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World Surf League

World Surf League
Sport Professional Surfing
Founded 1976
Location Santa Monica, CA, United States
Official website

The World Surf League (WSL) is the governing body for professional surfers and is dedicated to showcasing the world’s best talent in a variety of progressive formats.[1] It was known as the Association of Surfing Professionals from 1983 to 2014.[2]

In 2013, the ASP was acquired by ZoSea, backed by Paul Speaker, Terry Hardy, and Dirk Ziff.[3] At the start of the 2015 season, the ASP changed its name to the World Surf League (WSL).[4]


  • History 1
    • Predecessors to the WSL 1.1
    • Creation of the WSL 1.2
  • WSL Membership 2
  • WSL Sanctioned Tours 3
  • WSL World Title Race 4
  • WSL Men's Championship Tour & WSL Women's Championship Tour 5
  • WSL Qualifying Series events 6
  • WSL World Ranking 7
    • Promotion & Relegation 7.1
      • 2012 Tours 7.1.1
      • 2013-2015 Tours 7.1.2
  • Rules 8
    • Judging 8.1
    • Judging criteria 8.2
    • Rules 8.3
  • WSL Championship Tour Champions 9
  • WSL Longboard Championship Tour Champions 10
  • Multiple World Championships 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Predecessors to the WSL

  • 1964 to 1972, International Surfing Federation (ISF) held the World Surfing Championships as a single event every two years and was open to all comers.
  • 1973 to 1975, Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships, occasionally referred to as the de facto professional world championship because the International Surfing Federation had been unable to establish a format or sponsorship so no official amateur championships were held between 1973 and 1975.
  • 1976 to 1982, International Professional Surfers (IPS) was the original world governing body of professional surfing.

The predecessors of the WSL relates to what organization predominantly represented individual professional surfers at that time. This is an important point because the International Surfing Federation (ISF) still functions to this day as the International Surfing Association (ISA) and also refers to competition winners as world champions (or variants thereof).[5][6]

Creation of the WSL

  • WSL Official site

External links

  1. ^ "World Surf League, Frequently Asked Questions, What is the WSL?". Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "ASP History". ASP World Tour. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "ASP World Surfing Tour taken over by US media company Zo-Sea for 2014 season". ABC News AU. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c ASP Announces World Surf League: Letter from CEO, 12 September 2014 (accessed 28 November 2014)
  5. ^ ISA President's Message. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  6. ^ Surfing And The Olympics . Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l WSL Rulebook (accessed 30 April 2015)
  8. ^ "2015 Men's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "2015 Women's Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "2015 Men's Qualifying Series". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "2015 Women's Qualifying Series". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "2015 Men's Longboard Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "2015 Women's Longboard Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "2015 Men's Junior Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "2015 Women's Junior Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "2015 Big Wave Tour". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  17. ^ WSL CT Jeep Leading Rankings . (accessed 30 August 2015)
  18. ^ ASP Returns To Jeffreys Bay (accessed 30 August 2015)
  19. ^ a b c WSL Commissioner's Address: "Performance Rules Everything" . Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  20. ^ a b "ASP Announces Changes to Qualifying Series". World Surf League. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "2015 Men's Championship Tour Jeep® Leaderboard". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "2015 Women's Championship Tour Jeep® Leaderboard". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Rules and Regulations". World Surf League. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c "Archived World Tour Rankings and Results 1976-2012". ASP World Tour. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c d "ASP World Tour Champions". ASP World Tour. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "ISA Member Directory". International Surfing Association. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 


See also

Calculations include world championship titles outside of the WSL as discussed in Predecessors to the WSL section.

Qualifier for list is to hold a minimum of 2 world championship titles across the categories.[19]


Multiple World Championships

Year WSL World Longboard Tour[25] WSL Women’s World Longboard Tour[25]
Name Points Name Points
2014  Harley Ingleby[2] (AUS) -  Chelsea Williams (AUS) -
2013  Piccolo Clemente (PER) -  Kelia Moniz[2] (HAW) -
2012  Taylor Jensen[2] (USA) -  Kelia Moniz (HAW) -
2011  Taylor Jensen (USA) 16,000  Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 15,200
2010  Duane DeSoto (HAW)  Cori Schumacher[2] (USA)
2009  Harley Ingleby (AUS)  Jennifer Smith[2] (USA)
2008  Bonga Perkins (HAW)  Joy Monahan (HAW)
2007  Phil Rajzman (BRA)  Jennifer Smith (USA)
2006  Josh Constable (AUS)  Schuyler McFerran (USA)
2005 Cancelled  Kristy Murphy (USA)
2004  Joel Tudor [2] (USA)  Summer Romero (USA)
2003  Beau Young [2] (AUS)  Daize Shayne[2] (USA)
2002  Colin McPhillips [3] (USA)  Kim Hamrock (USA)
2001  Colin McPhillips [2] (USA)  Cori Schumacher [2] (USA)
2000  Beau Young (AUS)  Cori Schumacher (USA)
1999  Colin McPhillips (USA)  Daize Shayne (USA)
1998  Joel Tudor (USA)
1997  Dino Miranda (HAW)
1996  Bonga Perkins (HAW)
1995  Rusty Keaulana [3] (HAW)
1994  Rusty Keaulana [2] (HAW)
1993  Rusty Keaulana (HAW)
1992  Joey Hawkins (USA)
1991  Martin McMillan (AUS)
1990  Nat Young [4] (AUS)
1989  Nat Young [3] (AUS)
1988  Nat Young [2] (AUS)
1987/88  Stuart Entwistle (AUS)
1986/87  Nat Young (AUS)


WSL Longboard Championship Tour Champions

Year WSL Men's Championship Tour[25] WSL Women's Championship Tour[25]
Name Points Name Points
2014  Gabriel Medina (BRA) 62,800  Stephanie Gilmore[6] (AUS) 64,200
2013  Mick Fanning[3] (AUS) 54,400  Carissa Moore[2] (HAW) 59,500
2012  Joel Parkinson (AUS) 58,700  Stephanie Gilmore[5] (AUS) 48,400
2011  Kelly Slater[11] (USA) 68,100  Carissa Moore (HAW) 55,000
2010  Kelly Slater[10] (USA) 69,000  Stephanie Gilmore[4] (AUS) 7,284
2009  Mick Fanning [2] (AUS) 7,140  Stephanie Gilmore[3] (AUS) 6,169
2008  Kelly Slater[9] (USA) 8,042  Stephanie Gilmore[2] (AUS) 7,188
2007  Mick Fanning (AUS) 8,136  Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6,708
2006  Kelly Slater [8] (USA) 8,124  Layne Beachley[7] (AUS) 6,374
2005  Kelly Slater [7] (USA) 7,962   )AUS( 7,080
2004  Andy Irons [3] (HAW) 7,824  Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5,484
2003  Andy Irons [2] (HAW) 8,964  Layne Beachley [6] (AUS) 3,696
2002  Andy Irons (HAW) 8,102  Layne Beachley [5] (AUS) 3,200
2001  C. J. Hobgood (USA) 3,094  Layne Beachley [4] (AUS) 1,760
2000  Sunny Garcia (HAW) 7,270  Layne Beachley [3] (AUS) 5,730
1999  Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 7,120  Layne Beachley [2] (AUS) 8,080
1998  Kelly Slater [6] (USA) 6,398  Layne Beachley (AUS) 7,920
1997  Kelly Slater [5] (USA) 8,260  Lisa Andersen[4] (USA) 8,520
1996  Kelly Slater [4] (USA) 9,540  Lisa Andersen[3] (USA) 12,750
1995  Kelly Slater [3] (USA) 6,040  Lisa Andersen [2] (USA) 12,920
1994  Kelly Slater [2] (USA) 6,660  Lisa Andersen (USA) 7,650
1993  Derek Ho (HAW) 5,510  Pauline Menczer (AUS) 7,080
1992  Kelly Slater (USA) 7,765  Wendy Botha [4] (AUS) 10,205
1991  Damien Hardman [2] (AUS) 12,854  Wendy Botha [3] (AUS) 7,424
1990  Tom Curren [3] (USA) 17,612  Pam Burridge (AUS) 14,440
1989  Martin Potter (UK) 20,665  Wendy Botha [2] (AUS) 14,380
1988  Barton Lynch (AUS) 17,475  Freida Zamba [4] (USA) 7,960
1987/88  Damien Hardman (AUS) 13,690  Wendy Botha (RSA) 8,220
1986/87  Tom Curren [2] (USA) 13,115  Freida Zamba [3] (USA) 9,230
1985/86  Tom Curren (USA) 11,490  Freida Zamba [2] (USA) 5,320
1984/85  Tom Carroll[2] (AUS) 9,460.38  Freida Zamba (USA) 3,400
1983/84  Tom Carroll (AUS) 6,830  Kim Mearig (USA) 3,125
IPS World Circuit
1982  Mark Richards [5] (AUS) 6,917  Debbie Beacham (USA) 3,059.14
1981  Mark Richards [4] (AUS) 6,211.52  Margo Oberg[3] (HAW) 3,850
1980  Mark Richards [3] (AUS) 6,890  Margo Oberg [2] (HAW) 2,000
1979  Mark Richards [2] (AUS) 6,781.14  Lynn Boyer[2] (HAW) 3,722.50
1978  Wayne Bartholomew (AUS) 5,749.25  Lynn Boyer (HAW) 3,986.14
1977  Shaun Tomson (RSA) 5,948.3  Margo Oberg (HAW) 4,850
1976  Peter Townend (AUS) 5,593
Smirnoff World Pro-Am Surfing Championships
1975  Mark Richards (AUS)
1974  Reno Abellira (USA)
1973  Ian Cairns (AUS)
ISF World Surfing Championships
1972 - San Diego, USA  James Blears (USA)  Sharon Webber (USA)
1970 - Torquay / Lorne / Johanna, AUS  Rolf Aurness (USA)  Sharon Webber (USA)
1968 - Rincon, Puerto Rico, PR  Fred Hemmings (USA)  Margo Godfrey (USA)
1966 - San Diego, USA  Nat Young (AUS)  Joyce Hoffman (USA)
1965 - Punta Rocas, Peru  Felipe Pomar (PER)  Joyce Hoffman (USA)
1964 - Manly, AUS  Midget Farrelly (AUS)  Phyllis O'Donnell (AUS)

WSL Championship Tour Champions

A surfer who has already taken off or obtained possession of a wave maintains this position until the end of their ride. If another surfer takes off on the inside of this surfer, then this person does not obtain priority and is considered to be snaking. If this surfer does not hurt the other surfers ride, then both people can be scored based. If the judges determine that the snaking did interfere then the person will be penalized. Interference penalties are called by the judges and must have a majority to be declared an actual penalty. Interference are shown as triangles on the score cards in various different ways depending on when or where in the heat they were made. If three or more waves are being scored than one wave will be dropped off the score card. If only the top two waves are being scored, then 50% of the second best-scored wave will be taken off. If a surfer has more than one then 50% of the best waves score will be taken off also. The surfer who has been interfered with will be allowed an additional wave to their maximum as long as it is within the time limit. If a surfer interferes more than twice in a heat then they must leave the competition area.[7]

In a one-on-one competition, priority can be declared by the Head Judge. Once the person with priority has paddled for a wave priority is then turned over to the next person until that person does the same. The person with second priority can paddle for waves as long as it does not interfere with the other person who will lose their priority only if they catch a wave.[7]

The rules of right of way vary slightly with the type of break. Point Breaks will always have a consistent direct of what is inside, that is, the person further up the line will have right of way. In a single peak situation where there is both a left and a right two people are able to be on the wave at the same time, provided that one goes left and one goes right and that neither crosses the path of the other to go one direction. If this does happen then, the surfer who stood up first will get the right of way. On a multi-peaked wave where the wave eventually comes together, both peaks can be surfed until the surfers come together. When they do the surfer who stood up first has right of way, and the other must maneuver to get off the wave without interrupting the other surfer.[7]

A surfer can also be found guilty of interference if they catch more than their maximum amount of waves in a heat and that this takes away from the other competitors ability to catch waves. A competitor is also not allowed to interfere with another competitor’s paddling and maneuvering for a wave.[7]

There are many rules out in the water that all revolve around the idea of right of way. A surfer has the right of way if he or she is closer to the area where the wave is breaking, this is more commonly referred to as having the inside position. If another surfer takes off in front of the surfer that has the inside position, then interference will be called, and penalties will be enacted. In most circumstances it does not matter who stood up first but who has the inside position.[7]


The events themselves are previously declared QS 1,000 - QS 10,000 events; among other things this ranking shows what numbers of judges which are required at the event. QS 1,000 - QS 3,000 Qualifying Series events are required to have a six judge panel with four judges on each heat. A QS 4,000 - QS 6,000 Qualifying Series event requires seven judges with five of those judges on each heat. At QS 5,000 - QS 10,000 Qualifying Series events there are only allowed to be 3 judges from any one region. This is then limited to two at any world championship events. All events also require an WSL approved head judge who has the ability to make corrections to errors or any other events that may have affected the results.[7]

These elements may be weighted differently from day to day and event to event, depending upon on the surfing conditions and the type of breaking wave at each event location. This criterion is different from in longboarding competitions. All of this is focused on creating some type consistency that can be seen throughout the many different events.[23]

  • Commitment and degree of difficulty
  • Innovative and progressive maneuvers
  • Combination of major maneuvers
  • Variety of maneuvers
  • Speed, power and flow

Judges will base the previous score on how successfully surfers display these following elements in each wave:

Judging criteria[7]

  • 0–1.9 = Poor
  • 2.0–3.9 = Fair
  • 4.0–5.9 = Average;
  • 6.0–7.9 = Good
  • 8.0–10.0 = Excellent

In contests surfers will be scored on a scale of 0.1 to 10.0, these scores will be broken up into increments of one-tenth. The following scale can be used to relate descriptions with the score:




  • Top 22 surfers from the previous season of the WSL World Title Rankings;
  • Top 10 surfers from the previous season of the WSL World Qualifying Series (QS) Rankings (those who haven’t already qualified in the above) and
  • 2 WSL wildcards.

The qualifiers for the following year's WSL Championship Tour top 34 surfers[21] will consist of:

2013-2015 Tours

The qualifiers for the 2012 ASP Women's World Tour was determined by a surfer's rank at the conclusion of the 2011 Tour. The top 10 re-qualified for 2012 and the remaining 7 places were taken from the ASP Star Ranking.

The qualifiers for the 2012 ASP World Tour top 34 surfers was determined using a Rotation Points system.

2012 Tours

WSL World Ranking determines the promotion or relegation of surfers.[7]

Promotion & Relegation

WSL Men's Championship Tour (CT) and WSL Women's Championship Tour (CT) surfers accumulate points from each WSL Championship Tour (CT) and WSL Qualifying Series (QS) event they compete in which count towards their WSL World Ranking.[21][22] Accumulated points are valid for 12 months from the final date of the scheduled event in which they were earned.[7]

WSL World Ranking

A WSL QS 1,000 - QS 9,000 event is a lower level of competition, compared to an WSL QS 10,000 event, with their importance indicated by how many points they are assigned: more points means generally better competition and prize money.[10][11][20]

A WSL QS 10,000 event is held at premium venues with a restricted field and offers WSL QS 10,000 World Rankings points.[10][11][20]

WSL Qualifying Series events

Event results are converted to points and count towards the WSL World Title Race and the ultimate prize of being called the WSL World Tour Champion.

The WSL Women's Championship Tour (CT) is the women's elite competition consisting of the best 17 professional surfers competing in 10 events (as of 2015).[19]

The WSL Men's Championship Tour (CT) is the men's elite competition consisting of the best 34 professional surfers competing in 11 events (as of 2015).[19]

WSL Men's Championship Tour & WSL Women's Championship Tour

In 2015, the WSL Women’s World Title is given to the surfer with the most accumulated points from their respective best 8 results from the 10 WSL Women’s Championship Tour events (WSL Qualifying Series (QS) events excluded).

In 2015, the WSL Men's World Title is given to the surfer with the most accumulated points from their respective best 9 results from the 11 WSL World Tour events (WSL Qualifying Series (QS) events excluded).[18]

The WSL World Title Race is used to determine the WSL Men's World Title and the WSL Women’s World Title. The winner is referred to as the WSL Tour Champion.[17]

WSL World Title Race

  • WSL Men's Championship Tour (CT)[8]
  • WSL Women's Championship Tour (CT)[9]
  • WSL Men's Qualifying Series (QS)[10]
  • WSL Women's Qualifying Series (QS)[11]
  • WSL Men's Longboard Championships[12]
  • WSL Women’s Longboard Championships[13] and
  • WSL Junior Championships.[14][15]
  • WSL Big Wave Tour[16]
  • World Surf League = 2015[4]

WSL Sanctioned Tours

Membership to the WSL is only available to individuals.[7]

WSL Membership

(men's) and Kim Mearig (women's) in 1983. Tom Carroll The WSL's first world champions were [2]

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