HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Saturday, July 21, 2012) ? Surfing’s focus is often preoccupied on discovering surfing?s next big thing, a preteen super talent with Slateresque potential. But while the bulk of the surfing world searches for the next prodigy, incredibly-talented and polished surfers putting it all on the line on the ASP?s global circuit often go unnoticed. With several surfers on the ASP Top 34 improving well into their 30s, a new trend developing is surfers chasing the dream of ‘CT qualifications well into their mid-20s.
With a group of talent that goes well beyond the ASP Top 100, it seems easy for several Tour hopefuls to become lost in the pack in a struggle to earn that breakthrough result. Brian Toth (PRI), 27, is one surfer who has been flying under the radar as of late while building momentum amidst the world?s top talent. Tothy has strung together a few major results in ASP Prime events this season, including a Semifinals finish at Fernando de Noronha in Brazil and most recently an equal 5th place at the Mr. Price Pro and is quickly climbing the rankings.
It may seem as if the light-hearted Puerto Rican is on a new hot streak, but Toth feels the turning point for him was over a year ago, with a victory at the ASP 4-Star Quiksilver Clasico Mazatlan.
?Yea, it definitely feels great to see results,? Toth said. ?After my first major win last year, I?ve been on a little roll. I?m just enjoying every moment at every place without stressing out about anything.?
A full year of competition can be exhausting for even the most seasoned of competitors, but Toth tries his best to bring home on the road and feels that the balance of traveling with close friends and a strict training regime while at home has helped his development.
?I?ve been traveling with great people all year round so they pretty much keep me grounded and make me feel like family which is good. You want that on tour because that?s one of the main reasons why people want to go home a lot of the time, so I?m grateful for that. I personally keep my confidence when I train back home, I feel strong and feel like I can dominate anything!?
Toth is a prime example of a more seasoned competitor taking on highly talked about up and comers, but his years on the road coupled with his natural ability provide a strong combination to take on surfing?s youth.
?Yea, I?m more of a veteran, that?s a fact,? Toth said. ?I do feel probably more comfortable at the places I go to and have a little bit more knowledge than the upcoming young guns around the world so let me take advantage of that now!?
Toth has earned success throughout the 2012 season, but it hasn?t come easy. With the 12 month result rotation no longer in effect, Toth has entered the majority of events this season as a wildcard or low seed. With the reseed about to unfold following the Nike US Open, Toth is looking to capitalize on his position as a high seed, but knows that taking on the stiff competition in ASP Prime events is a tough task regardless of where you sit in the draw.
?Yea, it?s been a little bit of a stress not knowing if I was getting into any of the Primes,? Toth said. ?I?ve been just barely squeaking into them and luckily I have been taking advantage of that and actually producing some results. I?m stoked! No rounds are easy in any of these Primes. You have the top guys defending their slot on the WCT at almost all of the Primes, but I?m stoked to compete against them in the first round, it?s a great experience that?s for sure.?
Toth, current No. 28 on the Men?s ASP World Ranking, is currently within the qualification bubble for the 2013 ASP WCT and while there is a long road ahead before Toth can secure a position among the elite, he stands a chance at becoming the first Puerto Rican ever to join the ASP Top 34, a feeling that has more motivated than ever.
?Thinking about being the first Puerto Rican to qualify gives me goose bumps,? Toth said. ?That?s all I can really say. Can you imagine? Of course I would be lying if I said I haven?t been thinking about it, but it?s been on my mind ever since I got that third in Brazil. I do try and forget about it to not blow it or make any mistakes, but its definitely hard not to think about it! My plans are to do the rest of the primes and get some more solid results before the year is at an end and we?ll see what happens!?