With the first event on the WSL Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour kicking off this month at the Gold Coast, we take a look at the year ahead.

Continuing to put the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves, from Australia to the South Pacific to Europe and beyond, the 2016 schedule is designed to cultivate world-class performances around the globe.

So what is new this year? The 2016 schedule will see the introduction of Western Australia’s North Point, which will serve as an exciting additional location to Margaret River and The Box in the event the waves are firing. The WSL is also introducing a new JQS Series of events in Australasia, providing a stronger platform for young men and women surfers to qualify for the World Junior Championship, where, if they perform, they will gain valuable seeding benefits to kick-start their path through the QS to the CT.

As for the surfers on tour this year, there is set to be an epic battle for the title. The announcement in the past weeks from Mick Fanning, that he will not be competing full time, opens up the field to some exciting possibilities in 2016.

Who do you think will be top running for the title?

2016 Men’s Championship Tour

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast – March 10-21, 2016
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach – March 24-April 5, 2016
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro – April 8-19, 2016
Rio Pro – May 10-21, 2016
Fiji Pro – June 5-17, 2016
J-Bay Open – July 6-17, 2016
Billabong Pro Teahupo’o – August 19-30, 2016
Hurley Pro at Trestles – September 7-18, 2016
Quiksilver Pro France – October 4-15, 2016
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal – October 18-29, 2016
Billabong Pipe Masters – December 8-20, 2016

2016 Women’s Championship Tour

Roxy Pro Gold Coast – March 10-21, 2016
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach – March 24-April 5, 2016
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro – April 8-19, 2016
Rio Women’s Pro – May 10-21, 2016
Fiji Women’s Pro – May 29-June 3, 2016
Vans US Open of Surfing – July 25 – 31, 2016
Trestles Women’s Pro – September 7-18, 2016
Cascais Women’s Pro – September 24-Oct 2, 2016
Roxy Pro France – October 4-15, 2016
Maui Women’s Pro – November 22-December 6, 2016

Kate Webster is a travel journalist – travel writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate’s inspiration behind her writing and photography. A passion of the ocean has lead Kate to be a part of Global Surf Sounds, as she continues to mix her love of travel and writing to now include surfing. When she’s not bouncing around the world on ramshackle buses, overcrowded trains, or on the back of a rickshaw, you can find her based in Sydney or the Gold Coast, Australia eagerly planning her next adventure.