After a two month break following the epic showdown for the world title at Pipeline in Hawaii, the surfing World Tour is back with a bang. Having taken over the reigns at the ASP in early 2013, new owners Zosea had a lot to deliver in 2014, when they start to put their stamp on the biggest world tour in Action Sports.

With financial problems besetting the surf industry it was vital they came back with a headline sponsor, and they have in the form of Samsung, so the tour is looking bigger than ever.

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From a rider point of view things are likely to be incredibly close, Kelly Slater has confirmed he is coming back for a crack at title number 12, world champ Mick Fanning will be looking to enter the exclusive club of four world titles, whilst there is a whole rack of new school surfers just waiting for their turn.

it's looking like a pretty crazy year, so here is our guide to every event.

Mick Fanning Wins 2014 World Tour Video:

[part title="Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast, Australia 1-12 March."]

ASP World Tour

ASP World Tour

The contest site is split between two venues in the town of Coolangatta. Snapper Rocks is most consistent of the two picking up almost all available swell. A dredging take off with the potential for deep tubes races off into long right handers with further tube and air sections.

If the swell gets too big for Snapper then the event moves down the point to the legendary wave at Kirra. Kirra is a tube riders wave and winning here is all about how long you can stay in the pit.

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Who to watch out for?

In the last eight years the event has been won by only four men, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow and local boys Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning.

It's no surprise to find out that in fast right hand barrels a goofy footer has only ever won once (Mick Lowe 9 years ago), and if you're a betting man/woman the smart money is on one of the four above or one of the new school natural footers like John John Florence, Julian Wilson or Sebastien Zeitz.

2013 Quiksilver Pro Finals Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

The Goldcoast is GMT +10, so that means you need to get the coffee on for a long late night. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="The Drug Aware Pro, Margaret River, WA 2-13 April"]

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Margaret River Main Break has been the site for one of the biggest qualifying events for the world tour for the last 20 years, but this is the first time it is a full on WCT event.

The wave, known as Main Break, is a left and right peak with the lefthander providing longer rides with the right often having a solid end section for punting airs.

The wave is exposed to swells that come roaring out of the Indian Ocean, which means conditions change quickly, and it's not uncommon for contests to be held one day in head high surf and the next in triple overhead. It's this potential for such a diverse range of conditions that makes this event so exciting and unpredictable.

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Who to watch out for?

Although it hasn't been a WCT event, most of the top surfers compete there as it is was one of the biggest events not on tour. It still doesn't make it any easier to predict who will be in the running, on some swells the wave can lack a lip for tricks, thus the power surfers like world champ Mick Fanning or American CJ Hobgood would be expected to do well.

However Josh Kerr, predominantly known as an aerialist has done well as has John John Florence, at this event due to the ramps on the right hander so it is almost to tight to call.

John John Florence wins 2012 Drug Aware Pro Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

West Australia is GMT +8, so that means you need to get the coffee on for a long late night. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia 16-27 April"]

bells

The Rip Curl Pro is one of the oldest continuously running contests in surfing, started in 1973 by Rip Curl as the Easter Classic, it has grown into one of the must win events for any pro surfer.

The wave its self is a classic long right reef, not super hollow but very manoeuvre friendly, and the whole beach provides a natural amphitheater for surf.

To the world the beach became famous in the movie Point Break when Patrick Swayze's character Bodhi paddled out for his last wave. It doesn't actually get that big, but it is capable of throwing up huge surf for the contest which makes for challenging conditions.

slater_bells

slater_bells

Who to watch out for?.

A goofy footer hasn't won here since the legendary Occy way back in 1998, so it really favours the forehand surfer and with it being a tight tactical wave, experience counts when picking off the best scoring rides.

Last years winner Brazilian Adriano De Souza is one to watch out for, along with the power surfers Joel Parkinson, Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater. Whoever gets to ring the legendary Bell on the trophy will join an exclusive club of legends of the sport.

2013 Bells Beach Highlights Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

Victoria is GMT +10, so that means you need to get the coffee on for a long late night. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="The Billabong Rio Pro, Brazil, 7-18 May"]

Billabong Pro Rio Pro 2011

Billabong Pro Rio Pro 2011

After football and driving cars very fast Surfing is Brazil's national obsession. The beach culture associated with its most iconic city, Rio, makes it the obvious place for a tour stop. Some say the changeable beach break conditions are not worthy of the 'Dream Tour' but  the electric Brazilian crowds and open competition make it one of the most exciting stops.

The wave is a standard beach break so it is totally sandbar and swell development, some years it's been all about barrels other times it's all about turns and airs, it's the variety of conditions that make it exciting.

Taj Burrow

Taj Burrow

Who to watch out for?

The Brazilians are always ones to look out for, the passionate home crowd drove Adriano De Souza to a first WCT win here, and all the Brazilians are dangerous in all conditions.

Other than that it's one of the most open events on tour, it's anyone's for the taking, and can really make or break a world title run as many a contender as fallen early here or cemented a title run.

2013 Billabong Rio Pro Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

Rio is GMT -3, so for us in Europe it's a pretty easy watch. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="Fiji Pro, Tavarua, Fiji, 1-13 June"]

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cloudbreak318fiji12kirstin_crop_north

It's one of the best stops on tour, if you think 'Dream Tour' this is probably the most dreamy location. Based on the exclusive resort island of Tavarua, the contest is held at either the legendary reef pass Cloudbreak, or if the swell gets too big or the wind is wrong, the equally legendary Restaurants.

These two left hand freight train barrels are amongst the very best waves in the world. They are shallow, powerful and throw out huge tubes, jeopardy is high out there, and injury is not uncommon, but it is without doubt one of the best events to tune into.

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Who to watch out for?.

This is a place for pure surfing, especially if it becomes a barrel riding contest. Everyone is capable of a good result out here, but on epic days it takes something special to step up to the plate.

Kelly Slater won here last year and is always dangerous, CJ Hobgood is a specialist when it comes to heavy lefthanders. But do not rule out the new school surfers either, this is classic John John Florence territory and he and the likes of Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson are also likely to make an impression.

2013 Volcom Fiji Pro Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link. Fiji is on the other side of the planet GMT -11, so for us in Europe it's another all nighter. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="Jefferies Bay, South Africa,10 – 20 July  "]

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Jefferies Bay, it's one of the classic stops of the tour at one the most iconic breaks on Earth. J-Bay as it is better known is near the city of Port Elizabeth on South Africa's southern coast.

The right hand point break is perfectly foiled to focus and amplify swell that comes roaring out of The Southern Ocean. Like Bells Beach and Pipeline it is one event that everyone aspires to win as it is such a classic.

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Who to watch out for?.

This is a wave which really favours the regular footers. With a tight barrel and big open face for carves, followed by a potential big air section on the end, surfers on their forehand have a significant advantage.

They don't quite have the stranglehold on the place though and a goofy with a tight backhand attack can do damage. However the smart money is always going to be on a powerful regular, Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning all have good records out here. South African Jordy Smith is also lethal out here and has won the main event.

J-Bay is Back Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

J-Bay is GMT +1, so for us in Europe it's a pretty easy watch. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="The Billabong Pro, Teahupoo, Tahiti 15-26 August"]

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Teahupoo, Chopes, The End of The Road, call it what you will is the surfing equivalent of a gladiatorial arena. The left hand reef slab defies the laws of physics to throw up the most impossibly hollow and thick waves in the world.

From 2-5 feet the wave is actually quite mellow, you can get barrelled and do a turn or an air, but when it hits a magic marker of around six feet it turns into a breathing sick mutant, where making the drop requires superhuman abillty let alone making barrels.

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Who to watch out for?.

You would think Goofy footers would have an advantage here, but whilst barrel specialists like CJ Hobgood are dangerous, back hand tube hounds like John John Florence and Kelly Slater excel in difficult conditions.

It's one of the few waves where trialists also have a chance. Being such a specialist wave local Tahitians and Hawaiians get to compete for a wild card slot, and it's one of the few places one of these guys can do some serious damage to WCT hopefuls.

2011 Billabong Tahiti Pro From the Air Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

Bali is  GMT -8, so it's another late night for us. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

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Tretsles, in Southern California, is the ultimate all round performance wave in the world. It's the skate park of surfing, and just happens to be in the middle of Orange County at the heart of the surf industry.

A split peak, over cobblestones, the rippable lefts and rights mean that it opens up a playing field for all sorts of surfers. Tube rides are rarer though and the wave is generally more about turns, airs and waves with solid combinations of both.

It occurs at a pivotal point in the calendar with only three events remaining so it can define a world championship campaign.

ASP Hurley Pro

ASP Hurley Pro

Who to watch out for?.

Everyone! It's the sort of wave that any of the top tier surfers are capable of winning at and it's often a case of who gets on a roll takes the event.

It can also be a place to watch out for the local boys, in swells which tend to pulse from the southern hemisphere wave knowledge can paly a big part. So Kolohe Andino from nearby San Clemente and now local Kelly Slater know what's up.

Hurley Pro Finals 2010 Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

California is  GMT -6. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="The Quiksilver Pro, Hossegor, France,  25 sept  - Oct 6"]

hoss

Hossegor has been on tour for over two decades in some form. Known for some of the finest beachbreaks in the world, the little French seaside town is the hub of European surfing.

The venue is mobile over about five miles of golden sand, and will move depending on swell, tide and wind conditions. The contest can take place in heaving barrels at the famous La Gravierre or the rippable shorebreak at Seignosse, either way it is one of the most exciting contests on tour.

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Who to watch out for?.

Being a beachbreak event it is a pretty open contest, one year can be death barrels the next air sections, so predicting a winner here is hard. It is at a pivotal moment of the year though, with just three events to go a good Quik Pro can be the basis of a solid run to a world title so title contenders generally put on a good performance here.

Mick Fanning won the event last year, and with that almost secured his third world title, but it can also be a place where title challenges can fall as the field is so open.

2011 Quiksilver Pro Finals Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

France is  GMT +1. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="Moche Rip Curl Pro, Supertubes, Portugal 12-23 October"]

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The Rip Curl Pro in Portugal is a reletively recent addition to the full world tour. The wave at Supertubes in the little coastal town of Peniche, Portugal is an epic beachbreak.

In a solid swell the tube rides here are as good as anywhere on the planet and the horseshow shaped sandbanks create massive punt sections. It can be a little fickle though, big tides, and stormy winter swells make it a testing wave when conditions are not perfect.

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Who to watch out for?.

The Brazillians have great support down here, and anyone with a good air game is going to be dangerous. But like all beach breaks it's a pretty open playing filed, new schoolers like Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina have done well here, but so has tour stalworts like Kai Otton who won last year, so it's hard to predict.

It's one to watch though because if someone has been on a run, the world title could easily be sealed here.

2011 Rip Curl Pro Final Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link. Portugal is GMT +1. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.

[part title="Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii 9-20 December"]

pipe

The grand finale, it's the one single event which is probably as important to win in a surfer's career as the world title its self. The heaving left and right reef break on the famous North Shore of Oahu is the ultimate test for any surfer.

Shallow, unforgiving with over critical drops it is the queen of surf breaks. Win a Pipeline Masters crown and you have ascended to surfing royalty.

It rounds of the world tour and eveyr year global surf fans pray that the world title comes down to the hallowed break, it did in 2013 and the battle between Mick fanning and Kelly Slater was glaidatorial in nature with Fanning controversially getting the win he needed.

Billabong Pipe Masters/ Handout

Billabong Pipe Masters/ Handout

Who to watch out for?

Kelly Slater, he is the most decorated Pipe Master, and deadly out at Pipe and Backdoor, he has more Pipe Master titles than anyone and is the defending champion.

Other than that John John Florence is the top local and has almost superhuman ability out there, as do many of the other locals. Like Tahiti local wildcards play a big part and Pipe specialists like Jamie O'Brien have in the past come through the trials to win the event.

2012 Pipeline Master Video:

How to watch?

The whole of the tour is broadcast live on a free webcast, just go to www.aspworldtour.com and follow the link.

Hawaii is GMT +10, it's a late night to watch Pipe bt worth it. The event runs typically over the best three days of the holding period.