Confusion: Why did World Surf League stop at 1976? Why not “EST. 2500 B.C.”?

The oldest association on earth!

So we all know that our World Surf League was not established in 1976. The world’s greatest living surf journalist, Nick Carroll, spelled it out very clearly in the comments just yesterday eve and I’ll reprint here, for you, since it should have been a post all by itself.

Shall we list the acronyms for them, one by one?

1. IPSA, formed in 1968/9 by various scions of the Outrigger Canoe Club who thought that because the Duke Classic had prize money, they would soon be running a 13-event world pro surfing tour. Sadly this did not eventuate, and the IPSA kinda disappeared around 1972.

2. IPS. Private company formed in 1975/6 by Fred Hemmings to administer a world rankings system. First known as “International Professional Surfers”, changed in 1978 to “International Professional Surfing” so as to dissuade the surfers from thinking they had ownership of it.

3. ASP. Non-profit association formed by Ian Cairns in late 1982. Shared ownership structure involving surfers and event promoters. Forced a takeover of the world rankings system from IPS in 1983. Much stuff then commenced for many years until

4. ZoSea Media took control of ASP in 2013, re-established it as a private sports management operation, and eventually changed the branding to World Surf League in 2015.

World Surf League, est. 2015.

Ok. But we know what Dirk Ziff means, right? He means, “I own professional surfing. I bought it for free and in so doing own its history too.”

Great. He is co-Waterman of the Year so can do whatever he wants BUT why didn’t he go all the way back into the mists of time. To Peru in 2500 B.C. where the first brave fisherman invented surfing? There is no doubt they had some sort of competitive aspect tied into the wave riding. So… yeah. Why not World Surf League, est. 2500 B.C.?

Can you give me a good reason?

Revealed: At least ten nations to be represented in surfing at the 2020 Tokyo Games!

But which ten?

The 2020 Olympiad, which will take place in Tokyo and feature surfing for the first time in Olympic history, is around the corner. Time flies when we’re having fun and oh how we’ve been having fun. Haven’t we?


Haven’t we?

Well, the Olympics and I don’t care and you don’t care but we might care next summer so let’s examine the qualification process as just explained by the Adventure Sports Network:

Here’s the deal: There will be a total of 40 surfers competing in the 2020 Olympic Games – 20 men and 20 women. Each country can only bring a total of four surfers – two men and two women. This ensures that at least 10 surfing nations will get an opportunity to perform on the big stage.

The lion’s share of the competitors will come via the World Surf League (WSL). The top 10 men and top eight women at the end of the 2019 WSL Championship Tour will be eligible for the Games. The tour kicks off in Australia in April, and ends in Hawaii in December.

Based on their placing, four men and four women will emerge from the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, which takes place at Kisakihama Beach in Japan from Sept. 7 – 15. This will also be a trial run for the Olympics and all Olympic hopefuls are required to surf in it, so expect to hear a lot of hype when the contest rolls around this fall.


The “…at least 10 surfing nations…” bit seems fun and let’s make a bet on which 10 surfing nations will be represented. I’m going with:


The United States





South Africa




Runner up: Senegal (due the inspiring work of Black Girls Surf at world’s best training wave in Venice Beach, California.)

Your turn.

Breaking: World Surf League has new logo and new longboard tour director!

It's morning in Santa Monica!

Don’t look now but the World Surf League is making good moves. Money moves even. Oh you know I’m very first in line to land a kick right in those totalitarian guts but… lately there’s nothing I can do except applaud. Have I gone weak or are you with me?

First, there was Pat O’Connell’s hiring. The Endless Summer II’s second most engaging star is a wonderful choice as commissioner mostly because he has a sense of humor about water dancing. He loves, like you, like me, but also thinks it’s funny, like you, like me and imagine that for a moment.

A sense of humor in Santa Monica’s High Castle.

Second, the League has jettisoned the ugliest logo in professional pastime history and replaced it with a chic, minimalist, Brooklyn Nets-esque design. It ain’t bad. It might even be nice and, if boozed enough, I’d consider getting it tattooed on my reconstituted shoulder.

Third, Devon Howard was just named the revamped longboard tour director and let’s read the press release.

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced updates to its longboard schedule with the newly structured Longboard Tour, a four-event longboard circuit. Timeless lines drawn by surfing’s most graceful longboarders will be on full display in the revamped Longboard Tour that will crown the World Longboard Champions at the end of the season.

The Longboard Tour will run events in Noosa, Queensland, Australia; Galicia in Spain; and Long Island in New York. These three events will be in addition to the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships at the end of the year. The Longboard Tour will accompany the existing Longboard Qualifying Series events, which will now transition to Longboard Regional events.

Devon Howard has been appointed Longboard Tour Director and will oversee all of the WSL’s longboard events working closely with all areas of the WSL. Howard’s influential style has had an inspiring impact on surf culture, but more importantly, he will bring an impressive resume with a litany of skill sets and an intimate knowledge of surfing that will play a key role in the success of this Tour.

I hate longboarding but I love Devon Howard.

What’s happening? Have I caught Stockholm Syndrome?


"You're gonna get it, you're gonna get it, you're gonna get it etc."

Watch: (Very short) Surf Fight at Kirra!

A rational response to outrageous drop-in?

How many surf fights y’seen live? As in, punches thrown, landed and so on.

One of the better ones I’ve seen was at Burleigh Heads. A local man dropped in on an out-of-towner, not so much a Val, more the Emerging Intermediate. The Gold Coast points will forgive a multitude of sins, technique wise, and even a surfer who has yet to master rudimentary turns can appear competent on the easy long walls.

The EI didn’t say a word. The local did a roundhouse cutback off the guy and they disappeared. A few seconds later the local surfaced holding a clump of the shrieking man’s bristly yellow hair in his fist.

You had to laugh, I suppose.

Yesterday, at Kirra, a couple of surfers went at it after the usual drop-in.

If you’ve ever chased a cyclone swell, you’ll know how difficult it is to get any sorta wave, let alone something that’s going to make the trip worth the time and shekels. So when you’ve waited two hours, manoeuvred yourself through the pack, negotiated the ledge and someone else is gobbling up your tube steak?

Well, it makes your blood boil don’t it.

And who can be expected to act rationally in this scenario?

Who wore it best: The “Hawaiian Handshake” edition!

Everything old is new again!

Any true student of popular culture knows that nothing is permanent. What is considered en vogue today will be ruthlessly mocked tomorrow. Conversely, what is considered a fashion faux pas today will be celebrated as the standard tomorrow. Oh it’s a wild pendulum swinging back and forth, catching the flat-footed in awkward repose. Say in a pair of wrap-around Black Flys sunglasses, which may even be cool again, or tiny pair of Keds sneakers instead of Balenciaga-like foot boats.

One might have thought the proud and ancient “Hawaiian Handshake,” the shaka would be immune to such flippancy but nothing is immune. For years and years the shaka has gotten looser and looser and looser. The true, in-the-know shaka thrower would barely raise a pinky, barely extend a thumb and leave the middle three fingers gently curved, as if the whole hand had become paralyzed.

Well, it appears that now the “cool” thing to do is the opposite. A pinky extended wide to the left, or right, depending on the preferred shaka hand. A thumb jutting in the opposite direction. The middle three fingers balled into a tight fist and let us examine some of these new extra-tight shakas and see who trew it best.

New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady. Here we see the world’s alleged greatest football player making a shaka almost as big as his torso. Teeth gritted for maximum stretch.

World Surf League President of Content, Media and Studios Erik Logan. Here we see our shining light morphing the extra-tight shaka and “call me” symbol into one functional jive.

Australian Rules Football fan as found on the very funny @browncardigan. Whoa.

Aquaman and Khal Drogo Jason Momoa. Throwing two tight shakas, one up, one down, and pairing them with a playful smile.

Billy Madison and one-time Saturday Night Live star Adam Sandler. Here we have a chubby, tight shaka being passed down to the next generation, though by the time the little one is of age we can assume that the loose shaka will be trending once more.


Which do you prefer?

Also, did you know Mormons claim to have invented the shaka? It’s true! Read here!