Stab Magazine | The WSL Will Allow Its Surfers To Compete In The ISA World Surf Games
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The WSL Will Allow Its Surfers To Compete In The ISA World Surf Games

Like it or not, Olympic prep is in full force. 

news // Oct 27, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

The wheels of Olympic Surfing continue to grind forward. After decades of swinging single, the WSL and ISA just announced their intentions to cohabitate.

Up until today, WSL rules prohibited its athletes from participating in ISA-sanctioned events, but moving forward WSL surfers will now be allowed to compete in the ISA World Surfing Games.

“The ISA World Surfing Games is a unique event where national surfing teams from around the world are given the opportunity to compete. The WSL remains committed to allow our top professional surfers on the WSL Championship Tour to represent their country at the ISA World Surfing Games,” said WSL CEO Paul Speaker. “The WSL also continues to work alongside the ISA with the goal of providing the 2020 Olympic Games with the best possible surfing experience.”

It’s a minor rule tweak, but one that promises to have a considerable impact on the quality and visibility of the World Surfing Games, which serves as the feeder platform for the Olympics. Now, should he so choose, newly crowned world champ John John Florence can represent the Hawaiian team in the 2017 World Surfing Games—but he’ll have to ride for the red, white and blue in 2020.

“This is a significant moment, in a significant year for the development of surfing globally,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Today’s news reinforces our long-term commitment to ensure the very best surfers compete when surfing makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020…. Our aim is to solidify surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic Program beyond 2020.”

Love it or loath it, the evolution of Olympic Surfing is on. The governing bodies are playing in the same sandbox. The surfers and industry are walking in lockstep. All they have to do now is convince the fan that everybody wins not just the one percent.

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