OCEANSIDE PIER, Oceanside, California., USA Monday, January 8th, 2024.

The World Surf League (WSL) 2023 SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Hosted by Best Western awaits the first call with the event window opening tomorrow, January 9, and holding a waiting period through January 14, 2024.

An ensemble of the top Pro Juniors aged 20 and under, from around the world are set to vie for the esteemed 2023 WSL World Junior titles at the Oceanside Pier located on Oceanside, California. A win at this event would cement the competitors into surfing history and mark a defining moment in their young careers, building their future legacy. The winners will also earn a spot on the 2024 Challenger Series for an opportunity to showcase their talent among an elite class of competitors and a qualify for the 2025 Championship Tour (CT).

The top two men and two women from each of the WSL’s seven regions will be joined by 10 world-class wildcards in this competition.

An incredible year for Erin Brooks (CAN) ended with her second WSL victory at the Hawaiian Islands HIC Haleiwa Pro to secure her place on the World Junior Championships field. Brooks, 16 put competitive surfing on notice with a major victory at the Corona Saquarema Pro Challenger Series. Now, Brooks looks to add a WSL World Junior title to her young career and bring that bravado to the 2024 Challenger Series.

“I’m really excited to compete in the World Junior Championships again and a I’m excited it’s in Oceanside,” said Brooks. “I’ve spent a lot of time here so I’m really confident at the wave and hopefully I can put on a good performance. I’m honoured to be among so many amazing up-and-coming surfers. If I were to win it’d give me the confidence to try and make the CT and hopefully win World Titles someday.”

Titles some day.”

Levi Slawson Is Eager For Redemption Run in Southern California 

A dream run through the 2023 calendar year for Encinitas, California’s Levi Slawson witnessed his maiden WSL victory at the SLO CAL Open Pismo Beach Pro Junior before backing it up at the Live Like Zander Junior Pro in Loving Memory of Zander Venezia. Slawson took that success further and notched two Qualifying Series (QS) victories later in the year and now sits atop the North America QS rankings. But, 20-year-old Slawson has his ambitions set higher and looks to return to the World Junior Championships Final where he placed runner-up in 2022.

“I’m super psyched to be competing in Oceanside, it’s close to where I grew up in Encinitas and I’ve spent a lot of time there so I’m really looking forward to it,” said Slawson. “Last year I came really close and I really want to win the event. I really want to have that World Junior title under my belt and the winner goes straight to the Challenger Series so that would be a nice bonus. But more importantly just winning close to home. I lived in Oceanside for about a year or two so I know the place really well and I’m excited to see everybody there and have the opportunity to show my surfing again.”

South America’s Ryan Kainalo Prepares for Return to World Junior Championships Stage

Brazil’s newest emerging talent, Ryan Kainalo (BRA), showcased a glimpse of his potential on this very stage in 2022 before taking on the 2023 Challenger Series contenders. Kainalo, 17, claimed South America’s Pro Junior Regional title with two event wins and brought that success to the Challenger Series stage where he earned multiple heat wins against proven threats and CT qualification frontrunners.

“I’m really happy [to be back] because it’s my second time and I’m feeling more ready to do this event,” said Kainalo. “This year I was the number one in South America and Brazil’s a hard region because we have really good competitors. This event is the most important one I think, and this title can change your life and I could get back to the Challenger Series if I win. That’s important because it’s the step before the CT and all the best guys are there.”

These competitors will enter the Oceanside Pier arena against the likes of reigning WSL World Junior Champion Jarvis Earle (AUS), 2022 WSL World Junior Championships standout Sierra Kerr (AUS), 2023 Challenger Series breakthrough talents Jett Schilling (USA) and Zoe Benedetto (USA), and many more.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Men’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jackson Bunch (HAW), Tenshi Iwami (JPN), Ilay Bochan (ISR)
HEAT 2: Jett Schilling (USA), Adur Amatriain (EUK), Luke Brumby (AUS)
HEAT 3: Levi Slawson (USA), Marlon Harrison (AUS), Luc Lepront (RSA)
HEAT 4: Jarvis Earle (AUS), Reed Platenius (CAN), Yuma Nagasawa (JPN)
HEAT 5: Joel Vaughan (AUS), Brodi Sale (HAW), Moonjo Yahagi (JPN)
HEAT 6: Luke Thompson (RSA), Ryan Kainalo (BRA), Mitch Du Preez (RSA)
HEAT 7: Shion Crawford (HAW), Heitor Mueller (BRA), Harley Walters (AUS)
HEAT 8: Leo Casal (BRA), Taj Lindblad (USA), Sam Piter (FRA)

SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Women’s Opening Round Matchups:
HEAT 1: Bella Kenworthy (USA), Talia Swindal (USA), Keira Buckpitt (AUS)
HEAT 2: Ellie Harrison (AUS), Louise Lepront (RSA), Kalea Gervasi (PER)
HEAT 3: Erin Brooks (CAN), Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK), Cocona Kawase (JPN)
HEAT 4: Sierra Kerr (AUS), Anastasia Venter (RSA), Sky Brown (GBR)
HEAT 5: Zahli Kelly (AUS), Nora Liotta (HAW), Noah Klapp (DEU)
HEAT 6: Zoe Benedetto (USA), Eweleiula Wong (HAW), Kana Nakashio (JPN)
HEAT 7: Sol Aguirre (PER), Laura Rapp (BRA), Isabelle Nalu (BRA)
HEAT 8: Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN), Sophia Medina (BRA), Annette Gonzalez Etxabarri (EUK)

Watch LIVE
The SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Hosted by Best Western will open on January 9 and hold a competition window through January 14, 2024. Once called ON, the event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.The 2023 SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Hosted by Best Western are proudly supported by SAMBAZON, Best Western, Cup Noodles, Visit Oceanside, Original Sprout, Sun Diego, Boxed Water, Board and Brew, and Tractor Beverage Co. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC), home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.