APB World Tour: the 2018 season will feature 10 stops | Photo: APB

The Association of Professional Bodyboarders (APB) released the provisional schedule for the 2018 APB World Tour.

The professional bodyboarding circuit will once again crown champions across four division. However, the 2018 APB World Tour will not kick off with the iconic Pipeline Invitational.

For reasons that remain unclear, the world's best bodyboarders will only start the season in Australia, meaning that the competitive year will be shortened to six months.

There are a few surprises on the calendar. One of the most surprising and positive changes is the addition of an Australian stage in Kiama, New South Wales, and of a South African leg in an undisclosed spot. The United States continues out of the equation.

Unfortunately, the Tahitian stop was removed from the official schedule, and riders will not compete at Teahupoo this year.

With a total of nine events in the Men's schedule, the APB split them into two categories - World Grand Slams (WGS) and Open. The WGS events are reserved for the top 24 athletes, while the Open contests are necessarily open to all riders.

According to the APB World Tour organizers, the best three out of four WGS count for the world title math.

Depending on the prize money available at the Open events, they will be rated as Premium, 4-Star, 3-Star, and 2-Star contests, and will distribute between 5,000 and 2,000 points.

Teahupoo: the APB World Tour returns to Tahiti in 2018 | Photo: Alex Leon

On the Women's World Series (WWS), there are two new venues - Kiama and Madeira. The bodyboarder girls will compete in a total of six events, with the best three out of four counting for the rankings.

In the Drop-Knee division, there are no changes. The world champion will be crowned in a one-off event in Portugal's Praia Grande. Finally, the APB announced three specialty events for 2018: the Shark Island Challenge, TAND Invitational, and the Fronton King Festival.

Iain Campbell (Men), Joana Schenker (Women), Nelson Flores (Junior), and Sammy Morretino (Drop-Knee) are the defending world champions.

2017 APB World Tour | Provisional Schedule (Updated February 6)

Men
NSW Kiama Bodyboard Slam | Kiama, NSW, Australia | May 2 - 13 | WGS
Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival | Ola La Cupula, Antofagasta | May 20 - 27 | Premium
Arica Chilean Challenge | El Gringo, Arica, Chile | May 29 - June 10 | WGS
Itacoatiara Pro | Itacoatiara, Niteroi Brasil | June 13 - 24 | WGS
South Africa Pro | TBC | July | 2-Star
Sintra Pro | Praia Grande, Sintra, Portugal | September 11 - 16 | Premium
World Bodyboard Championship | Arda Beach, Viana, Portugal | September 24-30 | 4-Star
Nazare Pro | Praia de Norte, Nazare, Portugal | October 3 - 11 | WGS
Gran Canaria Frontón King Pro | El Fronton, Galdar, Canary Island | October 14 - 28 | WGS

Women
NSW Kiama Bodyboard Slam | Kiama, NSW Australia | May 2 - 13 | WWS
Antofagasta Bodyboard Festival | Ola La Cupula, Antofagasta | May 20 - 27 | WWS
Sintra Pro | Praia Grande, Sintra, Portugal | September 11 - 16 | WWS
Bodyboard Girls Experience | Madeira | September 20-23 | WWS
Nazare Pro | Praia de Norte, Nazare, Portugal | October 3 - 11 | WWS
Frontón King Festival | El Fronton, Galdar, Canary Island | October 14 - 28 | WWS

Pro Junior
World Bodyboard Championship | Arda Beach, Viana, Portugal | September 24-30 | Grand Slam

Drop-Knee
Sintra Pro | Praia Grande, Sintra, Portugal | September 11 - 16 | Grand Slam

Specialty Events
Shark Island Challenge | Shark Island, Australia | March-October
Digicape TAND Invitational | South Africa | May 30
Fronton King Festival | El Fronton, Galdar, Canary Islands | October 14-15 | Drop-Knee

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