The WSL continues its East Coast takeover with the WRV Outer Banks Pro Men's Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 presented by Pacifico beginning tomorrow, August 30.
This marks the fourth annual event held at Jennette's Pier in North Carolina, offering competitors proper Outer Banks conditions throughout the event window. A healthy 1,000 points towards the QS rankings and a chance to gain ground in the North America QS Regional title race are up for grabs.
The event will be live-streamed throughout the event window for a chance to see up-and-coming QS threats such as Kitty Hawk and North Carolina native Stevie Pittman. Pittman represented his hometown well at the Vans Pro after an impressive start. The 16-year-old's recovery from knee surgery last year is leading him in the right direction. His surfing is looking stronger than ever. Now that Pittman's back on home turf, and in the right head space, he's got his eyes set on another positive result.
"Jennette's Pier is an awesome venue for competition and there is going to be a strong international field of competitors this year," Pittman said. "The waves are going to be pumping so I'm excited -- this year's event could be one for the books. I've been working with Hurley Team Manager Asher Nolan to try and eliminate mistakes and improve my skill set. Asher's won the WRV a few times so he has a lot of experience to pass on. I definitely feel like I'm surfing as strong as I ever have but eliminating mistakes and using priority wisely is where my focus is at right now."
Brian Toth lost at the hands of Nolan in 2015 and returns for another chance after missing last year's event, while competing in Europe. The seasoned QS veteran is beginning to shift into the next chapter of his career, away from the jersey. He will be competing one last time in 2017 here at Jeanette's Pier before heading back to his native island of Puerto Rico. Up-and-coming surfers still benefit from Toth's knowledge around contests, and beyond, as he watches them progress the sport of surfing even further.
"It's always good to be back in OBX, I got family down south from here that usually come up and cheer me on so I just feel more comfortable around here," Toth said. "I'm going to be keeping it light and just have fun with it. It was a goal of mine [to stay toward the Top 160], but, nothing too serious. There's a lot of crazy good surfers around the world these days so I'll just stick to power surfing and make sure I'm on the correct waves to deliver a good score.
"It's great to pass down knowledge to the youngsters, I think on any occasion it's good to do so," Toth added. I've been doing it for a long time and when they do soak up that knowledge and improve on themselves it puts a big smile on my face."
But, Toth will have to deal with a hefty international field of hungry up-and-comers such as Vans Pro Semifinalist Tomas King, ISA Gold Medalist Jhonny Corzo, and junior talents -- current North America Pro Junior No. 1 Ryland Rubens and No. 2 Che Allan.
The WRV Outer Banks Pro QS1,000 presented by Pacifico will run August 30 through September 3 with a live webcast to witness all the action beginning tomorrow.