ROD OWEN

Kai Hing plans path to top

KAI Hing's ability to carve up the world's best waves is unquestionable, but the Sunshine Coast teenager has spent the past year searching for the worst waves he can find.

Scoring points in less than ideal conditions is the key to the super-talented 17-year-old climbing the world rankings and edging closer to the world's elite surfing tour. That was the lesson Hing learned in a masterclass from World Championship Tour veteran Adriano De Souza while debuting through a wildcard at last year's Hurley Australian Open.

"It was about one or two foot and just really horrible surf, but he was so good," Hing said.

"The guys on tour, they don't only surf perfect waves well. They can do it no matter what's out there."

After making round four of last year's Hurley Australian Open as a 16-year-old, Hing made it his mission to test himself in challenging conditions.

He hopes it pays off next month after earning another wildcard for the Hurley Australian Open.

The stakes are higher this time, with Hing looking to continue his surge up the rankings towards a spot on the WCT.

The Mount Coolum surfer hopes to climb from 159th in the world to the top 90 - the cut-off that will allow him to compete in all World Qualifying Series events (the gateway to the WCT) in 2016.

At the moment, Hing is not automatically eligible for the top-level qualifying series events, which have the most qualification points available.

If Hing can climb into the top 90 he will compete in every "QS10,000" event in 2016, making it possible to become one of 10 ten WQS surfers who step up to the elite tour the following year.

Although Hing jumped 510 spots on the world rankings in 2014, he knows the 69-spot leap ahead of him is a much tougher task.

"Between 100 and 150 they are all really good surfers and they're all trying to get into that top 90, so you've got to be on top of your game at every event," he said.


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