him a full arsenal to pull from. But, now he looks to put all that together toward an event and earn his first-ever win.
Current NA Junior Rank: No. 3
The Santa Cruz teenager is beginning to find his form in a jersey, which has taken him to No. 3 on the North America rankings and in striking distance of a first-time World Junior Championships (WJC) appearance. Mel started the year off with a fourth-place finish at the Ron Jon Vans Pro and needs to back that up in Virginia Beach as the Pro Junior Tour heads into the final three events of 2017. Only the Top 4 results count at the end of the year and with a narrow gap -- 100 points are separating No. 7 from No. 4 -- the 17-year-old Mel will need to be on top of his game to fend off those who are also hungry for points.
Current NA Junior Rank: No. 6
One of the next Floridians in line to make an impact on the competitive world, Coleman heads into Virginia Beach with a chance to gain vital ground on his fellow Pro Junior contingent. When results are tossed at year's end, Coleman's 120 points are the lowest among the top ranks and gives him plenty of moving space. However, his spry air-game and sharp turns will have to be at their finest to do so at the fickle wave of 1st Street Jetty.
Current NA Junior Rank: No. 4
Houshmand sits at the forefront of the Pro Junior charge in terms of setting himself up on the QS -- currently ranked 166. That ranking allows him the opportunity to be a part of the QS6,000s this year, but the 16-year-old has the World Junior Championships (WJC) still a part of his ultimate goals. Houshmand narrowly missed out on the World Juniors in 2016 after falling just short of a result at the Soup Bowl Pro Junior and isn't looking for a similar fate this year.
But, these competitors and dozens more will have to deal with current North America No. 1 Ryland Rubens, No. 2 Che Allan and 2016 RVCA Pro Junior winner Tyler Gunter -- along with out of region contenders such as Japan's Yuji Mori.
The Vans Pro Junior will run August 22 through 27 alongside the Vans Pro Men's QS3,000.