Stab Magazine | A Missed Deadline May Result In The WSL Completely Pulling Out Of Hawaii

Now Live: "Zipper" — A Film By Stab & Monster


A Missed Deadline May Result In The WSL Completely Pulling Out Of Hawaii

A letter from the Mayor of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell. 

news // Feb 6, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The World Surf League continues to face off with City and County of Honolulu over policies regarding surf contest permit applications. The WSL is currently seeking a permit change for the winter season of 2018/2019. The change would see the Volcom Pipe Pro canceled in order to run two consecutive Pipe Masters events, one ending the 2018 season and another roughly a month later to kick off the 2019 season.

Today, in response to a perceived misrepresentation of the situation on the part of the WSL, Mayor Kirk Caldwell released the following statement:

The current permitting rules for surfing contests have been in place for years and were developed to balance the interests of the community with organizations that hold competitions. The process to secure permits at our beach parks is well known to all stakeholders, including officials with the World Surf League. The mayor and the director of Parks and Recreation do not have the authority to circumvent the rules, and arbitrarily changing them would be unfair to all parties involved, especially those applicants who are applying for the same location and time period as the WSL.

Swapping the Volcom Pipe Pro for the Billabong Pipe Masters for the January 29 through February 10 (2019) waiting period, as the WSL is demanding, would constitute a major change in the scope and type of event that would be held, even before the 2018-19 permits have been awarded. This would place other applicants at a disadvantage and be extremely unfair. 

WSL missed the November 9 deadline to amend its permit applications (see attached letter), and the Department of Parks and Recreation must remain fair to those who followed the rules. However, WSL believes the city should grant their request without hesitation, outside of the established rules, because of their economic impact to the community. They have also intimated that they may not return in the next three years if their request is not granted.

The city’s decision regarding this matter is about fairness, not money. If the changes WSL is requesting are indeed minor as the company claims, than the drastic action that is being threatened should not be taken. The city appreciates the contributions of WSL and hopes it will not jeopardize the relationship with Hawai‘i based on what it says are minor changes. WSL is free to incorporate its proposed changes for the 2019/2020 season during the next permit application period, and we encourage them to do so. 

The resolution of the stand-off will have far-reaching effects within the realm of professional surfing. Effects within the economy of Hawaii are not quite so clear.

More to come as the story develops.

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 4.58.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018 02 05 at 4.58.23 PM


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

The Eddie Gets A New Headline Sponsor, Coca Cola Group Stickers A 2x World Champ, The Tractor Scoops Up 2x SSOTY Winner + A SITD Star Parts Ways With O’Neill

The surf industry is showing signs of life — here's a Q1 2024 update.

Apr 13, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Duncan Macfarlane

Covid cleared the lineup while Rasta, Creed and Wade went to work.

Apr 13, 2024

The Stab Interview: Actor Jeffrey Wright

The Oscar nominee for "American Fiction" on what Hollywood can learn from surf films, why…

Apr 13, 2024

This Would Be The Best Surf Trip Of 99.9% Of Surfers’ Lives

Surfline and O'Neill manage to score untouched zones (again) + Soli Bailey adds more inertia…

Apr 12, 2024

Chippa Wilson Stars In ‘Zipper’ — A Surf Film By Stab & Monster

Featuring Filipe Toledo, Harry Bryant, Bobby Martinez, Eithan Osborne, Taro Watanabe, and Dion Agius.

Apr 11, 2024

A Big Ol’ Flaccid Salad

It was hard to be charitable about the opening day in WA.

Apr 11, 2024

Stab Interview: A Rare Glimpse Into The Mind Of World Number 2, Ethan Ewing 

On his favourite surfer (not who you'd think), high-budget surf films, and what it will…

Apr 10, 2024

Full Framey: How Soli Bailey Seized The Wave Of The Swell Event (Again)

A land angle of the backless time-warp and a firsthand encapsulation of the Tasmanian expedition.

Apr 10, 2024

Dead Reckoning: A Western Australia Margaret River Pro Preview

Can John regain his 2017/19 glory? Will Tyler and Gab make the cut?

Apr 9, 2024

There’s A Razor-Sharp Guillotine Hovering Over Two 3x World Champs in WA

Margaret River Boardriders Prez says ‘put your BOAG money on Pinto + Pickles’

Apr 9, 2024

Watch: A Cylindrical And Cinematic Approach To Stab Edit Of The Year

Conor Maguire and Clem McInerney's 'Hounds of the Storm' is an ode to Ireland. 

Apr 8, 2024

This Aerospace-Inspired Board Builder Is Closing Down In Three Weeks

And not because they weren't selling.

Apr 6, 2024

Rumor: The WSL Has Chosen A New CEO

Former employee of Activision, Microsoft, Netflix, and Hulu to take surfing’s reins.

Apr 6, 2024

The Sun Is Shining On Nathan Florence, Who Just Banked A Chunk Of Equity In Surfing’s Fastest-Growing Brand

In the most difficult surf sponsorship climate in modern history, the best surfers are still…

Apr 4, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 3

The sexualization of women's surfing.

Apr 4, 2024

Could Gabriel Medina Actually Get Cut From The Championship Tour?

A mathematical analysis of who needs what to escape the mid-year guillotine.

Apr 4, 2024

Full Frame: Chippa Wilson Is Not (Just) A Small Wave Sultan

Brought to you by Oreo tubes, tuna cans, a reef pass in Oceania, and Zipper.

Apr 3, 2024

The 2024 Bells Trophies Will Live Less Than 25 Miles Apart

Californians Cole Houshmand and Caity Simmers sweep the podium, Griff offers a free lesson in…

Apr 3, 2024