Filipe Toledo Announces Withdrawal from Remainder of 2024 CT Season
Photo by Pat Nolan/World Surf League

Filipe Toledo Announces Withdrawal from Remainder of 2024 CT Season

As Filipe Toledo takes a break, Boukhiam steps into the spotlight. Explore the implications of this shift in the 2024 CT lineup and its ripple effects in the surfing community

In a surprising turn of events, reigning two-time World Surf League (WSL) champion Filipe Toledo from Brazil has announced his withdrawal from the remainder of the 2024 Championship Tour (CT) season. Toledo cited the need for a one-year mental health break from competition, shedding light on the toll that a decade of competing at the highest level has taken on him.

Toledo, known for his exceptional talent and fierce competitive spirit, expressed the difficulty of his decision after days of deliberation with his closest confidants. In his statement, he said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce today that I am withdrawing for the remainder of the 2024 Championship Tour season. This decision has been so hard for me to make, and it comes after days of discussion with those closest to me. The WSL has been very supportive, and I am very grateful that they have granted me the wildcard for the start of the 2025 season. I am committed to coming back better than ever.”

The Brazilian surfer, who made history as the first Brazilian to secure back-to-back World Titles, emphasized his love for the sport and his respect for fellow competitors. He highlighted the challenges he’s faced, not only with physical injuries but also with mental health struggles, stating the need for a break to recuperate for the next phase of his career:

“In the past, I have been honest about some of my challenges not only with injuries, but also with mental health. Competing at the highest level for the past decade has taken a toll on me, and I need a break to recover for the next chapter of my career.”

Jessi Miley-Dyer, the WSL Chief of Sport, voiced support for Toledo’s decision, acknowledging the all-consuming nature of competing at the highest level. She expressed hopes for his recovery during the hiatus and anticipation for his return via the wildcard entry in 2025:

“The commitment and dedication involved in competing at the highest level can be all-consuming. We support Filipe’s decision to prioritize his mental and physical health as he takes a step back. We hope he has the time and space to recover this year and look forward to seeing him back amongst the world’s best via the WSL CT wildcard in 2025.”

Filipe Toledo’s departure from the CT scene for the remainder of the season opens up opportunities for other surfers, notably Moroccan competitor Ramzi Boukhiam. With Toledo’s absence, Boukhiam, the first North African surfer to qualify for the CT, now has a chance to solidify his position on the tour. Despite battling through adversity, including an ankle injury that forced him to withdraw from the 2023 season, Boukhiam’s perseverance has earned him a shot at showcasing his talents on the world stage.

Toledo’s legacy in the sport is undeniable, with 17 Championship Tour event wins since his debut in 2013 at just 17 years old, including four victories in 2023. His decision to prioritize his well-being serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health in high-performance sports.

As Toledo takes a step back to focus on his recovery, fans eagerly anticipate his return to the waves in 2025. In the meantime, the surfing community rallies behind him in support, wishing him well on his journey to mental and physical wellness.

With the CT season set to continue, eyes will now turn to athletes like Ramzi Boukhiam as they seize the opportunity to make their mark in the world of professional surfing. This is the third major withdrawal or retirement heading into this season, with Carissa Moore retiring, Stephanie Gilmore also taking a break.

Filipe Toledo Announces Withdrawal from Remainder of 2024 CT Season
SAQUAREMA, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JUNE 28: Filipe Toledo of Brazil after surfing in the Final at the Oi Rio Pro on June 28, 2022 at Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)

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