Surfing-Moore, Toledo favourites for world titles, Ewing battling back

Hawaii’s five-time world champion Carissa Moore and Brazil’s reigning title holder Filipe Toledo head into the Rip Curl WSL Finals in California in the coming days as the top ranked surfers and favourites to add to their world title tallies.

Australian Ethan Ewing, who fractured two vertebrae in a wipeout last month, is battling to be fit for the one-day competition of the top five men and women surfers from the 10-stop professional world tour.

The contest will be held in the best conditions between Sept. 8-16 at Lower Trestles, Southern California’s epicentre of high-performance surfing and home break to the top two ranked men, Toledo and 25-year-old Griffin Colapinto.

“Filipe will be very tricky to beat,” said Tom Carroll, a two-time world champion from Australia. “He’s coming off a really big year, and he’s in really commanding form at this wave particularly.

“And then you’ve got Griff, he’s incredible. He’s been a bit hit and miss in competition this year but Griff has got this potential at Lowers that could be a real surprise.”

Fifth seed Jack Robinson was brimming with confidence after winning the last contest in Tahiti while Ewing’s injury would make it difficult to be fully back to his best, Carroll said.

Ewing flew out to California from Australia last week saying his rehab had been going well and his pain levels had dropped significantly after breaking his back barely a month ago in Tahiti.

“I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m doing everything I can to give myself a chance to compete at Trestles,” he said on Instagram.


Since the new one-day, top five, head-to-head Finals was introduced two years ago, both Moore and Toledo have experienced the highs and lows of the format.

Top seeds progress directly to a best-of-three heat final, with the other four seeds going head-to-head for a chance to join them in the title decider. Previously, world champions were decided by points accumulated during the world tour.

Toledo, 28, lost to countryman Gabriel Medina in the title match-up at the inaugural WSL Finals in 2021 before beating Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Italo Ferreira last year to claim his first world title.

Moore, 31, picked up her fifth world title in 2021 with a 2-1 win over Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb but was steamrolled by Stephanie Gilmore last year as the Australian won her record eighth title from fifth seed.

This year, Moore has an old rival in Australia’s two-time world champion Tyler Wright, and three youngsters gunning for her.

American Caroline Marks, already a five-year tour veteran at 21, 20-year-old Australian Molly Picklum and 17-year-old Caitlin Simmers from California are at the forefront of an exciting new guard in women’s surfing.

While all three youngsters and Wright had incredible talent and competitive drive, Moore’s experience and top seed made her favourite, Carroll said.

“I think this time she is going to be much better prepared than she was last year in terms of whatever is coming towards her in the final,” Carroll said.


Match 1 – Jack Robinson (Australia) vs Joao Chianca (Brazil)

Match 2 – Winner Match 1 vs Ethan Ewing (Australia)

Match 3 – Winner Match 2 vs Griffin Colapinto (U.S.)

Best of 3 Final – Winner 3 vs Filipe Toledo (Brazil)

Match 1 – Caitlin Simmers (U.S.) vs Molly Picklum (Australia)

Match 2 – Winner Match 1 vs Caroline Marks (U.S.)

Match 3 – Winner Match 2 vs Tyler Wright (Australia)

Best of 3 Final – Winner Match 3 vs Carissa Moore (Hawaii)

Z24 News

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