Arica: the world's best bodyboarders return to the scene of the crime | Photo: APB

The elite of bodyboarding is ready to kick off the professional competitive season.

After two Qualifying Series Event Tour (QEST) competitions, it's to watch the world's best prone wave riders in action.

The first stop on the World Grand Slam (WGS) series is the 2018 Arica Bodyboard Culture. The event will be held at Ex-Isla Alacrán, in Chile, and supported by local bodyboard club, Union Flopos.

The picturesque surf spot will also debut a new competitive format. The Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) is launching a contest in which all 32 riders will surf three four-man heats over three rounds.

Each competitor will need to aim for the three highest scores possible over three rounds. At the end of Round 3, the top-scoring 16 riders enter Round 4, a man-on-man elimination series.

The same man-on-man clashes continue until a champion is crowned. The new format was inspired by the Shark Island Challenge and the regular world surfing and bodyboarding tours.

"We believe that with the integration of both formats, we've created a revolutionary concept that will lift the level of surfing," explains Alex Leon, CEO of the APB World Tour.

"It will also create better viewing for fans and spectators as our top athletes will now have the chance to go for the biggest possible maneuvers in the most critical sections of the wave."

The format eliminates the "safe surfing" strategies that many athletes adopt when they only need to small score to advance through to the next heat.

The 2018 Arica Bodyboard Culture runs from June 4-13.

APB | Top 24

1. Iain Campbell (RSA)
2. Pierre Louis Costes (FRA)
3. Jared Houston (RSA)
4. Diego Cabrera (CNY) - not competing
5. Uri Valadao (BRA)
6. Alan Munoz (CHI)
7. Roberto Bruno (BRA)
8. Antonio Cardoso (POR)
9. Amaury Lavernhe (REU)
10. Alex Uranga (ESP)
11. Dino Carmo (POR)
12. Lewy Finnegan (AUS)
13. Jacob Romero (HAW)
14. Tristan Roberts (RSA)
15. Maxime Castillo (FRA)
16. Brahim Iddouch (MOR) - not competing
17. Dudu Pedra (BRA)
18. Eder Luciano (BRA)
19. Miguel Rodriguez (PER)
20. Mike Stewart (HAW)
21. Tanner McDaniel (HAW)
22. Nicolas Chiara (ARG)
23. Josh Burguete-Kirkman (AUS)
24. Sacha Damjanic (CHI)

APB | Wildcards

25. Lachlan Cramise (AUS)
26. Igor Sanchez (CNY)

Union Flopos | Wildcards

27. Kevin Torres (CHI)
28. Alexander Wittman (CHI)
29. 1st Qualifyer
30. 2nd Qualifyer
31. 3rd Qualifyer
32. 4th Qualifyer
33. 5th Qualifyer
34. 6th Qualifyer