What is the World Surf League?

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The WSL (World Surf League) organization is held responsible for the organizing the annual tour for professional surf competitions. These competitions consist of: the Championship Tours (CT), the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour, the Longboard Championship, the Junior Championship and the Masters Championship, as well as the Big Wave Awards.2014 ASP World Champions Stephanie Gilmore and Gabriel Medina honored at the World Surfing Awards on the Gold Coast of Australia on Wednesday February 25, 2015.

The original organization was founded by Hawaiian surfers, Fred Hemmings and Randy Rarickin, in 1976. At this point in time, it was known as the Association of Profissional Surfers (APS). In 1983, Lan Cairns took the next step and created the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). At the beginning of 2015 the ASP officially became what we know it as today, the World Surf League. 

These adjustments caused the association to suffer some big changes. Most of this responsibility was levied on Paul Speaker, the new CEO of the WSL. Following a part of his interview about the changes that the League suffered, he stated,

“We’re removing stop signs and replacing them with welcome mats,” says Speaker, whose executive management tenure includes serving as Director of Marketing and Ideas for the National Football League, President of Time Inc. Studios, and President of RKO Studios where he was responsible for the organizations’ creative development, advertising and organization-wide integration of marketing strategies. Recently stepping down as Lead Independent Director for Quiksilver as part of their board of directors, Speaker is now required to manage all aspects of the ASP’s business.”

He went further to explain,

“We want a 40-year-old father/ lifelong surfer who’s introducing his six-year-old son to the sport for the first time at an event will get an experience equivalent to that of other professional sports,” Speaker envisions. “That he remembers the experience and creates a family legacy that will mature over generations.”

The main event that the WSL coordinates is the Championship Tours. These tours consist of 11 events for the men’s and 10 events for the women’s tour. In 2014, the crowned champions were: Gabriel Medina (BR) in the men’s Championship Tour and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in the women’s league.

For a full list of this year’s surfers and their rankings, hit up the World Surf League online!

 


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