HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Sunday, December 20, 2009) – Now that the dust has settled after the dramatic finish to the 2009 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour season, 10 Mainland American surfers have secured the right to surf amongst the top 45 for the 2010 ASP Dream Tour.
The 2010 ASP World Tour season, which will undergo a significant facelift, will see six veteran surfers lead the four fresh faces to qualify via the ASP WQS towards the ultimate goal of the ASP World Title.
Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 37, former nine-time ASP World Champion, was the top rated American to requalify for next year's quest for surfing's throne after a near-immaculate performance at the Billabong Pipe Masters where he finished runner-up behind Australian talent Taj Burrow (AUS), 31. Despite leading America's strong force of competitors into the 2010 season, the iconic-veteran was cautious in announcing his commitment to the ASP World Tour for next year.
"I don't know if I'm going to do the tour full-time next year," Slater said. "I'm sort of feeling it out. I've just competed for so many years, doing the same thing and going to the same places, it's a little monotonous. When you find some meaning in it and it's bigger than just going and surfing, then it becomes more exciting, but, unfortunately, this year I had a pretty lackluster year in a lot of ways, both personally and competitively and it probably showed in my surfing."
C.J. Hobgood (Melbourne, FL), 30, who was the 2001 ASP World Champion, finished his year No. 7 amongst the elite and capitalized on his impressive barrel-riding skills at Pipeline to finish his year off with a fifth at the Billabong Pro while posting one of the event's perfect 10-point rides for a massive forehand barrel.
Also wrapping up their year within the crucial top-27 on the ASP World Tour were Bobby Martinez (Santa Barbara, CA), 27, who claimed a crucial win at this year's Billabong Pro Tahiti and finished the year ASP World No. 8, Damien Hobgood (Satellite Beach, FL), 30, who posted his best result of the season with a runner-up finish at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, finished the year No. 9, while California sensation Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 24, finished the year rated 10th.
In addition to the top 10, Taylor Knox (Carlsbad, CA), 38, who just completed his 16th season amongst the world's finest surfing talent, wrapped up his season rated 12th, guaranteeing the veteran competitor an amazing 17th season on the ASP World Tour.
To see all surfers' profiles and the 2010 ASP World Tour schedule log on to www.aspworldtour.com
American Surfers Qualified for 2010 ASP World Tour
1. Kelly Slater
2. C.J. Hobgood
3. Bobby Martinez
4. Damien Hobgood
5. Dane Reynolds
6. Taylor Knox
7. Patrick Gudauskas
8. Nathan Yeomans
9. Brett Simpson
10. Tanner Gudauskas