There is no better way to start the 2015 world tour: Snapper Rocks, from above. Photo: ASP/Kirstin Scholtz.

Here are some things that you might find interesting about this year’s tour.
There were two rookies in 2014 and neither of them re-qualified for the 2015 world tour. This means two nights before the first event of the year kicks off, Dion Atkinson will attend the ASP banquet and receive the award, then go home.

There are two wildcards handed out each year by the ASP. It’s typically assumed that these are injury wildcards. They are not. The ASP rulebook states “two male wildcards are to be selected by the ASP Commissioner’s Office for the Surfing Season.” There were four people fighting for the injury wildcard: Alejo Muniz, CJ Hobgood, Tiago Pires and Glenn Hall.

Before the Hawaiian leg, Julian Wilson was on the cusp of qualification. After his mind-blowing performance, a Pipe Masters title and a triple crown, it’s obvious that Julian perhaps needs the pressure heaped on to perform. Heading into Hawaii, Jules’ spot on the tour was looking dicey. “It was playing on my mind that I might not qualify,” said Jules, currently back in Oz celebrating at The Beaver in Bondi. “All I want to do is surf and compete and I would’ve been so devastated not to be on tour.”

Want to know about the new faces?
Brazilian goofyfooter, Italo Ferreira, qualified without breaking a sweat. Massive airs in tiny waves is what he’s known for and he also has flips on lock. If you had to compare him to anyone else on tour, think Jadson but without the proven tube prowess.

Keanu Asing is from Oahu and he’s the newest Hawaiian face on tour since Seabass. Keanu is like a modern-day Shmoo and is a worker. Also pretty cool is the fact he dates 23-year-old UFC fighter, Kailin Curran.

Ricardo Christie is now RVCA’s first ever world tour surfer. He’s also the first Kiwi on tour since Maz Quinn. “He’s the guy who got a start on tour after Julian Wilson went loony tunes in Hawaii,” a source told Stab, after Julian double qualified on the tour and WQS. “He’s gnarly, can do big airs and he really owes Julian a big Christmas present.”

So, here’s the 2015 WSL Tour:
1. Gabriel Medina
2. Mick Fanning
3. John John Florence
4. Kelly Slater
5. Michel Bourez
6. Joel Parkinson
7. Jordy Smith
8. Adriano de Souza
9. Taj Burrow
10. Josh Kerr
11. Kolohe Andino
12. Owen Wright
13. Nat Young
14. Julian Wilson
15. Adrian Buchan
16. Bede Durbidge
17. Filipe Toledo
18. Kai Otton
19. Miguel Pupo
20. Sebastian Zietz
21. Freddy Patacchia
22. Jadson Andre

WQS Qualifiers.
23. Matt Banting (new face)
24. Wiggolly Dantas (new face)
25. Adam Melling
26. Italo Ferreira (new face)
27. Matt Wilkinson
28. Keanu Asing (new face)
29. Dusty Payne
30. Jeremy Flores
31. Brett Simpson
32. Ricardo Christie (new face)

Injury wildcards.
33. CJ Hobgood
34. Glenn Hall

And, who’s out?
Alejo Muniz
Aritz Aranburu
Dion Atkinson
Tiago Pires
Mitch Crews
Travis Logie
Raoni Monteiro