Can Felipe oust Gabriel at the Surf Ranch Pro?

The Surf Ranch Pro will return mid-June as the WSL strives for normalcy in a year that is everything but normal.

This year’s tour, originally 13 events, had to cut the J-Bay, Portugal and Santa Cruz comps due to the ongoing pandemic. Now five of the nine official events have been run and done leaving two-time world champ Gabriel Medina with a comfortable ratings lead as we head into the Surf Ranch Pro.

This year the world title is no longer determined solely by points. The WSL now uses a “Final Five” format that will decide who gets entry and a shot at the world title in the final Lower Trestles event.

But not everyone is happy with this new format. Critics charge that someone who performs strongly all year could have an off day at the final event and blow the title. Proponents say it creates a super-dramatic year-end final event for the world tour.

So who’s the favorite for Lemoore? Well, Gabriel has won two of two events here and appears unstoppable. But many are championing Felipe Toledo to do big things.

“After two straight seasons with close second-place finishes in Lemoore, Filipe Toledo launches an aerial assault as he tries to dethrone back-to-back Surf Ranch champ and World No. 1 Gabriel Medina,” the WSL said in a press release.

Ahead of the Surf Ranch Pro let’s take a look at the next biggest threat, Filipe, in the condensed clip below.

The event runs June 18-20 and can be viewed on the World Surf League site.

Endless Surf 2023A