Three Championship Tour events for Australia may be a luxury the World Surf League can no longer afford but the new format's trade-off is a four-month residency designed to fast-track the next world champion.
A swathe of lower-tier WSL events have been added to the Australian leg of next year's tour schedule to help offset the loss of Snapper Rocks on the Championship Tour and create a rare four-month competition window.
Seven Qualifying Series, four Pro Junior and two Challenger Series events have been added to bolster the top-level Championship Tour (CT) stops at Bells Beach and Margaret River.
Not since COVID-19 hit has the global surfing body committed to such a long run of events in one country.
The WSL announced in August the Gold Coast CT event at Snapper Rocks would not return after it was postponed in 2020 because of COVID-19 and cancelled this year when the Queensland Government refused to cover quarantining costs for surfers.
Instead, a second-tier Challenger Series event will be held at the popular break for at least the next three years, which could still lure the world's best to the break after the Margaret River Pro and before the CT's return to Indonesia's G-Land after 24 years.
A mid-season cut-off of lower-ranked CT surfers after the Margaret River event will also see many of them obligated to requalify in the lower-tier events, stacking those fields with a mix of current and emerging talent.
It follows a re-jigged 2021 season that had four of the eight CT events - three of them completely new - held in Australia despite the scrapping of both the Bells Beach and Snapper Rocks stops.
Australia and Oceania WSL boss Andrew Stark said there was no wiggle room to include the popular Gold Coast break that he calls home in the new-look Championship Tour calendar.
"We're a global organisation, truly global and you need events in all the pockets of the world," he told AAP.
"And it'd be a luxury to have three of ten events in one country, put it that way."
The former long-time Surfing Australia boss said the new regional qualifying series - there will be seven around the world - offered an even playing field compared to the previous model that saw juniors forced to fly around the world to qualify for the next level.
"We're committed to the market and region more than ever," he told AAP.
"It cleans it up and creates the best pathway opportunity I've ever seen.
"In the past that was a long game. Now if you've got talent you'll get on pretty quickly."
AUSTRALIA'S 2022 WSL EVENTS
Pro Junior Events
* March 12-13 - Lake Mac Pro Junior, Newcastle
* March 21-23 - Tweed Coast Pro Junior, Tweed Coast
* May 4-6 - Gold Coast Pro Junior, Gold Coast
* May 14-16 - Sydney Surf Pro Junior, Manly
Qualifying Series Events
* February 10-13 - Phillip Island Pro QS1000, Phillip Island
* February 22-25 - Carve Great Lakes Pro QS1000, Pacific Palms
* February 27- Mar 1 - Port Stephens Pro QS1000, Port Stephens
* March 4-6 - Maroubra Pro QS1000, Sydney
* March 14-19 - Central Coast Pro QS3000, Avoca
* March 21-27 - Tweed Coast Pro QS5000, Tweed Coast
* March 28-April 3 - City of Newcastle Pro QS5000, Newcastle
Championship Tour Events
* April 10-20 - Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach CT, Bells Beach
* April 24-May 4 - Margaret River Pro CT, Margaret River
Challenger Series Events
* May 7-15 Gold Coast Pro Challenger Series, Coolangatta
* May 17-24 Sydney Surf Pro Challenger Series, Manly